Jean-Eric Vergne took the victory from pole position at the Monaco E-Prix, fending off Oliver Rowland to become the first repeat winner in the 2018/2019 FIA ABB Formula E Championship.
Jean Eric Verge led the race from the word go after starting from the pole position, despite Oliver Rowland topping the qualifying session. The Briton carried over a three-place grid penalty from the previous round, the Paris E-Prix which is why he was denied the first starting position.
Rowland started the race from the third position because he gained a place after Mitch Evans received a penalty for a third reprimand. Eights minutes into the races, Wehrlein made a mistake, locking up his tyres while braking into the first corner. The mistake saw the German losing two places as both Rowland and Massa could benefit from that.
The acitivation of the first attack mode did not bring huge changes to the order on the streets of Monaco. Meanwhile, Vergne could build up a lead of two seconds in front of the chasing trio of Rowland, Massa and Wehrlein.
With 23 minutes left, a long train was established behind the fifth-placed Sebastien Buemi. On the back of that train were Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi. Both jumped up two places within a matter of minutes, leaving Bird in eighth and di Grassi close behind in ninth.
Full course yellow was activated after carbon-fibre parts flew off Maximilian Günther’s Geox Racing car. Right after that period, Alexander Sims turned into Grassi, slamming him into the barrier. That incident forced the Brazilian to retire from the race.
In the dying minutes of the race, Frijns and Sims came together on track, putting Frijns car out of action, which saw his race end early.
With four minutes to go, the chasing trio could close in on the Vergne. The leading four drivers activated their attack mode at different time, but that did not make any difference in the end because Vergne could hold on and converted pole position into a lights-to-flag victory despite finding himself under pressure from the trio of Rowland, Massa and Wehrlein.
Jean Eric Vergne was happy to take the victory after what has been a rather challenging season so far for the reigning world champion.
"Having my first podium in Monaco and being a winner, I feel extremely happy and it’s an incredible feeling. The race, I think, was pretty much under control. When I wanted to push I could create a big enough gap and then my engineers were telling me how far back Oliver was and I was lifting depending on how close he was, so I could keep the target and at the end we were very close."
"It was a question of staying on track and finishing the race and I knew that if I closed the door at the right time he wouldn’t pass me… unless he went over me - so I was feeling pretty confident," he said.
Jean-Eric Vergne lifted himself back into title contention with his Monaco ePrix win. With the 25 points for the win and three points for the pole position, the Frenchman now leads the championship table with a total of 87 points. Only one point behind is his team-mate Andre Lotterer. Despite arriving as the championship leader to Monaco, Robin Frijns slipped down the order to third place after failing to score any points yesterday.
With four rounds remaining, many other drivers are in the contention for the title. Antonio Felix da Costa and Lucas di Grassi are fourth and fifth in the standings with 70 points. Even Pascal Wehrlein who is currently in the 12th position in the championship has a realistic chance with 51 points, 36 points adrift of Vergne.
With their drivers topping the Drivers’ Standings, it is no surprise that DS Techeetah leads the order in the Teams’ Championship. Envision Virgin Racing is second, followed by the Audi Sport ABT Schaefler outfit.