FE - Fastest laps decide Formula E season two finale

Sebastien Buemi claims the Formula E drivers’ title while Renault e.dams secure the teams’ championship during a thrilling season two finale in London’s Battersea Park
FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Renault e.dams did the championship double in London’s Battersea Park on Sunday afternoon, securing both the teams’ and the drivers’ titles after a hard fought season finale dominated by Nico Prost.

Prost lined up on pole for the second time this weekend, sharing the front row with teammate - and 2015/16 Formula E drivers’ champion - Sebastien Buemi, Just behind was Lucas di Grassi, the only man on track capable of upsetting Buemi’s title hopes.

It was in the approach to Turn 3 on the first lap that proved to be the catalyst for the drama that was Sunday afternoon. Di Grassi ran into the back of a slowing Buemi as the pair approached the corner, and the resulting shunt was forceful enough to send both men flying into the run-off area.

Buemi lost his rear wing in the incident, while di Grassi suffered a broken right-front wheel. Prost was able to avoid the incident entirely, despite having been running almost alongside the pair at the moment of collision,

There was nothing for either di Grassi or Buemi to do but to attempt a return to the pits where they could swap into their second cars and turn the title fight into a battle of the fastest laps. First blood went to di Grassi in a battle that ran to lap 32 of the 33 lap ePrix, but it was Buemi’s 1m24.150s effort that won the day, handing the drivers’ title to the Swiss racer.

The hero of the hour was Prost, who for the second time this weekend followed up an impressive qualifying session with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in Battersea Park. The Frenchman was just ahead of the di Grassi-Buemi collision on the first lap, and managed to maintain a comfortable gap behind him throughout the ePrix, crossing the line with a 7.783s lead over the second-placed car of Daniel Abt despite three Safety Cars.

It was a hard-fought conclusion to the 2015/16 Formula E season, and the second London round saw six drivers fail to reach the finish. First out was Sam Bird, who pulled to the side of the track on lap 7 following what the Briton told his team was “full power loss” from a hard-fought fifth place. Next to fall was Simona de Silvestro, who stopped on track with as yet unknown issues.

Robin Frijns was next out, stopping on track after a lap 12 collision with Loic Duval that cost the Dutch racer a working front right and bringing out the Safety Car for the third time on Sunday afternoon. The last to retire was Mike Conway, who stopped on track on lap 32, bringing out a set of waved yellows that nearly ruined Buemi’s final run at setting the fastest lap.

Neither di Grassi nor Buemi were classified finishers, having spent much of the race in the pits waiting for the perfect opportunity to set the fastest lap.

The series of Safety Cars and resulting lower-speed power use had its own effect on the outcome of the race, with Jean-Eric Vergne, Nick Heidfeld, and Antonio Felix da Costa all taking the chequered flag on 0% power, leading to post-race penalties that promoted Jerome D’Ambrosio to third place in the official results. The Belgian had crossed the line in sixth.