Nelson Piquet Jr is the first-ever title winner of the FIA Formula E Championship after a charging drive up the order in the final London ePrix race of the season saw him snatch the initiative from Sebastien Buemi.

Piquet Jr came into the race with a five point margin over Buemi, but after qualifying down in 16th following a rain-hit qualifying session - with Buemi up in sixth -, the advantage was arguably with the Swiss driver.

Indeed, Piquet Jr's hopes seemed to be slipping away as the mid-race pit-stops took place, the Brazilian having only progressed as far as 10th place, whereas Buemi was ahead provisionally overall from fifth place.

However, the race would turn on its head shortly afterwards when Buemi dramatically spun his car on cold tyres. Though he would cede only a single position, it was one that would go on to prove crucial to his title hopes.

With Buemi in sixth now and not holding the extra two points for fastest lap, Piquet Jr needed to get up to eighth to nose back ahead in the provisional reckoning, a task made easier when team-mate Oliver Turvey moved over for ninth, before a marvellous pass on an unawares Salvador Duran earned him eighth.

Switching the emphasis back on Buemi, the Swiss driver fought hard to get back fifth place from Bruno Senna, but despite some boisterous driving between the two, Senna would hold firm, keeping Buemi in sixth and allowing Piquet Jr to cross the line as the champion by just a single point.

A fine result for the revitalised ex-F1 driver, Piquet Jr built his title challenge on consistency, winning just two races but failing to score just once, unlike Buemi who suffered three crucial zero scores over the year, plus the penalty in Moscow that ultimately cost him the title.

The third title contender coming into the final race, meanwhile, Lucas di Grassi, could only finish seventh as his title challenge faded at the final hurdle.

The race itself, meanwhile, was won by Sam Bird, who clinched a popular home win in controversial circumstances after first-across-the-road Stephane Sarrazin was demoted for exceeding his power availability.

To his credit, Bird was the star of the race having worked his way from fourth to second, before pressuring Sarrazin enough that he would go beyond his allocated power, thus earning him the equivalent penalty for the drive-thru and demoting him to the back of the field. Completing the podium with Bird was Dragon Racing drivers Jerome d'Ambrosio and Loic Duval.

Promoting everyone behind up a position, it wouldn't make a difference to the title standings with Buemi in fifth and Piquet in seventh.

 

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