Lucas di Grassi has claimed his first win of the 2017-18 Formula E season at the Zurich E-Prix, in a race that cut Jean-Eric Vergne’s championship lead by 17 points.
The Brazilian took the lead from polesitter Mitch Evans on lap 18 of 39 and remained in front to the end, crucially extending his gap during the pitstop sequence one lap later.
Drivers chose to switch cars due to a full course yellow produced for debris on track, most notably the front wing of Felix Rosenqvist that was ran over by Vergne.
The Swede went into the wall at Turn 1 moments after Vergne passed him for then-eighth position after making nine positions in the first half of the race and posting many fastest laps.
Evans looked set to remain in the podium positions until he, Andre Lotterer, Jose Maria Lopez, Sebastien Buemi and Vergne were all given drivethrough penalties for speeding during this caution period.
This was the second issue for Vergne after he dropped from seventh to ninth when he was delayed by 12 seconds at his car switch when he was unable to leave his garage.
These penalties promoted Sam Bird to a finish of second and Jerome d’Ambrosio to third for Dragon’s first podium of the year.
Lotterer and Buemi ended in fourth and fifth after serving their drivethroughs, while Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld benefitted from the chaos to inherit sixth.
Evans was seventh above Antonio Felix da Costa and Oliver Turvey.
Vergne finished just 0.7s behind Turvey in tenth, meaning that his championship lead stands at 23 points with 58 remaining from the season-ending double-header in New York.
Only the Frenchman and Bird are now in contention to win the championship with 62 points separating Vergne and now-third-placed di Grassi in the standings.
Lopez fell to 12th late on after going straight into the barriers at the first turn from a then-eighth position.
Daniel Abt finished 46.2s behind his team-mate in 13th after early damage from a collision with Nelson Piquet Jr.
Abt was slowed by taking too much of the kerb and Piquet hit his rear, taking his rear wing off the car, while the Brazilian suffered front wing damage.
Both were instructed to pit due to this and then continue, though Piquet only completed 20 laps.
Rosenqvist ended in 15th place after his earlier issues.
Nico Prost retired after hitting the barriers at the hairpin, an area Edoardo Mortara stopped at earlier in the event.
|1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi||Lap 39|
|2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin||7.5s|
|5||Sebastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||26.6s|
|8||Antonio Felix da Costa||Andretti||31.3s|
|12||Jose Maria Lopez||Dragon||35.2s|
|15||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra||1 lap|
|16||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin||1 lap|
|Ret.||Nico Prost||Renault e.dams||8 laps|
|Ret.||Luca Filippi||NIO||19 laps|
|Ret.||Nelson Piquet Jr||Jaguar||19 laps|
|Ret.||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi||33 laps|