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Di Grassi wins in Montreal to take championship lead ahead of finale – Race Report

Montreal ePrix – Lucas di Grassi won the first Montreal race from pole to take the championship lead ahead of the season finale on Sunday.

Jean-Eric Vergne followed di Grassi closely home at the end of the race, with the gap just three tenths of a second at the line.

The Brazilian’s championship rival Sebastien Buemi worked his way up from 12th on the grid to fourth, despite his second car only being rebuilt ten minutes before the start of the race following his heavy FP2 crash.

The Renault e.dams driver fell to 16th on the opening lap, and was left with broken steering after contact with Robin Frijns at Turn 2.

Buemi had further contact during the pit stop phase with Daniel Abt, when the German ran into the back of him on the exit of the pit lane under full course yellow conditions, having exited the garages very closely.

Buemi worked his way up the field, but could get past Stephane Sarrazin for the podium despite his best efforts on the final lap when they banged wheels through the Turns 6-8 complex.

Buemi is currently under investigation for an unsafe release, but di Grassi currently leads the championship by six points under the provisional classification.

Abt came home fifth from 11th on the grid, ahead of Sam Bird who was 18th on the grid, and Nico Prost.

Mitch Evans dived up the inside of the first corner to take fourth from the fourth row of the grid at the start, but fell down to eighth by the chequered flag ahead of Frijns.

Felix Rosenqvist was battling for the podium when he hit the wall on the exit of the final chicane and gave himself broken rear suspension. He finished in tenth.

Team mate Nick Heidfeld was forced to retire the car when he made contact with Loic Duval at Turn 6 which left the Mahindra with a broken front-right wheel. He pulled up at Turn 12 which brought out a full course yellow.

Duval was given a drive through penalty for the collision, but scored a point after setting the fastest lap.

Jose Maria Lopez crashed out at Turn 8 after battling his way back into the points. The stricken DS Virgin car prompted a brief safety car period.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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