DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne claimed the 10th victory of his Formula E career during a chaotic, action-packed opening race at the Rome E-Prix.

Vergne had gained track position over Audi’s Lucas di Grassi heading into the final 10 laps of the race, but di Grassi caught the two-time Formula E champion by surprise with a brilliant divebomb move into Turn 4 to snatch the lead.

The season three champion appeared on course to take his first win in the series since the 2019 Berlin E-Prix but a suspected driveshaft failure on Lap 21 saw di Grassi suddenly plummet down the order and into retirement, handing the lead back to Vergne.

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Stoffel Vandoorne simultaneously lost control of his Mercedes over the bumps at Turn 5 in the damp conditions and spun into the wall, with his teammate and erstwhile championship leader Nyck de Vries unfortunate to get caught up in the accident.

Both Mercedes drivers retired on the spot on what marked a disastrous day for the German manufacturer, with de Vries surrendering his points advantage, while Vandoorne will be left rueing his luck having started the race on pole position.