Nelson Piquet Jr has increased his lead in Formula E championship with a comfortable win in Moscow.
The race in Moscow was the penultimate stop of Formula E first season and Piquet and Sebastien Buemi arrived at the Red Square with only 2 points difference in drivers' standings.
Andretti Racing Jean-Eric Vergne secured the pole position at the track that offered plenty of opportunities for overtaking – and promptly lost first position in the first corner of the race to Piquet. Brazilian never looked back, increased his lead while using more energy than his opponents and had to pit for car replacement a lap earlier than most drivers. However, when all the drivers changed cars he was in a comfortable lead. All that remained for him was to control his closest competitor, Lucas di Grassi while saving energy, which he did to perfection, as di Grassi was struggling with an overheating battery.
The biggest victim of the pitstops was Buemi. e.Dams Renault team made a mistake and timed his (and Nicolas Prost) stop to 68 second, while minimum pitstop duration in Moscow was 58 seconds. "It's a mistake we can't ever afford to make," team owner Alain Prost admitted.
10 seconds he lost put Buemi back in 5th place, and while he tried everything possible, 3rd place was the best he could do, overtaking Vergne in the last corners with a bit of contact. He wasn't able to hold on to the podium, though, as stewards penalised him 29 seconds penalty for usafe release from the pits, relegating him to ninth place and promoting Nick Heidfeld to his first podium in Formula E.
The season finishes on last weekend of June with a double header in London, one race on Saturday and Sunday each. After Buemi's penalty Piquet has a 17 points lead over di Grassi and Buemi is further 7 points behind. But as each drivers worst result of the season is dropped from final drivers standings, Piquet's championship is still far from guaranteed.