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Sebastien Buemi wins 2015-16 Formula E opener in Beijing


Sebastien Buemi started the second season of the FIA Formula E Championship with a dominating performance in Beijing.

Buemi had a rough start at pole, but managed to defend his position against Mahindra's Nick Heidfeld into the first corner. From then on, Buemi led the pack throughout the 26-lap race and even recorded the 'Visa Fastest Lap' time (1:39.993).

The Renault e.Dams driver cruised his way to victory with an 11-second lead over his closest rival during the race – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport's Lucas di Grassi.

“It was a good race. It’s a bit of a weird feeling because I felt I was a little bit on my own, but I would not be against that. It’s good to win with a bit of a margin,” said Buemi.

Formula E's Full Course Yellow came into effect twice in order to clear race related incidents. The Full Course Yellow rule requires all vehicles to slow down to 50 km/h and maintain the distance to the car in front and proceed in single file without the use of a safety car.

Heidfeld had a slow pit stop as the team struggled to get his belts fastened. As a result, he lost places to di Grassi and to Renault e.dams Nico Prost. Then, Prost and Heidfeld traded places during the race. However, Prost's right-rear wheel guard fell off his car, breaking the rear wing support in the process which forced him to retire. With this, Heidfeld managed to score the first ever podium finish for the Mahindra team.

During the closing laps there was a fantastic duel between Heidfeld and the Dragon Racing teammates Loic Duval and Jerome D’Ambrosio. There was less than two seconds covering them as they crossed the line. Duval finished in fourth while D’Ambrosio in fifth.

Sixth place went to Oliver Turvey of NEXTEV TCR followed by Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing and Nathanaël Berthon of Team Aguri. The top ten finishers were completed by Stéphane Sarrazin of Venturi Formula E Team and Robin Frijns of Andretti Formula E Race Team.

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