FE - 2015 Punta del Este ePrix - Preview | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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FE - 2015 Punta del Este ePrix - Preview

15.12.15
The last FIA-sanctioned race of 2015 takes place this coming Saturday, 19 December at the temporary street circuit laid out along the sea front in Punta del Este, Uruguay
Formula Punta del este preview

It’s the third round of this season’s FIA Formula E Championship. As a result of the Trulli team announcing it is leaving the series, nine teams and eighteen drivers will be competing, just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. However, as of yesterday came the news that new Constructors are on the way – Dragon Racing and Jaguar – as from the 2016/17 season. It is further confirmation of the vitality of this series and the growth of interest that it is engendering among major motor manufacturers and many OEMs working in the technology sector linked to sustainable mobility. In fact, Jaguar has chosen Formula E for its official return to racing, after an absence of over a decade.

The first two races of the 2015/16 season produced two different winners – Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.Dams) in Beijing and Lucas di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) in Putrajaya, with the Brazilian leading the Drivers’ classification by 8 points from the Swiss (43 to 35.) Sam Bird (DS Virgin Racing,) who came second in Malaysia, is currently third in the points table on 24, while Robin Frijns (Andretti) finished on the podium in Putrajaya on only his second appearance in an ePrix.

In pure performance terms, the French team proved to have the most competitive package in the first two ePrix, however, the challenges posed by Formula E as a whole – energy management, finding the best set-up, reliability and the actual driving – make it very hard to predict. That was certainly the case in Putrajaya, where Di Grassi was the only Beijing podium finisher to repeat that feat. The teams’ classification is headed by ABT Schaeffler. Punta del Este will mark the Formula E debut of Oliver Rowland, called up by Mahindra Racing to replace the unfortunate Nick Heidfeld: the 23 year old British driver is the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, having won no fewer than eight races as well as competing in some GP2

The Punta del Este track (2.785 km, to be driven 33 times, two more than in 2014/15) has 20 corners and has undergone a few small changes compared to the layout used in the first season. Most obviously, the first corner has been modified from what was a right-left sequence last year to a left-right, which above all will make for an easier return to the track when a car comes out of pit lane, the exit of which comes just after the corner.

In addition, two chicanes have been slightly modified to reduce speed. Situated alongside the lovely Playa Brava beach, the track is quite fast and was definitely one of the favourites among the drivers in the first season. A further element to take into consideration is the sand, which inevitably gets blown onto the track by the

A year ago, Buemi was the one to conquer Punta del Este, taking the first of his four Formula E wins, stepping onto the podium ahead of the Brazilian duo of Piquet Jr. and Di Grassi. The other major player that weekend was Jean-Eric Vergne, then on his debut, who secured an amazing pole position and was in the fight for the win right down to the final stages, when a mechanical failure forced him to retire.

2014/15 Punta del Este ePrix

Race

P.

Driver

Team

Laps

Time

1

Sebastien Buemi

e.dams Renault

31

49:08.990

2

Nelson Piquet Jr.

China Racing

31

+ 0.732

3

Lucas di Grassi

Audi Sport ABT

31

+ 2.635

4

Jarno Trulli

Trulli

31

+ 4.163

5

Jaime Alguersuari

Virgin Racing

31

+ 4.698

6

Bruno Senna

Mahindra Racing

31

+ 5.197

7

Nicolas Prost

e.dams Renault

31

+ 6.514

8

Jerome D’Ambrosio

Dragon Racing

31

+ 7.567

9

Oriol Servia

Dragon Racing

31

+ 8.646

10

Nick Heidfeld

Venturi

31

+ 10.563

Pole Position: Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti), 1:15.408

Fastest Lap: Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT), 1:18.451

 

Season 2015/16

 

Drivers’ Championship

Teams’ Championship

Driver

Points

Team

Points

1

Lucas di Grassi

43

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

49

2

Sebastien Buemi

35

Renault e.Dams

36

3

Sam Bird

24

Mahindra Racing

27

4

Nick Heidfeld

17

DS Virgin Racing

24

5

Robin Frijns

16

Dragon Racing

22

6

Stephane Sarrazin

14

Andretti

16

7

Loïc Duval

12

Venturi

14

8

Bruno Senna

10

NEXTEV TCR

12

9

Jerome D’Ambrosio

10

Team Aguri

12

10

Antonio Felix da Costa

8

 

 

 

Oliver Turvey

8

 

 

 

Punta del Este ePrix 2015/16

Date: 19 December

Venue: Punta del Este

Track length: 2,785 km

Start/finish line offset: 0 m

Number of laps: 33

Total length: 91,905 km

 

Timetable

Start

Finish

Session

8.15

9.00

Non qualifying practice 1

10.30

11.00

Non qualifying practice 2

12.00

12.06

Qualifying Group 1

12.10

12.16

Qualifying Group 2

12.20

12.26

Qualifying Group 3

12.30

12.36

Qualifying Group 4

12.45

13.00

Super Pole

16.04

 

Race