Lucas di Grassi charged through from sixth on the grid to claim his first Formula E victory of the 2017-2018 season at the inaugural Zurich E-Prix. 

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver made a quick start and scythed through the field, moving into the lead of the race by Lap 18, before comfortably controlling the second stint to take his first win since Montreal last July at the first motor race to be held in Switzerland since 1954. 

di Grassi, whose hopes of defending his Formula E crown were ended in qualifying, crossed the line 7.5s seconds clear of DS Virgin’s Sam Bird, who took advantage of a series of penalties to finish second and keep his championship aspirations alive, while Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio completed the podium with his first rostrum appearance of the season.  

Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne - who started 17th after what he described as a “nightmare” qualifying session - had brilliantly fought his way into the top 10 but was hit with a drive-through penalty for speeding under a full course yellow period for debris after Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist hit the wall at Turn 1, having just been past by Vergne. 

The Techeetah driver ultimately recovered to claim the final points-scoring position in 10th, but has seen what had been a 40-point lead in the drivers’ standings slashed to just 23 points heading into July’s season finale double-header in New York. 

Andre Lotterer, Sebastien Buemi, Mitch Evans and Jose Maria Lopez also received drive-through penalties for the full course yellow infringements. 

Having served their respective penalties, Lotterer emerged from the pitlane ahead of Renault e.dams’ Buemi as the German took fourth, with the pair finishing just two seconds up the road from Nick Heidfeld, who made it back-to-back points finishes in sixth. 

Polesitter Evans, who made a brilliant getaway and led much of the opening stint until he was passed by di Grassi on the run to Turn 1 on Lap 18, ended up a low-key seventh, while Antonio Felix da Costa rose from the tail-end of the grid to record his first points since Mexico in eighth. 

Britain’s Oliver Turvey recovered from a disappointing qualifying display that left him propping up the grid to seal ninth place, with the NIO driver holding off points leader Vergne by just under a second on the drag to the line. 

Zurich E-Prix: Race results 

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