Formula E – New location sets up unpredictable Santiago E-Prix | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula E – New location sets up unpredictable Santiago E-Prix

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24.01.19.

The 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to Chile and an all-new track for round three

The third round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship brings the teams and drivers of the fully-electric series to Santiago de Chile for a showdown in the South American summer sun. The championship made its Chilean debut last season, where a thrilling street race played out with Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer taking a historic first ever one-two finish in the championships’ history despite almost taking each other out of the race.

Last time out

With two races run so far this season, it’s Mahindra Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio leading the way at the top of the standings thanks to a podium in Ad Diriyah and a sensational victory in Marrakesh two weeks ago. 

The Belgian didn’t look in contention for the win having qualified tenth, but a frenetic 45-minutes of racing saw him come through the field and run the perfectly-managed race to secure his first on-the-road win in the Formula E. Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird topped the Super Pole shoot-out, and despite contact at the start with DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne managed to lead the early running.

Soon, though, the Brit slipped back and the two BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims looked set to take a one-two finish. As the race neared its conclusion, however, the two drivers incredibly collided, with da Costa in the barriers and Sims dropping down the order.

The ensuing safety car period left only one lap for D’Ambrosio to defend from the hard-charging Sam Bird and his team-mate Robin Frijns. Despite getting within inches of one another, the Virgin Racing pair could find no way through, taking a strong double-podium for the independent squad.

The same, but different

This year, Formula E moves to an all-new location in Santiago. Parque O’Higgins will play host to an exciting 2.348km circuit layout which should provide plenty of racing action, with a blend of flat-out fast corners and tricky hairpins for the 22 drivers to navigate.

Clash of the team-mates

With the talk of the paddock centred on the inter-team clash last time out in Marrakesh for the BMW drivers, we flashback to Santiago 12 months ago, when disaster almost struck for the TECHEETAH squad. With the now-reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne leading the race and then-relative newcomer to the series Andre Lotterer chasing him close behind, the two sensationally made contact, as Lotterer pushed what briefly became an 8-wheel Formula E car almost into the barriers. The two cars somehow managed to make the corner and go on to take the first ever one-two finish in Formula E.

 

All-out Attack Mode

The new-for-season five Attack Mode proved to be a thrilling element of the Marrakesh E-Prix last time out. The new format means that drivers must activate a higher power mode for eight minutes each race, with the exact number and duration of activations defined by the FIA no later than one hour before the start of the race.

 

The Attack Mode led to a fascinating mixture of race strategies up and down the order, and here in Santiago, the drivers will have to go off-line on the outside of Turn 3 in order to make their activation.

Championship standings:

Driver standings:

D’Ambrosio

MAHINDRA RACING

40

Antonio Felix da Costa

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

28

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS TECHEETAH

28

Andre Lotterer

DS TECHEETAH

19

Robin Frijns

Envision Virgin Racing

18

Sam Bird

Envision Virgin Racing

18

Mitch Evans

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

14

Alexander Sims

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

12

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.dams

12

Lucas di Grassi

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

9

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.dams

6

Daniel Abt

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

5

Nelson Piquet Jr.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

1

Jose Maria Lopez

GEOX DRAGON

0

Maximilian Gunther

GEOX DRAGON

0

Oliver Turvey

NIO Formula E Team

0

Edoardo Mortara

VENTURI Formula E Team

0

Tom Dillmann

NIO Formula E Team

0

Stoffel Vandoorne

HWA RACELAB

0

Felipe Massa

VENTURI Formula E Team

0

Felix Rosenqvist

MAHINDRA RACING

0

Gary Paffett

HWA RACELAB

0

Pascal Wehrlein

MAHINDRA RACING

0

Team standings:

DS TECHEETAH

47

MAHINDRA RACING

40

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

40

Envision Virgin Racing

36

Nissan e.dams

18

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

15

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

14

GEOX DRAGON

0

NIO Formula E Team

0

VENTURI Formula E Team

0

HWA RACELAB

0