|2017 Monaco ePrix|
The modified Circuit de Monaco layout.
|Date||13 May 2017|
|Official Name||2017 FIA Formula E Monaco ePrix|
|Location||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco|
|Lap length||1.765 km (1.097 mi)|
|Distance||51 laps / 90.015 km (55.933 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Sébastien Buemi|
|Team||DS Virgin Racing|
|Fastest Lap||0:53.822 on lap 24|
|Sébastien Buemi||Lucas di Grassi||Nick Heidfeld|
|Winner Team||Renault e.Dams|
|2017 Mexico City ePrix||2017 Paris ePrix|
The 2017 Monaco ePrix, otherwise officially known as the 2017 FIA Formula E Monaco ePrix, was the fifth round of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, staged on a modified version of the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 13 May 2017. The race would see the return of Monte Carlo as a host city, having previously staged an ePrix in 2015 as part of the inaugural FE Championship.
Qualifying saw Sébastien Buemi finally reverse his poor quali form by claiming a dominant pole position, beating title rival Lucas di Grassi by a quarter of a second. Nelson Piquet Jr. grabbed third ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne, while Maro Engel completed the top five after getting into Super Pole for the first time.
An entertaining start to the race saw Buemi lead into Sainte Devote, with di Grassi having to stamp on the brakes in order to avoid taking out his Swiss rival. The rest of the field duly concertinaed, the back runners having to come to a complete stop but, bar some minor rubbing, the entire field made it through without damage.
A pattern soon developed in the fight for the lead, with Buemi inching out his lead by a few tenths every lap, while di Grassi moved clear of Piquet. Indeed, Piquet was proving a nuisence for the rest of the top runners, the Brazilian simply not having the pace in his NextEV NIO to stay with the leading pair. He therefore had Vergne crawling over the back of him from the second lap onwards, with Nick Heidfeld a surprise fifth after an excellent start.
Also in their fight was Sam Bird, although the Brit was effectively out of the race from lap seven after slapping the wall at the Swimming Pool. He limped back to the pits for a quick repair, although the DS Virgin Racing crew quickly decided that his best bet would be to go for fastest lap for the rest of the race.
Back on track and Vergne was trying everything he could to try and take Piquet, his best chances coming on the brakes into turn three. On lap twenty the Frenchman managed to get on the outside of the Brazilian for the entire length of the hairpin, but through the subsequent chicane the two came together and the Virgin was bounced into the barriers. Heidfeld slipped through to claim third before Piquet recovered, while Vergne had to abandon his car in the barriers at the chicane, bringing out the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car.
Some drivers tried an early stop the moment they saw Vergne in the barriers, although the gamble caused more confusion, as Mitch Evans was mistakenly picked up by the safety car, along with the rest of the early stoppers. The rest of the field stopped after the safety car appeared, and, once Evans and co. were waved by, the race restarted with Buemi still in the lead.
The rest of the race was rather tame, although di Grassi was remaining within striking distance as the rest of the race ticked by. Into the closing stages and the Brazilian managed to close right onto the back of the Swiss, and on the final lap it looked as if he could throw his ABT Schaeffler past the Renault e.Dams machine. His best shot came at turn three, although a well timed block from Buemi was enough to deny him.
The Swiss duly swept home for his tenth ePrix victory, only three tenths ahead of di Grassi who ran out of usable energy as the pair crossed the line. Heidfeld was a lonely third for Mahindra, while Piquet fended off the combined attentions Maro Engel, Felix Rosenqvist and Daniel Abt to the chequered flag. Fastest lap went to Bird, although the Brit failed to reach the finish.
There would be one significant piece of news ahead of the Monaco ePrix, as Dragon Racing announced that Mike Conway was coming in to replace Loïc Duval. This change was not for the race in Monte Carlo, however, with Conway having to wait until the Paris ePrix to make his FE return. Duval himself was to be busy in the DTM that weekend, racing for Audi, while Conway rejoins the team he originally signed for ahead of the inaugural 2014/15 campaign. It was a similar situation at Venturi, who were to replace Maro Engel with Tom Dillmann as the former would be racing for Mercedes.
A dismal weekend for Championship leader Sébastien Buemi in Mexico City had seen his advantage at the top of the standings cut to just five points, Lucas di Grassi the man making ground. The Brazilian and the Swiss were set to fight for the title as they had in 2015/16, with Nicolas Prost still 25 points behind the man in second. Jean-Éric Vergne closed the gap to the Frenchman, but remained in fourth, while Sam Bird swapped places with Felix Rosenqvist.
The Teams' Championship remained largely unchanged out front after the Mexico City ePrix, with Renault e.Dams still leading the charge from arch-rivals ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. They were split by just 31 points after the former's problematic weekend, although neither were under threat from third placed DS Virgin Racing. The British squad were fighting with Techeetah and Mahindra Racing to be best of the rest, while Jaguar Racing were on the board for the first time in their short history, moving ahead of Venturi in the process.
The full entry list for the 2017 Monaco ePrix is displayed below:
There were no changes to the qualifying format ahead of a sunny Saturday afternoon in Monte Carlo, with four groups of five drivers randomly drawn after FP2. Each group would get six minutes on circuit to give each driver a shot at completing a single full power lap. The top five drivers overall would then go through to the Super Pole shootout at the end of the session, with each of the top five getting a completely empty circuit to try and set a time good enough for pole position.
The first quintet of the session was headlined by Championship leader Sébastien Buemi, who was looking to improve his recent quali-form. Other potential Super Pole earners were limited, Oliver Turvey arguably to biggest threat for NextEV NIO, although the other three could not be ruled out. They were Loïc Duval of Dragon Racing, the Andretti for António Félix da Costa, and Mitch Evans' Jaguar.
Unsurprisingly it was Buemi who topped the times at the end of the first group run, a clean run seeing him record a 0:53.413, one of the fastest times of the weekend. Second in the group, but half a second slower was Duval, although the Frenchman was excluded from the results of qualifying after he completed more laps than were allowed. Evans was next, beating Turvey by over half a second himself, while da Costa was a further tenth back after a poor lap.
The second Renault e.Dams entry of Nicolas Prost headlined the second group of the day, with the sister car for Esteban Gutiérrez run by Techeetah also in action. Those two were considered potential Super Pole contenders, with Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Nick Heidfeld expected to compete for the top ten. The top ten spots would also be the aim of Adam Carroll in the second Jaguar as the fifth driver of the group.
A scruffy second group saw pre-quali favourite Prost throw away his lap early on, the Frenchman slipping down an escape road on his only full power lap, ultimately ending the session second slowest. Fortunately for him, d'Ambrosio had to abort his full power lap completely after taking to a different escape road, but lacked the room to move out of it. Best of the bunch proved to be Heidfeld, who leapt ahead of all of the group one runners bar Buemi, while Gutierrez and Carroll bookmarked Evans and co.
Group three would see title pretender Lucas di Grassi hit the circuit as favourite from the group to get into Super Pole, the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport racer hoping for a strong weekend. The two Venturis of Maro Engel and Stéphane Sarrazin would also be in action, and had been strong in practice ahead of the team's home race. Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing and Robin Frijns of Andretti completed the penultimate group.
di Grassi pulled out all the stops on his flying lap in the third group, and only fell shy of Buemi's effort by a tenth of a second. His performance was, however, overshadowed by Engel, whom stole top spot from the Swiss racer after a sublime lap in the Venturi. Bird was disappointed to miss the top five having been strong in practice, finishing just ahead of Sarrazin, while Frijns qualified well clear of teammate da Costa, albeit behind Duval.
Favourite from the final quintet would be Jean-Éric Vergne, last of the Renault powered drivers for Techeetah. Daniel Abt and Nelson Piquet Jr. were also threats for the Super Pole, particularly with the track getting towards its grippiest by the time the final group hit the circuit. José María López and Felix Rosenqvist could also worry the top five, although they were more likely fighting for the top ten.
With ultimate track conditions there was no surprise that Vergne went quickest overall, taking a tenth off of Engel's lap to qualify for Super Pole. Piquet Jr. managed to split the title rivals, falling just shy of Buemi's mark, and left di Grassi on the bubble. Fortunately for him, Rosenqvist made a small mistake at the final corner, costing him more than the half a tenth he missed out on Super Pole by. The fitness tested Lopez claimed seventh overall, almost besting Rosenqvist, while Abt claimed ninth after a personally frustrating lap.
Out first was di Grassi in Super Pole, the Brazilian having been the last of those to qualify for the shootout in fifth. A clean lap for di Grassi ensured that he actually made a small improvement over his earlier time, before Piquet went out to try and best his mark. A small mistake by Piquet saw him fall shy, before Buemi went out to make his bid for pole.
It was a strong lap for the Swiss racer, with the blue-black Renault thrown at every corner in the search for pace. The result was a 0:53.313, faster than he had gone in the group stages, although Vergne had been marginally quicker overall. Engel went next but threw away his best lap by scraping along the barriers, before Vergne made a slight mistake during his lap that left him behind Piquet. Buemi therefore seized his first pole of the season, with title rival di Grassi set to line-up alongside.
The final qualifying results for the 2017 Monaco ePrix are outlined below:
|2017 Monaco ePrix Qualifying Result|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||0:53.313||—||1||G1|
|2nd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||0:53.550||+0.237s||2||G3|
|3rd||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||0:53.606||+0.293s||3||G4|
|5th||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||0:55.013||+1.700s||5||G3|
|2nd||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||0:53.397||+0.111s||SP||G3|
|3rd||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||0:53.413||+0.127s||SP||G1|
|4th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||0:53.421||+0.135s||SP||G3|
|5th||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||0:53.556||+0.270s||SP||G3|
|6th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||0:53.609||+0.323s||6||G4|
|7th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||0:53.666||+0.380s||7||G4|
|8th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||0:53.687||+0.401s||8||G2|
|9th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||0:53.725||+0.439s||9||G4|
|10th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||0:53.729||+0.443s||10||G3|
|11th||4||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||0:53.846||+0.560s||11||G3|
|12th*||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||0:53.929||+0.643s||20||G1|
|13th||27||Robin Frijns||Andretti Formula E||0:54.034||+0.748s||12||G3|
|15th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||0:54.115||+0.829s||14||G1|
|16th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||0:54.522||+1.236s||15||G1|
|17th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||0:54.631||+1.345s||16||G1|
|18th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||0:55.031||+1.745s||17||G2|
|19th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||0:55.081||+1.795s||18||G2|
|110% Time: 0:58.614|
|NC†||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:00.636||+7.350s||19||G2|
- * Duval sent to the back of the grid after completing more laps than allowed during qualifying.
- † d'Ambrosio failed to qualify as he was outside the 110% time, although he was allowed to start at the steward's discretion.
A mild and dry afternoon on the Mediterranean Coast would play host to the second ePrix in Monte Carlo, with the temperature just nudging 21°C. Both Dragons were allowed to start from the back of the field after their respective issues in qualifying, with no problems reported as the entire field pulled off the "dummy" grid to line-up for the start.
It was pole sitter Sébastien Buemi who made the best start to lead into the narrow first corner, with Lucas di Grassi managing to squeeze ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr. to deny the Brazilian a move up the inside. The rest of the field got through without major issue, Nick Heidfeld the only man to really gain at the front of the field, driving around a boxed in Maro Engel. The lower orders arrived in a large clump but got through with only minor contact, a stark contrast to the opening tour two years earlier.
Come the end of a rather tame opening lap it was Buemi leading di Grassi by over a second, with Piquet Jr. surviving a glancing blow with the wall at the final corner in third. Jean-Éric Vergne watched on from fourth ahead of Heidfeld, while Engel was fending off a challenge from Sam Bird. The big loser at the start was revealed to be Stéphane Sarrazin, who had stalled on the grid in the middle of the field, but managed to get away before assistance was required.
It was a fairly quiet start to the race, the only real interest coming when José María López picked up damage to his rear wing. As the Argentine was shown the mechanical warning flag and forced to stop, DS Virgin Racing teammate Bird effectively ended his race by slapping the wall at the Swimming Pool chicane, breaking his right-rear suspension. The Brit was forced to use his second car for the rest of the afternoon, the Virgin crew deciding to focus on claiming fastest lap instead.
Away from the Virgin dramas and Rosenqvist was attracting all of the attention on track, the Swede hustling his Mahindra around to try and find a way past Engel. Behind them, Daniel Abt completed an excellent dive past Robin Frijns into the turn three hairpin, catching the young Dutchman unawares. The German was now left with a perfect view of the Engel/Rosenqvist bout, with the Swede still trying to elbow his way past.
Out front, meanwhile, Buemi was dominating the race from the lead, pulling almost a third of a second a lap out of di Grassi as the pit-window loomed. The Brazilian was now well clear of third placed Piquet, who was having to conserve energy a lot more than his rivals, meaning he was coming under an increasing amount of pressure from Vergne. Indeed, the Frenchman tried an ambitious move around the outside of turn three on lap twenty, but the ex-Champion managed to squeeze the Frenchman out on the exit.
A lap later and Vergne tried an identical move, this time pulling across the nose of the NextEV NIO having gained half a car length on the brakes. However, Piquet kept his nose in and got fully alongside on the apex, meaning he was once again able to run the Frenchman out of room. Unfortunately, Vergne tried to force the issue as the track tightened back up along the harbourfront, and was duly run into the Armco barriers by the Brazilian. The Techeetah was left with no room and duly smacked into the barriers, putting Vergne out on the spot.
Heidfeld snuck past the clashing pair moments before the Safety car was called, as Vergne was unable to get his car back to the pits. The emergence of the safety car prompted the entire field to dive into the pits for a change cars, the two Dragons stopping immediately from the back of the pack. They were the only two to make ground at the stops, as replays revealed that Piquet did everything he could to give Vergne room.
The restart of the race proved to be rather tame, with Buemi instantly jetting off to rebuild his lead, although di Grassi managed to go with him at the start. Shortly after the restart, Jérôme d'Ambrosio hit electrical gremlins in the Dragon and stopped on circuit, although he was able to restart and limp into the pits. The sister car of Loïc Duval was also in trouble, forced to come in on lap 32, while Bird was setting a series of quick laps in search of the point for fastest lap.
Into the closing stages, and Piquet had a queue forming behind him, with Engel, Rosenqvist and Abt stuck in the wake of the #3 NIO. His teammate Oliver Turvey was also underpressure, fending off a challenge from Nicolas Prost for eleventh. In between the two NIOs was another queue, with Frijns fighting off challenges from Esteban Gutiérrez and his teammate António Félix da Costa.
Back with the leaders and di Grassi had inched onto the tail of Buemi, pulling within half a second the of the Swiss racer with six laps to go. There was some confusion, however, as to whether di Grassi, who had been awarded FanBoost, had the ability to use the power boost, with Buemi having used his earlier in the race. Ultimately, the Brazilian would not get to use his boost, as he had gone below the minimum energy reserve allowed to deploy it.
The lack of FanBoost for di Grassi allowed Buemi to rediscover his rhythm, with the Swiss racer just beginning to pull clear on the penultimate lap without the Brazilian really challenging. However, di Grassi had the better run on the final lap, and was able to get right onto the back of the Swiss racer into turn three. Yet, the Brazilian would never get a clear shot at taking the Swiss racer, meaning Buemi claimed victory by three tenths of a second.
Heidfeld had a quiet run to third, while Piquet, Engel and Rosenqvist came to the line almost three abreast, but with no changes to their respective positions. Abt came home in seventh just off their collective tail, while Gutierrez managed to hurdle past Frijns when the Dutchman ran out of energy on the final tour. A similar fate befell Turvey down in twelfth, while da Costa finished ninth on the road, only to be handed a penalty for an unsafe release in the stops. Those late changes put Prost and Mitch Evans into the final points paying positions.
The final classification of the 2017 Monaco ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2017 Monaco ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||51||51:05.488||0:54.978||28|
|2nd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||51||+0.320s||0:54.863||18|
|3rd||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||51||+13.678s||0:55.260||15|
|4th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||51||+19.074s||0:55.272||12|
|5th||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||51||+19.518s||0:55.549||10|
|6th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||51||+19.599s||0:55.512||8|
|7th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||51||+20.430s||0:55.383||6|
|9th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||51||+35.667s||0:55.361||2|
|10th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||51||+38.410s||0:55.555||1|
|11th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||51||+1:08.330||0:55.485|
|12th||27||Robin Frijns||Andretti Formula E||51||+1:14.053||0:55.479|
|13th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||50||+1 Lap||0:55.622|
|14th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||50||+1 Lap||0:55.959|
|15th||4||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||49||+2 Laps||0:54.490|
|Ret||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||43||Retired||0:53.909|
|Ret||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||43||Retired||0:53.869|
|Ret||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||40||Retired||0:54.288|
|Ret||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||36||Damage||0:53.822||1|
- Indicates a driver was awarded FanBoost during the race.
- Second Monaco ePrix to be staged.
- Fifth entry for Techeetah as an entrant.
- Fifth race for Felix Rosenqvist, Maro Engel, Mitch Evans, Adam Carroll and José María López.
- Sébastien Buemi secured the tenth pole position for e.Dams as an entrant.
- Also the fifth pole start for a Renault powertrain.
- Tenth victory for Buemi.
- e.Dams earned their thirteenth victory as an entrant.
- Powertrain suppliers Renault claimed their ninth win as a manufacturer.
Victory and pole saw 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 leapt into third, swapping places with now fifth placed DS Virgin Racing, while Techeetah remained in fourth.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
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- 'Buemi takes first pole of the season in Monaco', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/buemi-takes-first-pole-of-the-season-in-monaco/, (Accessed 14/05/2017)
- 'Di Grassi fights Buemi to the finish in Monaco', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/di-grassi-fights-buemi-to-the-finish-in-monaco/, (Accessed 14/05/2017)
- '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)
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- 'FanBoost opens for Monaco ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/fanboost-opens-for-monaco-eprix/, (Accessed 10/05/2017)
- 'Monaco ePrix - Qualifying groups', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/monaco-eprix-qualifying-groups/, (Accessed 13/05/2017)
- Scott Mitchell, 'Formula E Monaco: Sebastien Buemi takes his first pole of the season', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 13/05/2017), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/129479, (Accessed 14/05/2017)
- 'Monaco, MC - ePrix Race Results', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/results/race-results/season/2022016/round/5, (Accessed 13/05/2017)
- 'Super Close Finish! Monaco ePrix 2017 (Extended Race Highlights)', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E Championship, 19/05/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y12bVOyhHoU&index=5&list=PLiSlrzIEN5WJ_6AUlyIFjzsT0mHzBUExA, (Accessed 22/12/2017)