Formula E - Bird holds off Wehrlein to win in Santiago scorcher | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula E - Bird holds off Wehrlein to win in Santiago scorcher

  • fr
  • es
27.01.19

Sam Bird keeps cool ahead of charging Wehrlein in Chile heatwave

Sam Bird handled the heat under pressure from Pascal Wehrlein to win his first race of the season in the sweltering Santiago sunshine.

With Wehrlein hot on his heels in the closing stages of the warmest Formula E race on record, Bird held his nerve with a peerless performance around the perimeter roads of Parque O’Higgins in the centre of the Chilean capital.

Bird had to keep a close eye on his mirrors with both drivers on alternative ATTACK MODE strategies. Without any activations left, Bird found himself vulnerable from behind - as Wehrlein saved his final burst of energy in a bid to vault ahead with only minutes to spare.

Despite his best efforts and clawing Bird in, Wehrlein couldn’t make a move and had to settle for second as his hopes of victory faded with rising temperatures.

Fellow countryman Daniel Abt rounded out the podium places, inheriting a position from Alexander Sims after the BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver incurred a penalty for causing a collision with Edoardo Mortara.

Contact with Sims sent Mortara spinning, but the VENTURI Formula E Team driver valiantly fought back to finish fourth.

Buemi wasn’t so lucky to avoid the barriers, crashing out of the lead in close quarters with Bird at the Turn 6/7 chicane - the same corner he encountered trouble with in practice earlier in the day.

The 2015/16 champion led away from the front - after being promoted to pole position following the exclusion of Lucas di Grassi for an infringement. However, Buemi couldn’t convert a first win for the newly-named Nissan e.dams outfit.

Winner in Marrakesh and championship leader coming into the race, Jerome D’Ambrosio, came home in eighth - but later dropped to 10th after being handed a five-second penalty for speeding under Full Course Yellow.

The result means D’Ambrosio relinquishes his place to Bird at the top of the driver standings - with title protagonists Antonio Felix da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne failing to add to their points tally.

After another searing showdown in Santiago, Formula E now heads to Mexico City and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for round four of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship on February 16.

Sam Bird said: “We went with Audi for a reason. Through the help of Audi Sport, the skillset of the data engineers who pulled back the pace and mechanics, I’m here, and we’ve been able to claw back time and learn from mistakes. Everyone was struggling out there so I’m absolutely delighted to bring it home.”

Pascal Wehrlein said: “I was pretty close. I was just starting to move into T12 when the team told me I should slow and manage the gap behind as we were critical on temperatures - and I wanted to finish the race! It was a bit of a shame and I was a bit angry in the car. Out of the car, now, it’s a good feeling. The team and I a perfect fit and a perfect match. In the first race everyone was so kind to me and were saying what Jerome achieved I could’ve probably achieved as well. They’re giving me a lot of trust, confidence and I want to deliver the best.”

Daniel Abt said: “It was a really, really tough race and was super-hot out there. It wasn’t the best race I’ve had but sometimes you just have to take it easy and stay cool even though it’s hard with the heat. We’ve got our first podium, which is very important for everyone in the team and they really deserve this. Now, it’s important that we make progress, get better and just keep pushing hard.”

Race Results:

1

Sam Bird

Envision Virgin Racing

47:02.511s

(25)

2

Pascal Wehrlein

MAHINDRA Racing

+6.489s

(18)

3

Daniel Abt

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

+14.529s

(16)

4

Edoardo Mortara

VENTURI Formula E Team

+17.056s

(12)

5

Robin Frijns

Envision Virgin Racing

+20.276s

(10)

6

Mitch Evans

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

+23.755s

(8)

7

Alexander Sims

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

+27.590s

(6)

8

Oliver Turvey

NIO Formula E Team

+45.059s

(4)

9

Jose María Lopez

GEOX DRAGON

+45.376s

(2)

10

Jerome D’Ambrosio

MAHINDRA Racing

+46.984s

(1)

11

Nelson Piquet Jr.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

+48.635s

 

12

Lucas di Grassi

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

+1:03.552s

 

13

André Lotterer

DS TECHEETAH

+1:14.706s

 

14

Gary Paffett

HWA RACELAB

1 Lap

 

 

 

 

 

 

DNF

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.dams

 

 

DNF

Antonio Felix Da Costa

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

 

 

DNF

Jean-Eric Verge

DS TECHEETAH

 

 

DNF

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.dams

 

(3)

DNF

 Stoffel Vandoorne

HWA RACELAB

 

 

DNF        

Maximilian Gunther

GEOX DRAGON

 

 

DNF

Felipe Massa

VENTURI Formula E Team

 

 

DNF

Tom Dillmann

NIO Formula E Team

 

 

 

Championship Standings

Jerome D’Ambrosio

MAHINDRA Racing

41

Sam Bird

Envision Virgin Racing

43

Antonio Felix Da Costa

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

28

Robin Frijns

Envision Virgin Racing

28

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS TECHEETAH

28

Mitch Evans

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

22

Daniel Abt

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

21

Andre Lotterer

DS TECHEETAH

19

Pascal Wehrlein

MAHINDRA Racing

18

Alexander Sims

BMW I Andretti Motorsport

18

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.dams

15

Edoardo Mortara

VENTURI Formula E Team

12

Lucas di Grassi

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

9

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.dams

6

Oliver Turvey

NIO Formula E Team

4

Jose Maria Lopez

GEOX DRAGON

2

Nelson Piquet Jr.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

1

Maximilian Gunther

GEOX DRAGON

0

Tom Dillmann

NIO Formula E Team

0

Gary Paffett

HWA RACELAB

0

Stoffel Vandoorne

HWA RACELAB

0

Felipe Massa

VENTURI Formula E Team

0

Felix Rosenqvist

MAHINDRA Racing

0

 

Teams Championship:

Envision Virgin Racing

71

MAHINDRA Racing

62

DS TECHEETAH

47

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

    46

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

30

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

23

Nissan e.dams

21

VENTURI Formula E Team

12

NIO Formula E Team

4

GEOX DRAGON

2

HWA RACELAB

0