Nelson Piquet Jr honoured his father’s first Formula 1 victory 35 years ago on the streets of Long Beach to score his maiden Formula E win.
Daniel Abt, who inherited pole after Sebastien Buemi was stripped of the top spot for exceeding his 200kW power limit, made a poor start from pole. As points leader Nicolas Prost also got too much wheelspin, Piquet made a great launch from third on the grid and nipped down the inside of both of them into Turn 1.
Prost got tagged by Vergne, forcing him to short-cut the chicane, but clung to third, with Lucas di Grassi and Scott Speed rounding out the top six on lap one. Sam Bird was a first corner victim, damaging his suspension against the wall so he had to switch to his second car.
Piquet extended a 2s lead, but it was negated by the safety car after Speed hit the Turn 1 kerb too hard on lap four and smacked the wall on the exit, putting him out.
At the restart, Vergne used his fanboost to pass Prost for third, and di Grassi also took full advantage to further demote Prost.
Another safety car was then required as Charles Pic lunged past Loic Duval at the hairpin, and punted Jarno Trulli into a race-ending spin.
At the second restart, Buemi passed Prost on the back straight, and Da Costa passed Prost too at hairpin with a great move, pushing him back to seventh.
Di Grassi had more energy in hand over Vergne, and pushed him hard before the car-swap phase.
Abt was the first of the leaders to stop to change cars, a lap sooner than the majority of the pack on lap 23.
Vergne jumped Abt for second in the pitstop cycle, while di Grassi almost hit Buemi in the pitlane – for which Buemi was given a driver warning flag.
Piquet was 3s clear at this point, with Vergne clear of Abt-Audi teammates Abt and di Grassi. Abt was then given a drive-thru penalty for using too much power, which dropped him to 14th.
Bruno Senna then came into the top-five picture, as he extended his first stint by a lap over the cars in front, despite a disappointing qualifying. Nick Heidfeld also climbed into the top six, until a clash with Jerome d’Ambrosio sent him into the tyrewall.
Points leader Prost had also clashed with d’Ambrosio at the hairpin, and was given a drive-thru penalty as a result.
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