Anurag Singh Thakur presents the winning trophy to Jean-Eric Vergne | PTI
Hyderabad: Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of DS Penske emerged as the victor in the first-ever ABB FIA Formula E world championship race in India on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd and a host of dignitaries, Bollywood celebrities and sports stars.
Vergne fought hard in the final third of the race to stay ahead of Envision Racing pair of Nick Cassidy and Sebastien Buemi, though AntAnio Felix da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) ultimately took the third position after the Swiss was penalised post the race.
Vergne said: "I'm very, very happy. It was a tough race - I had to defend quite hard at the end but we somehow managed to win it. It was a clean race, no mistakes. Very happy with the win today. It's good for everyone's heart in our team. For the first few races it's good to boost it with a good race like that so couldn't be happier."
It was Vergne's first top of the podium fininsh in Formula E since April 2021 and he achieved it in style in Rome.
Vergne made his way to the front of the pack on lap 15 of 32 (plus one lap following a safety car) with the double champion sweeping by Buemi at the hairpin after the Jaguar TCS Racing pair removed one another from the equation two laps prior.
In addition to the sellout capacity crowd of more than 25,000, the historic race was attended by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries & Commerce, government of Telangana.
Also enjoying the action were cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, current India cricketers Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal along with the latter's actor and choreographer wife, Dhanashree Verma.
ABB FIA Formula E world championship is the world's first all-electric FIA world championship and the only sport certified net zero carbon since inception. IANS