Sebastien Buemi has closed the gap on Lucas di Grassi at the top of the Formula E Championship standings after fighting his way to victory in the Punta del Este ePrix from fifth on the grid.

Having shown rapid pace throughout free practice in the Renault e.Dams car, Buemi appeared to have hampered his hopes of a victory challenge when a mistake during the one-lap shootout stage of qualifying left him down in fifth place.

However, a rapid start would see him dispatch of key rival di Grassi off the line before he proceeded to pick off Loic Duval and Sam Bird to move into second by lap six. From here it would take him just two more laps to relieve Jerome d'Ambrosio of a lead he would retain to the chequered flag.

Indeed, in terms of pace, Buemi was untouchable throughout, but he was still thrown a curve ball just after the pit-stops when confusion over the start of a full course yellow saw him slow down earlier than he needed to. Adhering to track boards that had come out before he was informed on the radio, Buemi saw his lead to di Grassi reduced to less than two seconds as a result.

However, on the restart a frustrated Buemi simply forged clear again, his impending win made a foregone conclusion on the final lap when defending champion Nelson Piquet crashed heavily whilst disputing eight position with Jean-Eric Vergne.

Though unable to keep in touch with Buemi, di Grassi had a positive afternoon in second place after leapfrogging both Dragon Racing cars during the pit-stops to ensure he remains at the head of the overall standings, albeit by just a single point.

Unable to make his pole position count, d'Ambrosio nonetheless settled for third place, resisting team-mate Duval in fourth place, while Nicholas Prost defeated Antonio Felix da Costa to secure a top five finish.

Benefiting from Piquet's crash, which came after the pair had made light contact a few corners earlier, Vergne also gained a spot over a flagging Daniel Abt on the final lap for seventh place, with Stephane Sarrazin and Robin Frijns picking up the remaining points in ninth and tenth.

Elsewhere, Bird ran second early but was down to fifth place before intermittent issues with his DS Virgin car forced him to retire, while NEXTEV TCR looked on course for a double points' finish with Piquet and Oliver Turvey before the former crashed and the latter was given a drive-thru penalty for not reaching the minimum pit-stop time.

 

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