Closed Circuit: Renault e.dams in Monaco
Renault e.dams extended its advantage at the top of the standings as reigning champion Sebastien Buemi completed a clean sweep of the Monaco ePrix by topping every single session, while Nico Prost continued his point scoring run that started at the Paris ePrix in 2016.
Renault e.dams came to Monaco as the defending race winners, with Buemi having taken victory at the inaugural event in 2015, and made the most their dominant machine to make it two from two.
While Buemi went fastest in both practice sessions, took pole and won the race, Prost endured a more difficult race as he was compromised by a below-par qualifying.
The Frenchman started the ePrix in 18th place with only the Faraday Future Dragon Racing drivers behind him and made superb progress to rise through the field to ninth place and his ninth consecutive points finish, which begs the question what could he have done with a better qualifying?
Team mate comparison: qualifying
- Sebastien Buemi
- Nico Prost
Team mate comparison: race
- Sebastien Buemi
- Nico Prost
“It was our objective after a disappointing Mexico ePrix, to win the race – and especially Monaco which is an iconic race along with Paris ePrix on our calendar. At the same time, it was a bit stressful because since the start of the season we are struggling with qualifying and here it is really difficult to overtake when you are not in the front.
“Nico did great this morning during Free Practice sessions, it was not what we expected in qualifying and you can see the consequences of starting from the back of the grid. They both did a great race though, they are both in points which is really difficult when you start before last.“We are very satisfied of that result before Paris ePrix. We know Paris will also be difficult, we will have even more pressure than here but we are fully motivated.”
Alain Prost, Senior Team Manager
Following a disappointing weekend in Mexico City, Buemi could quite literally do no more to make up for it as he dominated every session and grand slammed the entire event, with the only exception of Sam Bird taking the fastest lap in his DS Virgin Racing.
The fastest times in both practice sessions gave his rivals cause for concern, and Buemi duly delivered in qualifying to take his first pole position of the season after nailing his Super Pole lap.
The Swiss driver then commanded the race and led every single lap, with the only real challenge coming from ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi in the closing stages, who tried everything to pass on the final lap but ultimately could not get by Buemi who took his second Formula E victory at Monaco.
Best time in FP1: 52.795s (P1)
Best time in FP2: 52.729s (P1)
Best time in qualifying: 53.413s (P3, P1 in Super Pole)
Best time in the race: 54.978s (Lap 45)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 53.507s (+0.507s)
“I am really happy to be winning again. I was quicker the first half of the race and everything was under control, so I managed to build a gap between Lucas and I in case of a safety car. On the second stint, I was struggling to match his pace,so basically I did the entire race looking in the mirrors. It was in the second car where I had less pace, so we need to understand why this was.
“In general, we change a little bit the set-up of the second cars in order to use the extra grip of the circuit. If you want the perfect car, sometimes it need adjustments. I am still very happy with that result and I am looking forward to go to Paris next week. We have a good car, we have a great team.”
Prost stated on Friday that a strong qualifying would enable him to challenge for victory, but struggled for pace and lingered in 18th place, making for a potential difficult race around a circuit known for a lack of overtaking.
This didn’t stop the Frenchman from making progress though, as a stellar race saw Prost rise from his 18th place grid slot to tenth in the race, promoted to ninth after a post-race penalty for Antonio Felix da Costa, and collecting yet another points finish in the process.
Aided by retirements for Jean-Eric Vergne and Sam Bird, Prost holds onto third place in the drivers’ standings but is now 56 points away from team-mate and championship leader Buemi.
Best time in FP1: 53.237s (P2)
Best time in FP2: 53.270s (P9)
Best time in qualifying: 55.081s (P18)
Best time in the race: 55.361s (Lap 15)
Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 54.563s (+1.563s)
“I had a disappointing result in qualifying but overall it was a great race. When you start from the back of the grid in Monaco, you don’t expect much. But the car felt really good and the job of the team was incredible. I just need to understand why we are not that competitive in qualifying. We need to put everything together and then we will fight for podium at every race.”
Image courtesy of Rajan Jangda