Vergne wins inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix

Jean-Eric Vergne of DS Penske won the eventful Hyderabad E-Prix on Saturday, marking the successful return of the high-profile motorsport event to India.

Vergne weathered a tough challenge from Envison Racing’s Nick Cassidy and crossed the checkered flag first despite having less than 0.5 percent power left in the car.

Porsche’s Antonio Félix da Costa won the 17-second penalty awarded to Sebastian Buemi for “excessive power” to secure his last podium spot.

Mahindra Racing, in their first home race, recovered from a regular qualifying session earlier in the day and scored points via Oliver Rowland. He finished sixth out of 10 on the grid with Lucas di Grassi finishing 14th out of 17 on the grid. The loss of energy in the final moments of the race cost Mahindra a double finish.

Jake Hughes’ crash on lap 23 disabled the safety car, contributing to a thrilling finish.

Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans took pole position, but a collision with teammate Sam Bird on lap 13 effectively ended the race for the Tata Group-owned team.

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“I am very happy for the team. It was a very difficult three races and I am very proud of my team because we never gave up. We have a good car, maybe not the best at the moment, but we never give up and keep working hard,” said race winner Vergne.

A sizable crowd gathered to watch the electric cars compete downtown, covering Hussain Sagar Lake, NTR Gardens and NTR Park.

In qualifying before the race, Evans took pole position after winning the final. Vergne himself was lucky enough to reach the final after losing to Bird earlier, but a lap penalty for exceeding track limits meant that Bird, Rust and Edoardo Mortara were eliminated in the dueling stage.

Organizers fought against time to get the Hyderabad Street circuit ready for Formula E’s debut in India, but in the end they held the event to much fanfare.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem attended the race along with other special guests such as Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.


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