|2017 Paris ePrix|
An unchanged Les Invalides circuit in 2017.
|Date||20th May 2017|
|Official Name||2017 Qatar Airways Paris ePrix|
|Location||Les Invalides, Paris, France|
|Lap length||1.930km (1.990mi)|
|Distance||49 laps / 94.570km (58.763mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Sébastien Buemi|
|Fastest Lap||1:02.422 on lap 42|
|Sébastien Buemi||José María López||Nick Heidfeld|
|Winner Team||Renault e.Dams|
The 2017 Paris ePrix, otherwise known as the 2017 Qatar Airways Paris ePrix, is set to be the seventh round of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, staged on the Les Invalides street circuit in the heart of the French capital city, Paris. The race, which would run back to back with the Monaco ePrix, was the second to be staged on the Les Invalides circuit, which would remain unchanged for its second FE bow.
Qualifying saw Paris-born Jean-Éric Vergne miss out on pole position by just six thousandths of a second, beaten by Championship leader Sébastien Buemi in the Super Pole shootout. Third went to José María López, while Esteban Gutiérrez would start from fourth after Oliver Turvey was handed a ten place grid penalty.
A strong start from home hero Vergne would not be enough to see him surge past Buemi into turn one, the Swiss racer easily able to defend from the Frenchman into turn one. The rest of the field squeezed through with the usual bumps and scrapes, with a few drivers, including Lucas di Grassi, picking up damage to the nose.
The order soon settled down, with Buemi sprinting clear of Vergne, while Gutierrez was steadily dropped by the pair of them. Indeed, the Mexican was forming something of a bottle neck in the second Techeetah, and it took a lot of muscling by Lopez to move back into the podium spots. There was action further back as Daniel Abt picked his way through the Gutierrez queue, while di Grassi fought a vicious duel with António Félix da Costa.
Indeed, it would be this duel that entertained the fans in between the series of passes on Gutierrez, both Nick Heidfeld and teammate Felix Rosenqvist moved past the black-gold car. The di Grassi/da Costa fight saw some questionable defending by both, with positions exchanged a few times, before di Grassi tried an ambitious move around the outside of the Portuguese racer into turn one. Unfortunately the Brazilian decided to squeeze da Costa as the pair came to the apex, and with nowhere to the Andretti duly slammed into the ABT Schaeffler.
A Full Course Yellow was called soon after the accident, for da Costa was buried in the tyre wall, while di Grassi managed to get back to the pits. He, like the rest of the field bar Mike Conway would change cars under FCY conditions, despite the fact that the race was still shy of half-distance. Indeed, when the race resumed there were still twenty eight laps to go, with Conway stopping six laps later, and was duly lapped.
The rest of the race saw Vergne pacing Buemi, as di Grassi and Sam Bird battled for fastest lap after mutually bad afternoons, the former getting slapped with a drive through penalty for exiting the pit lane before the minimum pitstop time. As they duelled off the track, taking turns to head out on circuit before stopping in the pits, Vergne slowly chipped into Buemi's advantage, only for an epic finish to be denied by mechanical strife.
Indeed, with only fifteen laps to go, and just two seconds between them, Vergne suffered a steering failure and slammed into the wall, bringing out the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car. Once that was cleared hopes of a fight all but disappeared, with Lopez no real match for Buemi despite the elimination of the gap between them.
Ultimately, the race would finish under a second safety car, as di Grassi locked up and ended his miserable day in the barriers at turn one, moments after starting a flying lap to challenge Bird. With that the race result was all but declared, with Buemi claiming victory ahead of Lopez, taking his first podium finish, and Heidfeld.
The rest of the field down to sixth placed Robin Frijns then crossed the line in short order, before Gutierrez nearly caused a melee by backing up the rest of the runners. The reason for the bunching was because the Mexican had been slapped with a five second time penalty for speeding during the FCY, although his attempts to salvage a points finish in the safety car queue, by sprinting for the line, ultimately faltered.
One major change to the entry list ahead of the Paris ePrix was the return of Mike Conway to a race seat, replacing Loïc Duval at Dragon Racing. Duval would be racing in the DTM that weekend, racing for Dragon's FE rivals Audi, meaning Brit Conway would drive an FE car for the first time since the season finale for the 2015/16 Championship. It would also be something of a homecoming for Conway, as he rejoined a team he had originally signed for ahead of the inaugural 2014/15 Championship, before both parties parted company ahead of the 2014 Beijing ePrix.
Another team having to field a revised driver line-up in Paris were Venturi, who would lose Maro Engel to the DTM due to the German's association with Mercedes. In his place would come Frenchman Tom Dillmann, who had previously completed the shakedown session for the team at the Mexico City ePrix when lead driver Stéphane Sarrazin was unavailable. The Frenchman brought with him a vast array of experience in other single-seater Championships, and had previously tested an FE car at the 2015 Donington Test with the fallen Team Aguri effort.
Victory and pole in Monte Carlo had Sébastien Buemi ease away in the Championship standings, the Swiss racer also becoming the first driver to break the 100 point barrier. Lucas di Grassi remained in second, fifteen points behind, with those two looking set to duel for the title once again. Behind, Nicolas Prost fell further back in third, remaining ahead of the non-scoring Jean-Éric Vergne, while Nick Heidfeld moved to within striking distance of fifth placed Sam Bird.
It was Renault e.Dams who continued to lead the Teams' Championship after the Monaco ePrix, the French squad heading to their home race with 152 points on the board. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport sat in their familiar second place, the only other team now in triple figures for the season after a fairly strong weekend in Monte Carlo. Mahindra Racing had leapt into third, swapping places with now fifth placed DS Virgin Racing, while Techeetah remained in fourth.
The full entry list for the 2017 Paris ePrix is displayed below:
Qualifying would run to its usual format in Paris, with four groups of five drivers randomly drawn before the session. Each of the four quintets would get six minutes on circuit to set one full 200 kw/h lap time, before the top five overall moved through to the Super Pole shootout. The Super Pole shootout would see the fastest five hit the circuit one-by-one to try and grab pole, with the rest of the grid formed from times set in the group stage.
Arguably the most anticipated group of the afternoon would be the first, for both Championship leader Sébastien Buemi and closest rival Lucas di Grassi would be in action. The former was among the favourites for pole, while the latter needed to narrow the gap in the Championship by denying Buemi pole. The rest of the group was high on quality too, with Sam Bird, the second ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport entry of Daniel Abt, and Felix Rosenqvist also in action.
Amid collective fears that the circuit would get quicker later in the session, all five group one contenders remained opted to sit in the pits, rather than go out first and sweep the circuit for the rest. Ultimately it was Bird who went first, although in doing so he made sure that he would be the slowest driver of the group with a scruffy lap. His time was instantly bettered by Rosenqvist and then Buemi, who went fastest with a 1:02.171, while di Grassi and Abt were disappointing slow, over six tenths behind the Swiss star.
Nelson Piquet Jr. seemed to be the favourite to get into Super Pole from the second group, the NextEV NIO driver famously strong on one-lap pace. Nicolas Prost needed to improve on his quali-form to really support Renault e.Dams teammate Buemi, while José María López was was an outside shot for Super Pole. Mitch Evans in the Jaguar and FE returnee Mike Conway would hope to challenge for the top ten.
Unlike the first group the members of the second quintet decided to hit the circuit right from the get go, with Prost leading them out of the pits. For Prost it was a disappointing run, for he was beaten by a flying Lopez, who went second fastest. Evans caused a stir by going fourth overall, and therefore ahead of Prost, by going out last of all, while Conway was just 0.002s ahead of Piquet Jr. as they tucked in behind the #8 e.Dams machine.
The two Renault built Techeetahs of Jean-Éric Vergne and Esteban Gutiérrez hit the circuit in group three, and after practice both seemed to be entertaining hopes of a Super Pole spot. Oliver Turvey would also run in the second NextEV NIO, while Jérôme d'Ambrosio would be looking to out-qualify stand-in teammate Conway. Stéphane Sarrazin was in a similar position to d'Ambrosio in wanting to beat his new teammate, although the Frenchman had the disadvantage of running earlier.
Unsurprisingly it was Vergne who ended the session fastest of the group three qualifiers, the Frenchman just missing out on beating Buemi by 0.103s. The Frenchman was fortunate to get his time in, for Sarrazin suffered an electrical glitch on his full power lap, and had briefly stopped out on circuit. The Frenchman would therefore start dead last. Elsewhere, Turvey claimed third overall ahead of an impressive Gutierrez, the pair split by Lopez, while d'Ambrosio failed, rather surprisingly, to beat temporary teammate Conway.
The final quintet was not expected to see anyone entertain thoughts of Super Pole, unless there was a dramatic improvement in track conditions. Tom Dillmann would make his FE quali debut for Venturi, while the vastly more experienced Nick Heidfeld of Mahindra was favourite. The two Andrettis of António Félix da Costa and Robin Frijns, as well as the second Jaguar of Adam Carroll completed the quintet.
As expected, the final quintet was a dead-rubber, with no major changes to the overall order. That said, Heidfeld came agonisingly close to the Super Pole spots, falling shy of Gutierrez's time by just 0.014s, and so ended the session fastest of the final four. Elsewhere, Dillmann managed to beat two disappointing efforts from da Costa and Carroll, while Frijns managed to grab a top ten spot by edging out Evans.
It was Gutierrez who got underway first in the Super Pole shootout, although the Mexican's debut in the quali-finale did not go to plan as he went sailing down an escape road after misjudging his braking. Lopez went next, and a clean effort for the Argentine put him on provisional pole, although he was two tenths slower than his group effort. Then it was Turvey's turn, although the Brit's single attempt was not good enough to topple Lopez.
Home hero Vergne was next to step out onto the circuit, and a lively performance saw the Frenchman claim a 1:02.325, less than half a tenth slower than he had gone in the group stages. Only Buemi could deny him pole, and it immediately became clear that he and the Swiss racer were very equally matched. Near identical sectors by Buemi gave the home fans hope, but when the Swiss racer swept across the line he was up on Vergne by 0.006s. It was therefore Buemi on pole ahead of Vergne, while Gutierrez would line up alongside Lopez once Turvey was slapped with a ten place penalty for changing a motor.
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Paris ePrix are outlined below:
|2017 Paris ePrix Qualifying Result|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:02.319||—||1|
|3rd||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:02.640||+0.321s||3|
|4th*||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:02.910||+0.591s||14|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:02.171||—||SP|
|3rd||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:02.384||+0.213s||SP|
|4th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:02.459||+0.288s||SP|
|6th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:02.611||+0.440s||5|
|7th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:02.617||+0.446s||6|
|9th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:02.687||+0.516s||8|
|10th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:02.746||+0.575s||9|
|11th||6||Mike Conway||Dragon Racing||1:02.808||+0.637s||10|
|12th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:02.810||+0.639s||11|
|13th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:02.814||+0.643s||12|
|14th||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:02.840||+0.669s||13|
|16th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:03.071||+0.900s||16|
|17th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:03.268||+1.097s||17|
|18th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:03.573||+1.402s||18|
|19th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:03.771||+1.600s||19|
- * Turvey received a ten place grid penalty for changing the motor in his car.
The final classification of the 2017 Paris ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2017 Paris ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||49||0:59:41.125||1:03.197||28|
|2nd||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||49||+0.707s||1:03.299||18|
|3rd||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||49||+2.043s||1:03.401||15|
|4th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||49||+2.621s||1:03.461||12|
|5th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||49||+3.521s||1:03.821||10|
|7th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||49||+32.420s||1:03.772||6|
|9th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||49||+33.369s||1:04.216||2|
|10th||4||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||49||+34.051s||1:03.907||1|
|11th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||49||+35.082s||1:04.268|
|13th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||48||+1 Lap||1:03.776|
|14th||6||Mike Conway||Dragon Racing||48||+1 Lap||1:03.146|
|15th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||48||+1 Lap||1:04.250|
|16th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||47||+2 Laps||1:02.422||1|
|Ret||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||35||Electrics||1:02.666|
|Ret||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||33||Accident||1:03.610|
|Ret||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||18||Accident||1:04.689|
- Second Paris ePrix.
- Debut for Tom Dillmann.
- Mike Conway made his first Formula E start since the 2016 London ePrix II.
- 25th entry by Jean-Eric Vergne.
- Eleventh victory for Sébastien Buemi.
- Fourteenth victory earned by Renault e.Dams.
- Maiden podium finish for José María López.
- Nick Heidfeld made his fifth visit to the rostrum.
- Dillmann earned a maiden points finish.
Pole and victory combined allowed Sébastien Buemi to enhance his lead in the Championship, the Swiss racer heading into the second half of the season with a 43 point advantage. Lucas di Grassi remained the only man seemingly capable of keeping Buemi in sight, with third placed Nicolas Prost a further 31 points away. Elsewhere, Nick Heidfeld moved back into the top five, overtaking Jean-Éric Vergne on the way to fourth, while Tom Dillmann's maiden points finish meant there were 21 scorers in the 2016/17 edition of the FIA Formula E Championship.
Renault e.Dams benefitted from the double non-score of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport to extend their lead in the Teams' Championship, the French squad leaving their home race with 190 points on the board. The German squad were 75 points away as the only other team in triple figures for the season, although they seemed set to finish at least as high as second. Third placed Mahindra Racing managed to pull away from the chasing pack, while Techeetah slipped behind DS Virgin Racing and NextEV NIO after a miserable day in Paris.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 'Qatar Airways becomes Official Airline Partner', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/qatar-airways-becomes-official-airline-partner/, (Accessed 04/05/2017)
- ↑ 'From Hong Kong to New York: FIVE NEW CITIES FOR THIRD FORMULA E SEASON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/from-hong-kong-to-new-york/, (Accessed 02/07/2016)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 'Buemi denies JEV Qatar Airways Paris ePrix pole', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-denies-jev-qatar-airways-paris-eprix-pole/, (Accessed 20/05/2017)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 'Buemi hands Renault e.dams emotional Paris win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-hands-renault-edams-emotional-paris-win/, (Accessed 21/05/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 'Conway to replace Duval for Paris ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/04/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/april/conway-to-replace-duval-for-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 18/04/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Tom Dillmann gets Paris Venturi call-up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/04/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/april/tom-dillmann-gets-paris-venturi-call-up/, (Accessed 24/04/2017)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'PARIS, FR - EPRIX RACE RESULTS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/results/race-results/season/2022016/round/6, (Accessed 20/05/2017)
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 'Buemi and di Grassi drawn in same qually group', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-and-di-grassi-drawn-in-same-qually-group/, (Accessed 20/05/2017)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 'Watch Formula E Qualifying LIVE From Paris - 2017 FIA Formula E Qatar Airways Paris ePrix', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E Championship, 20/05/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVyjbq2hCbM, (Accessed 20/05/2017)