Frijns takes first win in Formula E after frantic race in Paris

Robin Frijns persevered through tricky weather conditions to cling on to victory in a frantic race on the streets of the French capital.

Kiwi Mitch Evans finished in 16th position.

“I was strong in FP2 this morning, which meant I went into qualifying with confidence – the car was working really well,” commented Evans.

“Going out in group one for qualifying we knew wasn’t going to be optimum, but when you’re top five in the Championship that’s just the way it is.

“Nothing stood out as going wrong – the lap was clean, it just wasn’t fast enough. It’s disappointing and obviously a big contrast compared to Rome.

“The race was absolute mayhem in the rain. Alex and I were looking strong, so it was a shame to have the wing damage as we could have been in the points.

“I was hoping for a nice recovery – we’ve managed to come from the back in previous races – but it wasn’t to be today.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Monaco, my home town. The Jaguar I-TYPE 3 is working well, even though qualifying didn’t show that today. I’m confident that we can be back again.”

With a slippery surface, damaged front wing and numerous restarts to contend with, Frijns managed to hold position and stay ahead of Andre Lotterer – who again had to settle for second place.

It’s a first-ever win for Frijns in Formula E and extends the list of consecutive different race winners to eight. Still without a repeat winner this season, Frijns jumps to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship – one point clear of Lotterer, courtesy of an extra point for setting the fastest lap.

Frijns – who lined-up third on the grid – moved to the front of the field following mistakes and misfortune from both Nissan e.dams cars in the early phase of the race. After the cars were released behind the BMW i safety car at the start due to wet conditions, Oliver Rowland crashed out of the lead – locking-up and hitting the barrier at Turn 10.

Rowland recovered and dropped down the order to last place, while team-mate Sebastien Buemi suffered a puncture and pitted for a tyre change – gifting the lead to Frijns. However, it wasn’t such plain sailing for the flying Dutchman, with stoppages to clear the track halting any chance of pulling a gap.

With multiple Full Course Yellows and one safety car period, the leading group were kept in close proximity until the chequered flag, putting a first win tantalisingly within reach of Lotterer.

Successive second place finishes lift Lotterer just behind Frjins in the points table, meaning the DS TECHEETAH driver now leads the voestalpine European races.

Daniel Abt rounded-out the top-three positions, earning his second appearance on the podium this season. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team-mate Lucas di Grassi finished a place further back in fourth – ahead of Maximilian Gunther for GEOX DRAGON with a career-best fifth in Formula E.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne wasn’t able to replicate last season’s success on home soil and could only manage to collect eight points for sixth. Antonio Felix da Costa was next over the line in seventh for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, one place in front of HWA RACELAB’s Gary Paffett in eighth.

Felipe Massa – who was running as high as third – avoided damage after spinning on the exit of Turn 2 and added to VENTURI Formula E Team’s points haul in ninth. MAHINDRA RACING’s Pascal Wehrlein completed the top-10, despite losing Julius Baer pole position and starting last on the grid due to not respecting the minimum tyre pressures in qualifying.

Formula E now returns to the famous streets of the Principality for round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on May 11 and third instalment of the voestalpine European races in Monaco.

Race results

1 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing
2 Andre Lotterer DS TECHEETAH
3 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
4 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
5 Maximilian Gunther GEOX DRAGON
6 Jean-Eric Vergne DS TECHEETAH
7 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW i Andretti Motorsport
8 Gary Paffett HWA RACELAB
9 Felipe Massa VENTURI Formula E Team
10 Pascal Wehrlein MAHINDRA RACING
11 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing
12 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams
13 Jose Maria Lopez GEOX DRAGON
14 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team
15 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams
16 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing
17 Jerome D’Ambrosio MAHINDRA RACING

DNF Alex Lynn Panasonic Jaguar Racing
DNF Edoardo Mortara VENTURI Formula E Team
DNF Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne HWA RACELAB
DNF Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team

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