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Vergne Takes First Win of Season in Sanya

Jean-Eric Vergne takes first Formula E win of season in China…

Photo: Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne took his first ABB FIA Formula E Championship win of the season in Sanya on Saturday, escaping a post-race penalty.

The Frenchman was under investigation late in the race for not respecting the safety car procedure but was given a reprimand shortly after crossing the finish line.

This meant he escaped any post-race time penalty and thus kept his victory, becoming the sixth different winner out of six races so far this season.

It marked a home victory for DS Techeetah, which runs under a Chinese flag but is based in France.

Vergne passed Oliver Rowland for the lead with 21 minutes remaining and stayed out front despite a disadvantage on Attack Mode strategy when the race restarted with ten minutes to go.

This came after a red flag period called to retrieve Alexander Sims’ BMW iFE.18, in what was the third red flag in as many races.

The BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver was forced out of the race after running in the top five by contact with Andre Lotterer and the wall.

The race was halted for 14 minutes while clean-up took place, with ten minutes of running on the clock when it got restarted.

A Full Course Yellow was called on the penultimate lap when Robin Frijns and Lucas di Grassi collided at the hairpin, caused in part by Sebastien Buemi hitting Frijns on the run down to the corner.

The other FCY period took place on the opening lap when Felipe Nasr stopped on track only to get going again. However, he and his GEOX Dragon teammate Jose Maria Lopez both ended up retiring.

Sam Bird and Stoffel Vandoorne had contact early on, taking both drivers out of the race and losing Bird the championship lead.

Antonio Felix da Costa ultimately finished third behind polesitter Rowland while Lotterer placed fourth ahead of Daniel Abt.

Seven drivers were classified as retirements while Frijns and di Grassi added to the list by failing to cross the line following their late-race crash, meaning only 13 cars finished.

Da Costa now leads the standings on 62 points to Jerome d’Ambrosio’s 59, while Vergne is a further five points down.

RESULTS: Sanya E-Prix

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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