Video: Piquet wins first Formula E crown as Renaultsport confirms increased involvement

Renaultsport has confirmed it will develop its own powertrain system for the e.dams-Renault team for the 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship after the pioneering all-electric race category’s inaugural round-the globe season concluded in dramatic fashion in London’s Battersea Park as Nelson Piquet Jnr was crowned its first champion by a single point.
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Renault’s electric vehicle know-how has made it a perfect technical partner to Formula E which has proved a motor sport phenomenon in its maiden season with spectacular races on city centre tracks and a new way of thinking when it comes to interaction with the public.

For its second season the category’s regulations will open up to allow for greater participation by motor manufacturers. Significantly Renault has confirmed it will develop a powertrain for e.dams – run by four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost and which clinched the Teams crown in London thanks to the combined results of drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost.

Patrice Ratti, the CEO of Renault Sport Technologies said: “We are becoming a full constructor from next season, so we are developing a powertrain for the car, so next year it will be Renault. This year it’s Spark-Renault and it’s used by all the teams, next year it’s Renault used by e.dams-Renault.

“We are doing Formula E to be consistent with our strategy in EVs, and because we think it’s the future to help grow the technology, and also show to the people that EVs are not only good for the environment, but they can be exciting and fun.”

e.dams driver Buemi was in the hunt for the FE title in London until the final lap. The Swiss driver won the first of two races while Brazilians Lucxas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) and Piquet (NEXTEV TCR) finished fourth and fifth.

It meant that just five points covered the trio going into Sunday’s race with Piquet leading from di Grassi and Buemi. The race was eventually won by Briton Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) with Buemi, di Grassi and Piquet taking fifth, sixth and seventh places.

The result just was enough for Piquet, who has started from a lowly 16th on the grid, to clinch the title by a point from Buemi with di Grassi, who had led for much of the season, in third.

Even an emotional Piquet was not sure he had become champion as he crossed the line, discovering his achievement only when he asked ITV Sport’s commentators from the cockpit as he returned to the paddock on his slowing down lap.

See here to watch seven-minute highlights of Formula E’s nail biting title-deciding finale.