Buemi, who raced in Formula One with Toro Rosso, drove a tactically astute race after claiming the crucial pole position, but admitted he was under real pressure at the finish.

“I did not have much margin and finished on the limit of my energy reserves,” he admitted.

The race was notable for a clash just before halfway involving Jean-Eric Vergne and Nelson Piquet Jr. as the former attempted an overtaking move to claim third spot.

The safety car had to be deployed, with the main beneficiary another ex-F1 racer Nick Heidfeld, who moved up to the final podium spot after starting eighth on the grid.

‘Amazing” was Heidfeld’s verdict for his barnstorming performance on a circuit where it is notoriously difficult to overtake.

Piquet recovered to take fourth spot, but there was disappointment for Buemi’s Renault teammate Nicolas Prost, son of four-time Monaco winner and F1 world champion Alain Prost.

Watched by his father, Prost could only manage 10th spot, but retains third in overall standings.

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