Watch highlights: Di Grassi roars back at Long Beach
Redemption came to Lucas di Grassi in the shape of a perfectly-judged win in the FIA Formula E Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix.
The Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver had sprayed the victory champagne at the last race in Mexico City, only for the disappointment of disqualification to hit home long after the bubbles had fizzled out.
But with a steely determination to take advantage of any opportunity that would come his way in the fight for the 2016 FIA Formula E Championship, di Grassi produced a drive of genuine quality.
From pole position, it was DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who led in the early stages of the race, but di Grassi kept him in his sights, and when he managed to get a better run down the back straight he pulled a great move on the Brit into Turn 5 to take the lead.
Bird managed to keep on di Grassi’s tail through the mid-race car change, but in his second car he was caught out by cold brakes and locked up into Turn 5, sending him down the escape road. He managed to avoid any serious damage, but lost a hat full of places and any hope of victory.
Di Grassi now had a comfortable lead over Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin, only for all of it to be wiped out when last year’s winner - Nelson Piquet Jr - crashed over the kerbs at the first chicane and walloped into the wall. The Qualcomm Safety Car was required to retrieve his stricken NEXTEV TCR machine, handing Sarrazin an unexpected shot at the win.
But di Grassi timed the restart to perfection and cruised home for his second win of the year. With Sebastien Buemi suffering a disastrous race - he collided with Robins Frijns, which not only damaged both cars so badly they were forced into making an early car change, he then received a drive-through penalty - di Grassi has taken over the lead in the points standings he lost along with his Mexico win.