April 14, 2018 / 5:06 PM / 6 days ago

Motor racing - Bird wins first Rome ePrix after Rosenqvist crashes

ROME (Reuters) - Britain’s Sam Bird won Formula E’s first race in Rome on Saturday to move up to second in the all-electric series after seven rounds.

Motor Racing - Formula E - Rome ePrix - Rome, Italy - April 14, 2018 DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird celebrates winning the race by lifting the trophy during the podium ceremony REUTERS/Max Rossi

The DS Virgin driver is now 18 points behind Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, who finished fifth for the Chinese-owned Techeetah team on the street track around the Italian capital’s EUR district.

Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi was second for Audi Sport ABT with Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer completing the podium.

“To get the first win in Rome is amazing — this was always going to be a historic race,” said Bird after taking the chequered flag for his second win of the season.

Motor Racing - Formula E - Rome ePrix - Rome, Italy - April 14, 2018 DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird during the race REUTERS/Max Rossi

Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist started on pole position for Mahindra but crashed out after breaking his suspension on a kerb while leading on lap 23.

“In all honesty, if Rosenqvist hadn’t made that mistake, I think he would have won here,” said Bird.

Vergne was involved in a collision with Bird’s compatriot and team mate Alex Lynn that damaged both cars.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon

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