Formula E: Jean-Eric Vergne wins chaotic race in Rome as Brit Sam Bird strengthens lead in championship

TWO-TIME Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne won the first of two races in Rome.

The chaotic street race saw Audi's Lucas Di Grassi lose the lead due to a power failure which led to the two Mercedes also crashing.

As Di Grassi slowed, Mercedes' Stoffel Vandoorne took evasive action but spun off and collided with his teammate Nyck de Vries.

While Brit Sam pulled off sensational overtakes throughout the race as he fought from 11th on the grid to finish second, to strengthen his lead at the top of the championship to nine points.

Vergne was able to cruise to victory behind the safety car as the stewards cleared up a handful of stricken cars.

Vergne said: "It was a very difficult race with the conditions. There was a lot of rain and it was very slippy.

"I almost hit the wall on more than one occasion but I was able to survive and I am very happy with the win."

Vergne's car had to be rebuilt following practice after Oliver Turvey came charging into the back of him while he was stationary, preparing to do a practice start.

This was Jaguar's first ever double podium finish as Bird finished second and his teammate Mitch Evans climbed from 12th to finish third.

The two Jaguar drivers wore black armbands in in tribute to Prince Philip.

Bird said: "That's our first ever double podium as a team, so massive congrats to the guys who are here and back at the factory.

"It's been working really between me and Mitch on and off the circuit which is great and we're working hard to push the team forwards."

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