Di Grassi wins opening Montreal double-header

ยฉFormula E

Lucas di Grassiย  clinched an important win in Montreal's first ePrix on Saturday and one which puts the Brazilian 6 points clear of championship rival Sebastien Buemi.

The Team Abt leader held off a combative Jean-Eric Vergne to triumph in the Canadian event's opening round with the title now his to lose in Sunday's final Formula E shootout.

Renault-e.dams's Buemi faced an uphill battle from the outset after a battery change linked to a practice crash triggered a grid penalty.

The Swiss driver's plight only appeared to get worse when the race got underway as he fell to 17th on a messy opening lap. But Buemi put his head down and progressively moved up through the ranks, reaching P10 when car rotations set in.

A pitlane entry clash with di Grassi's team mate Daniel Abt wound the driver up, with both men locked in a dual from the entry to the exit of their pit stop window.

As di Grassi controlled his lead ahead, Buemi lucked in, moving all the way up a couple of spots as Adam Carroll dropped out of the points after a strategy error. He then hunted down and passed Oliver Turvey and Mitch Evans to find himself in P6 with 12 laps to go.

Jose Maria Lopez put himself in the barrier before e.dams team mate Nico Prost understandably let Buemi through, but Techeetah's Stรฉphane Sarrazin put up a huge defense for third place, with Buemi and the Frenchman going all out on the final lap, banging wheels as the two men fought for the last podium position.

Menawhile, up front, di Grassi had Vergne to contend with after a safety car period wiped out the Brazilian's advantage.

His rival shadowed his every move but was ultimately unsuccessful in mounting a challenge to steal the win.

The championship will thus be settled in the season finale on Sunday in Montreal as di Grassi finds himself in contention for the title at the final race of the season for the third consecutive year.

Last year, Buemi edged Di Grassi for the title in the final race. Can he do it again on Sunday?

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter