Earlier this morning, in cold temperatures, Seb Buemi topped the timesheets for Free Practice 1 with a fastest laptime of 1:01.998s. The Swiss driver was drawn in the first qualifying group and for the second consecutive time, he grabbed pole position. His pole lap was six thousands faster than his rival Jean-Eric Vergne. Nico Prost took his spot in the second qualifying group and qualified ninth on the grid after Oliver Turvey’s penalty.
When the lights went out, both drivers machines survived intact after a tight first corner. After a few laps, Séb Buemi managed to build a margin back to Vergne. Antonio Felix Da Costa and Lucas Di Grassi were involved in a close battle for P14 until the Portuguese driver hit the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver from behind which caused a full course yellow, which saw most drivers seize the opportunity to do their mandatory car swap.
Séb Buemi remained calm and managed to maintain his lead ahead of Vergne and José Maria Lopez. On lap 34, a mistake from the Frenchman saw him in the wall which brought out a safety car. At the restart and with twelve laps to go, Séb Buemi put his foot down and Lopez was unable to catch him. There was a second and final safety car period as Di Grassi pushed a bit too hard which resulted in his car ending up in the wall at Turn 8. In the final stages, the race finished under the safety car and saw Séb Buemi triumph for the fifth time from six races. Nico Prost crossed the line in sixth position. Subsequently, Robin Frijns got a five second penalty because he was found to have been speeding under the full course yellow, this promoted Nico Prost to fifth.
Renault e.dams leaves their home round remaining on top in the Teams’ championship with 190 points after another dominant race weekend, while Séb Buemi leads the Drivers’ championship on 132 points with Nico Prost holding onto third with 58 points.
Séb Buemi – n°9: To be honest, I was never expecting to be competitive here. Well, certainly not what I achieved today. So to be able to grab pole position and a win, is amazing. At the start of today, I knew if I took pole, I could do a good race. During the race, I had Jean-Eric under control even though he was pushing really hard. After the car swap, I knew I had to keep pushing and then he crashed. I thought I had a nine second advantage over José but then the safety car came out. I would really like to thank my team because they’ve done an amazing job: both engineers and mechanics. They all worked very hard. Everything worked out perfectly so they deserve this win more than me.
Nico Prost – n°8: It was a solid race, I made no mistakes. I overtook the cars I could due to our good strategy. We scored big points in both championships so that’s good for personally and for the team. I just need to work a bit more on my qualifying because I think we can still improve. If we qualify higher, I think we could do a lot better than what we have managed since the start of the season. But I am happy with the result today. It’s also great for our fans.
Alain Prost – co-owner of Renault e.dams: Today for us, is a double victory and it’s more than symbolic. We are very happy to have won the ePrix in front of our fans. All of our partners were here, in particular Renault who has supported us since the start of the championship. We have also built a gap in both the teams and drivers championships which was one of our goals. We are really satisfied with today and we will enjoy this victory. After taking victory in Monaco, to win in Paris was one of our targets which we have achieved in some style.
Jean-Paul Driot – co-owner of Renault e.dams: Winning in Paris was one of our goals; listening to the French National Anthem on the podium in front of all of the Parisians was very important to us, given our race from last year even if we did claim a podium. Today the team worked at the highest level to maintain the lead in both championships, as Séb and Nico finished first and fifth respectively and our direct competitors scored only a few points. We are happy to increase our lead in both championships.
Vincent Gaillardot – Director of FE Program: After the good result in Monaco, we still had to investigate some areas to fully understand the small differences in performance between both cars. We worked day and night in Viry and reached a positive conclusion following our research. We arrived here with a clear idea on what we had to do and how to win. Séb managed to get everything right to take pole position and won the race. Importantly, Nico finished in front of our nearest rivals, so it was a great team effort and we will continue to work hard.