Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne launched himself into the Drivers’ Championship mix with the race win and TAG Heuer Fastest Lap in Round 4 after another frantic encounter at Rome’s spectacular Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR.
Vandoorne bounced back from a disappointing Round 3 to fight his way from fourth to the front, holding fast for victory in Round 4 at Rome’s Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR – firing himself into championship contention having started the day 15th in the standings.
Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) swashbuckled his way to second spot, with Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein taking the final podium berth after Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) was disqualified for energy overuse – such were the fine margins in the final throes of the race.
Polesitter Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing) span out of the lead on the opening lap with Nato briefly heading the pack before Wehrlein snatched top spot.
Cassidy’s recovery reached seventh spot come Lap 4, but Rowland gave the Envision Virgin Racing car a nudge into Turn 14, forcing the Kiwi into the Tecpro barriers and all the way to the back of the pack. No luck for Cassidy, who reported his earlier lockup from the lead was the result of a software glitch.
Fellow Kiwi Mitch Evans finished sixth and moves to second overall in the standings behind team mate Sam Bird.
Vandoorne then made it count through the first ATTACK MODE activation and drove like he was “on another planet” according to Wehrlein. The Belgian bossed things from there to the end despite a frenetic final lap thanks to a late spell behind the Safety Car.
Drivers’ Championship leader Sam Bird (Jaguar Racing), and the man third in the running pre-race, Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ), were wiped out in contact with one-another as they fought for points on the cusp of the top 10 – both failed to finish.
1/ Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 43
2/ Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 39
3/ Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 34
4/ Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 33
5/ Nyck de Vries Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 32