The first Formula E race took place on Saturday in Beijing with the race being won by Lucas di Grassi, albeit after the two leaders collided at the final corner, with Nick Heidfeld’s Venturi car being hit by Nicolas Prost (E.Dams Renault) and then hitting a kerb and being launched into the air and into a crash barrier beside the track. Heidfeld was pretty upset after the crash as Prost clearly drove into him to try to stop Heidfeld stealing the victory. Prost was later given a 10-place grid penalty for the next round of the championship. Both cars retired in the incident leaving di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) to pick up the pieces.
The average speed of the 25-lap race was published at 79.2 mph but the results appeared to be flawed as 25 laps of a 3.44km circuit amounts to 86.325km and if it took 52m23.413s to cover that distance then the actual race speed must be 98.86kmh, which translates to 61.43 mph. The official results were wrong (and still are), claiming that the 25-lap race was over a distance of 111.3 km.
France’s Frank Montagny, now mainly a commentator with Canal Plus, finished second for the Andretti team with Sam Bird third for Virgin Racing.
There was more than a little irony in the fact that the first Formula E race took place in a city that is famous for its dreadful pollution.
The next Formula E race will take place in Putrajaya, Malaysia on November 22, in 11 weeks from now.