Sebastien Buemi of Renault e.dams takes a dominant victory in the Punta Del Este ePrix. Coming from fifth on the grid overtaking the Dragon Racing duo of Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval along with DS Virgin’s Sam Bird and Audi’s Lucas Di Grassi. This is Buemi’s second win of the season and fifth of his Formula E career.
Coming off of a wreck in free practice two, Buemi still set the pace heading into qualifying until a mistake in the pole shootout would hand it to Dragon Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio. At the beginning of the race Buemi would overtake Lucas Di Grassi to move into fourth place. Bumei would move on to overtake Duval and Bird. 1.8 seconds would separate D’Ambrosio and Buemi but that would become nothing within laps. Eventually Buemi would overtake with only Di Grassi even coming close to a threat after the full course yellow. Renault e.dams Nico Prost would be off of the pace of his teammate finishing fifth one position better than his starting spot of sixth.
Lucas Di Grassi much like Buemi would better his position from qualifying to the race coming home in second position after starting in fourth position. After jumping up into third position Di Grassi would get second position over D’Ambrosio after a mishap on pit road. Daniel Abt would finish in eighth position luckily after seemingly having a problem on the last lap giving up seventh position to Virgin’s Jean-Eric Vergne.
Starting off strong was Sam Bird instantly overtaking Loic Duval off the line to advance into second place. That’s as far as Bird would get eventually retiring after being overtaken by a few cars and a falling victim to a mechanical failure which would lead to the first full course yellow of the race. Jean-Eric Vergne after almost crashing in qualifying due to a slow Nathanaël Berthon. This would cause the frenchmen to start in last. If not for Buemi’s dominance, driver of the day could’ve gone to Vergne ultimately finishing seventh from dead last on the grid and almost wrecking with Nelson Piquet Jr.
The Dragon Racing squad can leave Uruguay a happy team. Standing up to the powerhouses that are Renault e.Dams and ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport drivers Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval would sweep the front row of the grid. This would be the first time this season Sebastien Buemi would not be on pole. Although they would not stay one, two the Dragon duo would hold on to finish third and fourth. Team of the day definitely goes to Dragon despite a mess up on D’Ambrosio’s pit stop.
Team Aguris only shining light this season Antonio Felix Da Costa would start in eighth place and make his way up to sixth place in what he called his only “boring race” of his Formula E career. Nathanaël Berthon would start in fourteenth position and would stay put after wrecking with Jean-Eric Vergne. With Argentina up next Aguri should be excited with it being known as a “driver track” I would look out for Antonio Felix Da Costa to do something special.
Mahindra this week were unfortunately down a driver this week. Nick Heidfeld hurt his hand in the last Formula E race in Malaysia leading to him missing the last round of the World Endurance Championship and the Punta ePrix. His replacement Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland would qualify in sixteenth place and improve his position three spots by finishing in thirteenth place. Bruno Senna would show some pace in qualifying ending up in the ninth spot. The race however would not work out so well. Senna would become the first ever driver to change tires in a Formula E race due to early contact. It didn’t get much better for the Brazilian as he would end up into the barrier later in the race. When not in the barrier Senna has shown pace lets hope he can show what he’s made of in the next rounds.
Robin Frijns continues his points streak since joining the Andretti squad. There was never any doubt that he wouldn’t perform and despite Andretti still running last seasons technology Frijns has not let it affect his performance. Much like Da Costa come Argentina the young Dutchman could be one to watch out for. As far as Simona De Silvestro I wish I could give positive but once again that’s not the case. Not adapting as fast teammate Frijns time will only tell if she will eventually get the hang of Formula E and be competitive against her teammate until then I only see her outside of the points.
Venturi should be happy to come out of Uruguay with some points seeing that only one car even made it to the grid. Stéphane Sarrazin finished in ninth coming from thirteenth on the grid. Sarrazin has been Venturis leading light since the departure of Nick Heidfeld. Nick Heidfeld’s replacement Jacques Villeneuve however hasn’t made the impression most thought he would. The former Formula 1 champion is still scoreless and unless something big changes in his pace I don’t see that changing.
NEXTEV Team China Racing who thought they would be in this position after last season. With a powertrain similar to DS Virgin Racing have failed to attain a pace similar. There was some hope after qualifying where Oliver Turvey would qualify tenth and reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr in twelfth. The race was promising for both drivers until Turvey was given a drive through penalty. Piquet would be embroiled in a fight with Jean-Eric Vergne when with two laps to go Piquets right rear tire would make contact with the wall and spin into the wall causing a full course yellow effectively ending the race. This would be NEXTEV TCR’s first pointless race this season.
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