|2019 Paris E-Prix|
The Les Invalides Circuit returned again in 2019.
|Date||27 April 2019|
|Official Name||2019 Qatar Airways Paris E-Prix|
|Location||Circuit des Invalides, Paris, France|
|Lap length||1.920 km (1.193 mi)|
|Distance||32 laps / 61.440 km (38.177 mi)|
|Support Race||2019 Paris eTrophy Race|
|Pole Sitter||Oliver Rowland|
|Team||Envision Virgin Racing|
|Fastest Lap||1:02.922 on lap 8|
|Robin Frijns||André Lotterer||Daniel Abt|
|Winner Team||Envision Virgin Racing|
|2019 Rome E-Prix||2019 Monaco E-Prix|
The 2019 Paris E-Prix, otherwise officially known as the 2019 Qatar Airways Paris E-Prix, was the eighth round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, staged at the Circuit des Invalides in Paris, France, on 27 April 2019. The race was held amid news that FE would continue racing in Paris through to 2021/22, and supported by the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy.
Qualifying saw Pascal Wehrlein become the first driver to claim a second pole position in 2018/19, only for the German to be excluded from the session after using illegal tyre pressures. That meant that Oliver Rowland inherited pole, and hence became the first driver to achieve the feat a second time in season four, while his teammate Sébastien Buemi moved to second.
The race would start behind the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car, after rain left the right-hand side of the grid wet, while the right, in the afternoon sun, was dry. Rowland was hence gifted an early lead ahead of Buemi, with the entire field running in grid order during the opening tour.
Indeed, the only significant change early on came when Rowland sent himself into the barriers at turn eight, handing Buemi the lead. Robin Frijns then challenged the Swiss ace, making numerous attempts to pass as the pair clashed at turn nine, Buemi having run wide before cutting back across the circuit to arm Attack Mode.
Buemi would resist for several laps, until his race was effectively neutralised by a puncture half-way around lap ten. Frijns hence inherited the lead ahead of André Lotterer, who had just passed Maximilian Günther, before heavy rain swept across the circuit to cause carnage.
The circuit quickly became soaked, with numerous collisions causing a full course yellow to be thrown. Tom Dillmann then made a huge mistake and clipped the wall at the restart, ending his hopes of points, as hail then began to pelt the circuit as half distance came and went.
Amid the hail Sam Bird and Jérôme d'Ambrosio clashed at turn three, before Rowland took out Alexander Sims at the exact same spot a few seconds later. Another FCY was required to allow the BMW-Andretti to be dragged from the wall, with the race resuming a couple of laps later.
Into the closing stages and the rain had drifted away, although the circuit remained soaked with spray causing havoc. Indeed, the race would be neutralised for a third time when Edoardo Mortara made a clumsy lunge on Alex Lynn at turn thirteen/fourteen, with a safety car required to drag them from the barriers.
The race restarted with two minutes to go, although a minute later it was effectively brought to a conclusion by a third FCY. This time it was d'Ambrosio who slid off the circuit and into the barriers, ensuring that Frijns would claim victory ahead of Lotterer and Daniel Abt.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship headed to even more familiar territory for the eighth race of the 2018/19 season, arriving at an unchanged Circuit des Invalides in late April. Indeed, the only minor modification to the Invalides layout would be the addition of the Attack Mode activation zone, although the FIA did not initially announce where that zone would be placed.
Jérôme d'Ambrosio had moved back to the top of the Championship after finishing eighth last time out in Rome, opening a one point lead over António Félix da Costa. A two point gap then followed before André Lotterer appeared in third, a point ahead of Rome race winner Mitch Evans, while Lucas di Grassi had retained fifth, a further three back. Indeed, the Championship as a whole was incredibly tight after the seventh round, with thirteen points covering the top nine.
In the Teams' Championship it was slightly more spread out, although DS Techeetah had been able to leap from fourth to the lead after just one point scoring finish in Italy. Indeed, they had opened out a seven point advantage over former leaders Envision Virgin Racing, with a further seven point gap back to Mahindra Racing in third. Audi Sport ABT Scheffler were next, level with Mahindra on points, while BMW i Andretti Motorsport completed the top five.
The full entry list for the 2019 Paris E-Prix is displayed below:
Qualifying for the Paris E-Prix would follow the conventional format, with the field split into four groups based on Championship position. Each group would get six minutes on circuit to allow each driver to set a single full power (250kw) lap, with the fastest six over all proceeding to Super Pole. The drivers in Super Pole would then head out one-by-one to set another flying lap, with the fastest of those starting the race from pole.
The opening group of the session would feature the major title contenders, consisting of the top five in the Championship after the opening eight E-Prix of the campaign. Headlining the group would be 2016/17 Champion Lucas di Grassi, joined on circuit by pre-season favourite António Félix da Costa in the BMW i Andretti Motorsport. They would be joined by Mitch Evans of Jaguar, André Lotterer in the #36 DS Techeetah and Championship leader Jérôme d'Ambrosio in his Mahindra.
Evans was the first out on circuit, with all five drivers leaving it late to hit the circuit, in spite of the fact that they all wanted to complete a warm-up lap. Evans duly made a small mistake at turn six on his lap, with the circuit still covered in pollen from the trees lining the circuit, meaning his 1:01.243 was instantly beaten by André Lotterer. Clean laps for di Grassi and da Costa followed, although both were slower than Lotterer, before d'Ambrosio swept across the line with an ultra clean 1:00.699.
Group two would see defending Champion Jean-Éric Vergne hit the circuit, with the Parisian born racer still complaining about the qualifying procedure ahead of his home race. He would be joined on circuit by Edoardo Mortara of the Venturi Formula E Team, as well as a trio of Audis. One of those would be the factory car of Daniel Abt, as well as the Envision Virgins of Sam Bird and Robin Frijns.
Once again it was a long wait before anyone headed out on circuit, before all five drivers went out in a line to start their warm-up laps. Mortara was the first to go and produced a clean effort, with Vergne making a mistake turn nine to slip in behind the Swiss racer. Abt was next, sliding through the final corner to claim third overall, Bird followed but was off the pace, before Frijns went fastest overall after a very quick run through sector one.
Pascal Wehrlein headlined the third group of the afternoon, the first of the two groups to feature six drivers instead of five. He would be joined on circuit by the two Nissan e.Dams of Sébastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland, as well as fellow F1 reject Stoffel Vandoorne in the HWA. Completing the group would be the second of the factory Venturis piloted by Felipe Massa, as well as the second BMW Andretti of Alexander Sims.
Sims went out very early at the start of the third group's period in hopes of ensuring he had a clear run, although a scruffy lap left him well shy of the Super Pole slots. Rowland, in contrast, would produce an impressive effort to go fastest overall, followed across the line by Vandoorne, who suffered a lock-up into turn three that destroyed his lap. Massa was next ahead of Wehrlein, with both producing clean runs to get into the Super Pole positions, before Buemi split the pair to complete the sextet.
The final group would see the final six in the Championship it the circuit, including two drivers whom had missed several races. Those two were Alex Lynn of Jaguar and Maximilian Günther in the #6 GEOX DRAGON, with Günther hoping for a repeat of his performance in Rome. They would be joined by José María López in the sister Dragon, Oliver Turvey and Tom Dillmann in the NIOs, and Gary Paffett in the second of the HWAs.
Paffett would use Sims' tactics from the third group in an attempt to make the best of his lap, only to suffer a lock-up at turn nine to leave him down in fifteenth. Dillmann and Turvey were next but could only manage mid-pack times, before Günther completed a clean effort to fall just shy of a Super Pole slot in seventh. Lynn, meanwhile, was well off the pace in seventeenth, before López limped across the line, having thrown away a promising lap by sliding down the escape road at turn three after setting the fastest sector one of the entire session.
Massa was the first of the fastest six to take to the track in Super Pole, and duly began complaining about the condition of the circuit, which was coated in pollen and debris from the overhanging trees. Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian was only able to produce a scruffy lap, with the rear of his Venturi stepping out of line every time he hit the brakes. d'Ambrosio was next but made a mess of turn four while trying to make up for a poor first sector, and so slotted in behind the Venturi.
Frijns followed the Belgian onto the circuit and looked to have thrown away his lap straight away after a lock-up into turn three, only to recover and record a 1:00.793. Buemi went next and produced a cleaner effort to slip ahead of the Dutchman, before Wehrlein danced his Mahindra around to a stunning 1:00.383. Indeed, Wehrlein and Mahindra were so buoyed by his lap that they were celebrating as if they had claimed pole, despite the fact that Rowland had yet to run.
Ultimately, however, those celebrations were not premature, for Rowland's hopes of pole were ended by a poor run through the middle-sector, leaving him in second behind Wehrlein. That was, until both the Mahindras of Wehrlein and d'Ambrosio failed post-qualifying scrutineering, with their two cars found to have illegal tyre pressures. As a result both were excluded from the results of the session and sent to the back of the grid, leaving Rowland on pole ahead of Buemi, Frijns and Massa.
The final qualifying result for the 2019 Paris E-Prix are outlined below:
|2019 Paris E-Prix Qualifying Result|
|1st||22||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.Dams||1:00.535||—||1||G3|
|2nd||23||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||1:00.768||+0.233s||2||G3|
|3rd||4||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||1:00.793||+0.258s||3||G2|
|4th||19||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||1:01.217||+0.682s||4||G3|
|EXC*||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||1:00.383||22||G3|
|EXC*||64||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||1:01.307||21||G1|
|1st||22||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.Dams||1:00.450||—||SP||G3|
|2nd||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||1:00.549||+0.099s||SP||G3|
|3rd||23||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||1:00.574||+0.124s||SP||G3|
|4th||4||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||1:00.583||+0.133s||SP||G2|
|5th||64||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||1:00.699||+0.249s||SP||G1|
|6th||19||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||1:00.709||+0.259s||SP||G3|
|7th||6||Maximilian Günther||GEOX DRAGON||1:00.719||+0.269s||5||G4|
|8th||36||André Lotterer||DS Techeetah||1:00.738||+0.288s||6||G1|
|9th||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:00.739||+0.289s||7||G2|
|10th||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:00.761||+0.311s||8||G1|
|11th||8||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||1:00.784||+0.334s||9||G4|
|12th||48||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1:00.801||+0.351s||10||G2|
|13th||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1:00.876||+0.426s||11||G4|
|14th||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Techeetah||1:00.886||+0.436s||12||G2|
|15th||2||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||1:00.928||+0.478s||13||G2|
|16th||28||António Félix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:00.952||+0.502s||14||G1|
|17th||3||Alex Lynn||Jaguar Racing||1:01.012||+0.562s||15||G4|
|18th||27||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||1:01.037||+0.587s||16||G3|
|19th||17||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||1:01.135||+0.685s||17||G4|
|20th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:01.243||+0.793s||18||G1|
|21st||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||1:01.471||+1.021s||19||G3|
|110% Time: 1:06.495|
|NC†||7||José María López||GEOX DRAGON||1:07.494||+7.044s||20||G4|
- * Wehrlein and d'Ambrosio were excluded from the results of qualifying for using illegal tyre pressures.
- † López was allowed to start the race at the back of the field at the stewards' discretion.
Conditions remained on the cooler side in Paris ahead of the E-Prix start, with water still lying on the parts of the circuit sheathed in shadow by trees and buildings. As such, the race officials opted to start the race behind the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car, for the right-hand side of the grid was still very wet compared to the left side. That gave Oliver Rowland an excellent chance of taking an early lead from pole, having inherited the front spot on the grid from Pascal Wehrlein after the German's post-qualifying exclusion.
Rowland duly claimed a small lead at the start of the race, easing clear of teammate Sébastien Buemi on the run to turn three, the opening corner of the race to lead a Nissan e.Dams one-two. Further down the field it was grid order too, although André Lotterer was already eyeing up a move on Maximilian Günther as they braked for the first corner in fifth and sixth. Likewise, there was to be little change later on during the opening tour, with the only change coming as José María López was shuffled to the back of the field behind the two Mahindras.
Indeed, it was only on the second lap that the race truly got underway, for Rowland sent himself skating into the tec-pro barriers at turn eight to drop right to the back of the field. That handed the lead to Buemi ahead of Robin Frijns, while Felipe Massa ran in a relatively lonely third ahead of Günther and Lotterer. Daniel Abt was next for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, while Sam Bird and António Félix da Costa scrapped with Jean-Éric Vergne at the lower-end of the top ten after their respective issues in qualifying.
Buemi and Frijns soon managed to pull a gap over third placed Massa, with Frijns able to arm Attack Mode to attack the Swiss ace on lap six without falling behind the Brazilian. Indeed, Frijns threw several lunges at the Swiss ace, and almost claimed the lead when Buemi ran wide at turn nine, only for the Nissan racer to cut across his nose to arm Attack Mode himself. That minor clash would break part of the fixings for Frijns' front wing, although the Dutchman was able to carry on without much loss of pace or sign of damage.
Instead, it was Buemi who dramatically slowed midway around the tenth lap, having picked up a puncture right-rear the exact corner that Frijns had clipped when the pair clashed earlier on. Lotterer, meanwhile, would pass Günther as the German armed his Attack Mode boost, before dragging his compatriot past Buemi as the Swiss racer limped back to the pits. Those two had passed Massa as the Brazilian had his own dramas, with the Venturi having to defend heavily from Abt for fourth.
A couple of laps later and the German had elbowed his way through, although his move was to be overshadowed, literally, by the sight of rain drifting across the back side of the circuit. Frijns was the first to encounter the water and just kept his car pointing in the right direction, while Lotterer just managed to keep control of a huge slide out of the second corner. Oliver Turvey, meanwhile, would manage to drive right around the outside of teammate Tom Dillmann through turn three, in-spite of a clash between the two, moments before the rain turned to hail and thundered onto the circuit.
Within moments of the hail appearing the officials neutralised the race, with a full course yellow thrown in hopes of allowing the worst of the weather to pass without stopping the race. Indeed, within two laps the hail had stopped and the rain eased off, with the race duly resuming after just two laps at reduced speed. Frijns aced his restart to extend his advantage over Lotterer, although his getaway was hampered by the appearance of Buemi just ahead of him, who was throwing up spray while running at the Dutchman's pace.
Further down the field the conditions were causing a lot of changes to the order, with Vergne slithering inside of Turvey for eighth despite the fact that the Brit was using Attack Mode. A few seconds later and Dillmann slapped the wall in turn five, having lost control hitting a puddle on the apex of turn four while defending from Bird. The NIO duly limped his way back to the pits, while Bird was powerless to prevent da Costa barging his way through at turn nine due to his loss in momentum.
A lap later, however, and the race was neutralised for a second time, this for two separate accidents at turn three that happened within moments of each other. The first clash saw Bird run wide and almost slip down the escape road, before d'Ambrosio slid wide and collected the Brit to leave both with damage. In the resulting concertina behind them a charging Rowland misjudged his braking point and T-boned Alexander Sims as the Brit turned into turn three, resulting in the BMW-Andretti getting buried sideways into the barriers.
Sims was not the only casualty from the accident, for Stoffel Vandoorne would pick up damage while sliding down the escape road to avoid the accidents in turn three. The Belgian limped around to retire as the field slowed to FCY pace, with Frijns leading from Lotterer, Abt, Massa and Günther. The FCY would last for three laps before being withdrawn, with Lotterer just managing to arm Attack Mode before the race resumed with fifteen minutes to go.
The rain had all but disappeared as the race restarted for a third time, although conditions were still treacherous, as proved by Massa as he spun himself out of fourth at the second corner. The Brazilian recovered to seventh, just in time to see teammate Edoardo Mortara go skating down the escape road at turn three, with the Swiss racer rejoining down behind Mitch Evans. Out front, meanwhile, Frijns was able to pull out a gap back to Lotterer, using Attack Mode himself to further aid his bid to escape the DS Techeetah.
d'Ambrosio would dump debris on the run to turn ten, a legacy of his clash with Bird, while Frijns' front wing was visibly shaking as it drifted further and further off of its clips. Regardless, the Dutchman was still easing clear of Lotterer in second, with four seconds separating them with ten minutes to go. That was, until the safety car made its second appearance of the day, this time for an accident at the turn thirteen/fourteen complex.
The cause of the accident was Mortara, who had thrown a very optimistic lunge at Alex Lynn to claim fifteenth on the brakes for turn fourteen, a spot which was near-impossible to pass. Inevitably the pair made contact, with Lynn sent nose first into the tec-pro barriers on the outside of turn fourteen, before Mortara went straight into the back of him, lifting the back of the Jaguar into the air. Both drivers were out of the race as a result, Mortara's Venturi having succumbed to the amount of damage across the afternoon, while Turvey and Massa tripped over one-another when the FCY was thrown prior to the safety car, leaving them down the escape road at turn three.
Fortunately both Mortara and Evans, who remained in his cockpit, were plucked from the circuit very quickly, allowing the race to resume on lap 29, with two minutes left on the clock. Frijns duly squirrelled away from Lotterer to re-establish his lead, while the German sprinted clear of Abt in third, as the sun broke through the clouds to cause some visibility issues on the wet tarmac. That may have been a contributing factor for d'Ambrosio, who sent himself skating into the barriers at turn three after the restart, with Buemi clipping the back of the Mahindra having gone the wrong side of the Belgian.
That effectively ended the race, for a FCY was thrown to cover the recovery of the #64 Mahindra from the turn three barriers. However, the race would technically end under green flag conditions as the officials opted to restart the race on the 32nd and final lap, albeit after the last car on the circuit passed the scene. Therefore, all Frijns had to do was survive the slippery run from turn nine to the chequered flag, with Lotterer realistically too far back to challenge.
Ultimately, there was no late twist to the race, with Frijns slithering home to claim his first victory in FE, as well as the Championship lead. Lotterer duly finished second to claim second in the title hunt, while Abt was a satisfied third for Audi, having fended off teammate Lucas di Grassi late on. Günther, meanwhile, would claim his maiden points finish ahead of Vergne, as sixteen drivers made it to the chequered flag. After the race, there would be a wave of grid penalties awarded to be applied at the Monaco E-Prix, with Mortara, d'Ambrosio and Rowland all punished for causing collisions.
The final classification of the 2019 Paris E-Prix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2019 Paris E-Prix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||4||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||32||47:50.510||1:02.922||26|
|2nd||36||André Lotterer||DS Techeetah||32||+1.373s||1:02.947||18|
|3rd||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||32||+3.175s||1:03.221||15|
|4th||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||32||+3.666s||1:03.113||12|
|5th||6||Maximilian Günther||GEOX DRAGON||32||+5.456s||1:03.090||10|
|6th||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Techeetah||32||+6.694s||1:03.286||8|
|7th||28||António Félix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||32||+7.238s||1:03.110||6|
|8th||17||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||32||+7.901s||1:03.098||4|
|9th||19||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||32||+10.522s||1:02.976||2|
|10th||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||32||+10.998s||1:03.153||1|
|11th||2||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||32||+11.488s||1:03.272|
|12th*||22||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.Dams||32||+19.451s||1:03.128||3|
|13th||7||José María López||GEOX DRAGON||32||+19.451s||1:03.128|
|14th||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||32||+1.22.226||1:03.314|
|15th||23||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||31||+1 Lap||1:02.852|
|16th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||31||+1 Lap||1:02.850|
|17th†||64||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||29||Accident||1:03.004|
|Ret||3||Alex Lynn||Jaguar Racing||23||Collision||1:03.089|
|Ret*||48||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||23||Collision||1:03.089|
|Ret||27||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||18||Collision||1:02.870|
|Ret||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||18||Damage||1:02.870|
|Ret||8||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||17||Accident||1:02.780|
- Indicates a driver was awarded FanBoost during the race.
- * Rowland and Mortrara were handed a three place grid penalties for the 2019 Monaco E-Prix for causing a collision.
- † d'Ambrosio was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance. The Belgian was also hit with a five second time penalty for activating Attack Mode too early, and a five place grid penalty for the 2019 Monaco E-Prix for causing a collision.
- Fourth Paris E-Prix to be staged.
- This was also the first E-Prix to be held in full wet conditions.
- 50th E-Prix entry for António Félix da Costa.
- Twentieth E-Prix start for André Lotterer
- Second pole position for Oliver Rowland.
- Robin Frijns secured his maiden victory in Formula E.
- Ninth win for Virgin Racing as an entrant.
- Audi Sport earned their seventh win as a powertrain supplier.
- Maximilian Günther secured his maiden points finish.
- Frijns recorded his first fastest lap.
Victory propelled Robin Frijns into the lead of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the Dutchman having become the eighth different winner in eight E-Prix. Frijns would leave Paris a point ahead of André Lotterer in second, one of only two drivers not to have a win in the top ten, before a ten point gap back to António Félix da Costa in third. Lucas di Grassi was next, level with da Costa on 70 points, while Jérôme d'Ambrosio had slipped to fifth.
In the Teams' Championship it was still advantage DS Techeetah at the head of the field, the French-Chinese alliance leaving Paris with 142 points to their name. Yet, they were only seven ahead of second placed Envision Virgin Racing, the only team in the field with two wins, while Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler had moved into third. The German squad themselves had made progress in Paris, having overtaken Mahindra Racing as they moved just thirteen off the lead, as GEOX DRAGON moved off the foot of the table with only their second points finish of the campaign.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
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- 'Paris pre-race round-up: JEV ‘not concerned’ ahead of home race and controversial Qualifying causes dispute', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/pre-race-round-up-paris-2019, (Accessed 29/04/2019)
- ABB Formula E, 'Qualifying LIVE! 2019 Paris E-Prix | ABB FIA Formula E Championship', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E, 27/04/2019), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll0F94kCpIg, (Accessed 29/04/2019)
- Cite error: Invalid
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- Tom Errington; Alex Kalinauckas, 'Mass Monaco grid penalties handed down after Paris crashfest', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 28/04/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/monaco-grid-penalties-paris-crashfest/4377345/, (Accessed 28/04/2019)