Jean-Eric Vergne has claimed his third ABB FIA Formula E Championship victory of the season in Saturday’s red-flag and rain-affected Swiss E-Prix in Bern.
Vergne held off an intense early race challenge from Mitch Evans, who faded slightly in the closing stages of the 45-minute plus one-lap scheduled contest.
However, a late-race rain shower saw Evans, as well as the third and fourth-placed Sebastien Buemi and Andre Lotterer, close the gap in a frantic final two laps, which saw parts of the circuit in full wet conditions.
Vergne edged across the line just 0.160 seconds ahead of Evans for his eighth career win.
The Frenchman, who started on pole, extended his championship lead by 32 points over Lotterer heading into next month’s double-header season finale in New York City.
Buemi, meanwhile, completed the podium in third for Nissan e.dams, ahead of Lotterer, who passed Sam Bird for fourth with less than ten minutes to go.
Bird was relegated to fifth as a result, ahead of Dragon’s Maxi Gunther in sixth.
Daniel Abt, Alex Lynn, Felipe Massa and Lucas di Grassi completed the top-ten.
Di Grassi, who entered the weekend second in points, carved his way from 19th on the initial grid in a challenging race for the Brazilian.
He has dropped behind Lotterer by 1 point in the championship standings.
The only Full-Course Yellow of the race came on Lap 12 when Pascal Werhlein’s Mahindra entry stopped on track while running fourth at the time.
First Corner Pileup Causes Lengthy Red, Restart
The race was halted for more than 40 minutes after a pileup in Turn 1 at the start involving nearly half of the field.
A decision to restart the race based on the grid positions and not the positions after the opening lap led to some controversy among drivers, particularly di Grassi, who had moved from 19th to 8th following the pileup.
Teams were allowed to repair their cars, which particularly benefitted Lotterer, who had a damaged nose, as well as Bird, who picked up a puncture.
The hardest hit was championship contender Robin Frijns, who was unable to restart the race due to driveshaft damage to his Evision Virgin Racing Audi E-Tron FE05.
Jerome D’Ambrosio was deemed responsible for the incident, having been given a drive-through penalty.
RESULTS: Swiss E-Prix