Sebastien Buemi has converted pole position into a lights-to-flag victory on the streets of Monte Carlo by fending off Lucas di Grassi after a first corner pile-up.

The e.dams Renault driver has become the first multiple winner in the inaugural Formula E championship but was pushed all the way by di Grassi, eventually winning by 2.154s, while Nelson Piquet Jr completed the podium positions.

All 20 cars got a clean getaway off the line but carnage commenced on the exit of turn one heading down JFK Avenue. A multiple car pile-up saw Bruno Senna and Jamie Alguersuari both crash out in separate incidents.

After the leading trio got away unharmed Audi Sport's Daniel Abt was bumped into the barriers, leaving Senna with no option but to slam into the back of Abt, sending his Mahindra Racing car airborne and it fell back to earth in a broken mess.

Alguersuari was involved in a second clash at turn one when the cars bunched up around the tight corner and the Virgin Racing driver was the unlucky one with nowhere to go.

The crashes left Senna and Alguersuari stranded along with large amounts of debris littered across the track and a safety car was required.

As well as Senna, Abt and Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Loic Duval, Salvador Duran and Jean-Eric Vergne all suffered damage to their cars, ending their respective chances of a successful Monte Carlo ePrix.

At the front Buemi had made a strong start but had the rest of the remaining pack all over his rear wing as the safety car bunched the drivers together at the restart.

The chasing di Grassi attempted an aggressive undercut coming in two laps earlier than the rest when he switched between his Audi Sport ABT cars in the pitstop in the hope clean air would allow him to leapfrog the Swiss driver.

When the reigning World Endurance champion emerged from the pits after his stop he and di Grassi were nose to nose going into the first corner but the experienced Buemi held the defensive inside line, forcing di Grassi wide and he lost momentum in the hairpin.

Di Grassi continued to apply pressure on the former Formula 1 driver but he resisted to take his second victory of the season.

Pique Jr in the China Racing machine was able to make use of his Fan Boost to generate extra speed to overtake Jerome d'Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) for third place, while Sam Bird in the Virgin Racing car drove impressively to stay out of trouble and finish fourth after starting 10th on the grid.

D'Ambrosio got to the chequered flag in fifth ahead of French drivers Nicolas Prost (e.dams Renault) and Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi).

Scott Speed (Andretti) recovered from brake problems in free practice to finish eighth while Charles Pic (China Racing) and Antonio Felix da Costa (Amlin Aguri) rounded out the points-paying positions.