29 Mar 20

CLASSIC RACE: 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix - battle at the beach

The battle at the beach from the 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix as two titans from the ABB FIA Formula E Championship duel for the win. Re-live this tense race from Round 6 of the 2017/18 season in full.

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Coming into the 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix, 2016/17 champion Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) was trailing championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) by a huge 78 points.

After hitting a bollard in the Super Pole, Di Grassi was one of three drivers to be penalised and lost the Julius Baer Pole Position to Vergne. Frustrated with being relegated to second on the grid, the Brazilian threw down the gauntlet that there was 'nothing to lose'.

What followed was a gruelling 37-lap battle between Di Grassi and Vergne. The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler man piled the pressure on the Frenchman in the Techeetah for an electrifying game of cat and mouse.

As Di Grassi stalked Vergne during the opening half of the race, the battle for the lead continued into the pit stop. With the pair mirroring each other, the tense duel was renewed with Vergne holding his position ahead of Di Grassi on exiting the pits.

Now in a fresh car, Di Grassi's tactics evolved as the Brazilian upped the aggression. Attempting an audacious move around the outside of Vergne into the chicane, the Frenchman kept the door closed and forced Di Grassi wide. Now back to square one, Di Grassi again had to close the gap to Vergne.

Clawing back up to the leader with just over 10 laps to go, Di Grassi hounded Vergne for the lead, looking for an opening at every opportunity.

With less than a handful of laps to go, Sam Bird in the DS Virgin Racing car was running a hot pace and closing in on the back of the leaders with the top three now covered by less than 1.5 seconds. The top five was home to further action, as Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) moved passed Bird's teammate Alex Lynn with a brave move through the fast right-hander of turn 13.

Up at the front, Di Grassi continued to wage war on Vergne in a determined drive, glued to the back of the Frenchman's Techeetah. With just one lap to go Di Grassi tried one last lunge but Vergne's defence proved too much for the Brazilian, who had to settle with second place.

The victory in Punta del Este was one of Vergne's four wins in the 2017/18 season, a dominant year that would see the Frenchman take his first title in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Formula E

See the past results from the 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix