HOME PODIUM DELIGHT IN PARIS FOR DS VIRGIN RACING
- Podium finish for Jose Maria Lopez who secures second in the Paris ePrix
- Second consecutive fastest lap for Sam Bird
- DS Performance delights sell-out crowd during home race
A second place finish for Jose Maria Lopez in today’s sell-out Paris ePrix, and a second consecutive fastest lap for Sam Bird, saw DS Virgin Racing move into fourth place in the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship.
Not only was it the first time that Lopez had raced around the 1.94km Circuit des Invalides street circuit, but it was also his first podium in the fully-electric series after just six races.
The DS Virgin Racing drivers started the 49-lap race in third and 18th positions respectively. The Argentinian qualified an impressive third after the Superpole, whereas Briton Bird was unfortunate to go out for his qualifying lap first, and therefore had the tougher of the track conditions to contend with.
From the beginning of the race a podium finish looked certain, with a steady start to the race until a battle between Lucas Di Grassi and Antonio Felix Da Costa resulted in a safety car. Following this, a mistake by Jean Eric Vergne enabled Lopez to move into second position, where he remained until the end, with the race finishing under a safety car following a second incident for Di Grassi.
A delighted Lopez commented: “It’s the first clean weekend we’ve had since the beginning of the season. I think we started to show our pace back in Mexico, maybe Monaco, so we just needed a clean weekend. I’m learning with every race and working really hard with my engineers and it’s great to get a podium here and fantastic for the team.”
Following the race, Bird commented: “We showed promising pace but sadly this wasn't reflected in the result. To get fastest lap - together with the bonus point - was a small consolation, but we'll regroup and come back for the next races in Berlin."
The second running of the Paris ePrix certainly lived up to expectations, with the eVillage being open to fans free for two days, giving them chance to enjoy track action, stalls and driver engagements such as autograph sessions – all in the heart of the French capital.
DS Virgin Team Principal Alex Tai said: “There was great preparation from the entire team and both drivers for this race. We had a disadvantage being in the first two qualifying groups but it was great to see three French orientated teams and drivers, in the top three grid positions in the heart of Paris. The race was eventful and finishing under the safety car guaranteed Pechito his first podium of the season and a well-deserved second place; well done to both drivers and the entire team.”
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director, said: “It’s great to achieve such a result. After two hard weeks we are happy to have been able to show the car is reliable and fast so this is promising for futures races. We know we have provided our drivers with a car that delivers.”
Yves Bonnefont, DS Brand CEO, commented: “What a week for DS with this great podium after the Presidential DS7 CROSSBACK and this amazing DS Virgin Racing parade in Paris in our home city. It’s great to move up in the championship in front of our home fans.”
Rounds seven and eight of the Formula E series take place on June 10 and 11 at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport.