Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was handed victory in the concluding race of this season’s inaugural Formula E championship in London on Sunday as Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr took the overall title.
France’s Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi) crossed the line first but was immediately handed a 49-second time penalty for exceeding energy usage, giving British driver Bird a win in front of his home crowd.
Piquet, the son of three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet Sr, was already the series leader and the China Racing driver finished in seventh place to be crowned the first champion in a competition featuring 100-percent electric cars.
“The championship has been really tough,” said Piquet Jr, a 29-year-old former Formula One driver.
“We’ve got a good group of guys. They trusted me and believed in me.”
Meanwhile a delighted Bird said: “What a way to finish, unbelievable, unbelievable.
“The strategy was good as well, we were able to go a lap longer than Stephane, and hounded him all the way to the finish.”
Bird added: “I knew that he would be very tight on energy if not over and that was the case.”
He paid tribute to Piquet Jr by saying: “In my opinion (he’s) the most deserving champion and the speed that he showed in the middle of the year had us scratching our heads â€“- it was horrible.
“I think he is a worthy champion.”