Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries will carry a five-place grid penalty into the Valencia E-Prix following his last-lap clash with Formula E championship leader Sam Bird in Rome.

The incident occurred on the last-lap dash to the finish when racing returned to green after Audi’s Rene Rast crashed out late on and brought out the Safety Car.

Championship frontrunner de Vries lost control of his Mercedes and slammed into the back of Bird’s Jaguar on the approach to Turn 7 during a scrap over the final points-paying position.

The impact sent Bird into Oliver Rowland who was able to continue, while both de Vries and Bird were eliminated on the spot.

The non-score acted as a blow for both drivers, with Bird seeing his championship lead reduced to just four points over teammate Mitch Evans heading into the next round at Valencia.

De Vries headed the standings going into the double-header but two DNFs have seen him slip down to fifth in the championship table, 11 points behind Bird.

Compounding a disappointing weekend for de Vries, the Dutchman will take a five-place grid penalty for the first race at the Valencia E-Prix. He also received two penalty points on his race licence.

De Vries’ Mercedes teammate Stoffel Vandoorne claimed a redemptive victory in the second race at the Rome E-Prix to thrust himself into title contention, leapfrogging de Vries in the standings.