Nelson Piquet Jr. clinched round nine of the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship, the former Renault F1 driver converting his second spot on the grid to a win around the streets of Moscow.
Fine weather attracted a large crowd to the Russian capital’s famous Red Square, a superb setting that contributed much to the success of Moscow’s first ePrix.
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The layout and style of the track, which received praise from the drivers, played a role in the race’s magic, too. Imperfections are integral to the character of street venues and add not only to the show, but also to the challenge faced by the drivers, cars and tyres. The scars of repairs, sometimes on the racing line, painted road markings and drain covers, and the general hilly and bumpy nature of the circuit, all contributed to an unpredictable track surface.
Piquet’s (NEXTEV TCR) victory came at the expense of fellow Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT), with Nick Heidfeld (Venturi) in third. Jean-Eric Vergne, who had qualified in pole position, had to settle for fourth. Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) had set the pace in both practise sessions, but eventually finished in 9th spot after problems with his pit stop.
“The track in Moscow formed a patchwork of the different surfaces we have come across since the beginning of the championship, although it was perhaps more like Miami than anywhere else,” observed Serge GRISIN, manager of Michelin’s Formula E programme. “The road markings, patches of repaired asphalt, surface changes and drain covers really called for a tyre that was not only competitive but also strong. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV gave further evidence of its ability and the technical data we bring back from the Moscow ePrix tend to confirm the sensation we have had all season that its specification is a match for the job.”
The last two races of the inaugural Formula E calendar will both take place in London on the same weekend: June 27 and June 28. Nelson Piquet Jr. carries a 12-point championship lead into the finale weekend, from Di Grassi and Buemi.