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Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

Team-Mate Battles – London ePrix

The inaugural Formula E season may have seen several drivers come and go, but it doesn’t make beating your team-mate any less important. As the season reaches it’s conclusion we’ll be finding out who the main candidates for a drive in season two are, but who had the upper hand on their colleague in London? Let’s go through the field and hand out the Team Mate Battle points!

These are the rules to which the drivers are being judged.

Points system:

  • 1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster race lap.
  • 
3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.
  • 
5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best during the race.

Drivers are awarded points for both races of the London ePrix

Amlin Aguri:

As was determined early on in the season, Antonio Felix da Costa was unable to make it to the London ePrix double-header owing to his DTM commitments. Which paved the way for the Japanese team to have a Japanese driver for only the second event this year. Having used Takuma Sato when Da Costa was unavailable for the season-opener in Beijing, the team turned to fellow ex-F1 drier Sakon Yamamoto to partner Salvador Duran.

Yamamoto didn’t adapt quickly, and was subsequently beaten in both qualifying sessions and both races, disposing of numerous front wings in the process. Duran may have yielded fairly easily to championship-contender Nelson Piquet in the second race, but he managed to round off soon-to-be-renamed Team Aguri’s season with some points. All points to Duran for the one-off contest.

  • Fastest Lap: Duran/Duran (2-0 to Duran)
  • Qualifying: Duran/Duran (6-0 to Duran)
  • Race: Duran/Duran (10-0 to Duran)

Totals:

  • Race 1: Takuma Sato 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 2: Antonio Felix da Costa 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 3-9: Antonio Felix da Costa 39-24 Salvador Duran
  • Race 10-11: Sakon Yamamoto 0-18 Salvador Duran
Zak Mauger/LAT Photographic/Formula E.
Zak Mauger/LAT Photographic/Formula E.

Andretti Formula E:

Eight drivers across an eleven race season. Eight. The most permanent features of the Andretti’s Team Mate Battle have been the cars, but considering this is only a contest for drivers, then it’s hard to argue against Jean-Eric Vergne being handed the Andretti title. Mostly for just being there, but partly because he has shown flashes of brilliant speed. This time Vergne would partner Simona de Silvestro, whose appearance marked the return of a female to the series after Michela Cerruti left the series earlier in the year.

Vergne secured a podium finish in the first race, but a drive-through penalty for using more than the maximum power output prevented him scoring points in the second race. De Silvestro carried herself very well in the circumstances, she out-qualified Vergne in the wet conditions during qualifying for race two, and narrowly missed out on scoring a point in the first race.

  • Fastest Lap: Vergne/Vergne (2-0 to Vergne)
  • Qualifying: Vergne/De Silvestro (3-3)
  • Race: Vergne/De Silvestro (5-5 to Vergne)

Totals:

  • Race 1: Franck Montagny 9-0 Charles Pic
  • Race 2: Franck Montagny 1-8 Matthew Brabham
  • Race 3: Matthew Brabham 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 4: Marco Andretti 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 5-8: Scott Speed 11-25 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 9: Justin Wilson 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 10-11 Simona de Silvestro 8-10 Jean-Eric Vergne

Audi Sport Abt:

Almost as though he still hadn’t quite recovered from the setback of being disqualified from his win at the Berlin ePrix, Lucas di Grassi never really looked like acquiring the big results needed to usurp Nelson Piquet from the top of the table. He qualified well for race one, but never looked like progressing from there. He defended strongly against an attacking Piquet, but if he was to mount his own title challenge, he needed to be convincingly ahead of Piquet, and not ‘only just’ ahead of him.

Unfortunately he didn’t really have a rear gunner to help him out. Daniel Abt was heavily out-qualified by di Grassi, and was therefore quite far behind in the race, even crashing out in race one. He did, however, manage a faster race lap than di Grassi in race two, but that was the only crumb of comfort in what was a non-scoring round for Abt.

  • Fastest Lap: di Grassi/Abt (6-5 to di Grassi)
  • Qualifying: di Grassi/di Grassi (24-9 to di Grassi)
  • Race: di Grassi/di Grassi (45-10 to di Grassi)

Audi Sport Abt: di Grassi 75-24 Abt

NextEV Team China Racing:

Like any good championship decider, the contest was to be decided on the final ePrix of the season, and like any good championship decider, it produced the drive of a worthwhile champion. The first race of the London ePrix saw Nelson Piquet secure a solid points finish, but he was ultimately up against a racey Sebastien Buemi, who took a huge chunk of points away from Piquet’s lead going into the final round. Starting 16th after a wet qualifying, the Brazilian started the race well, and gradually edged his way back into the race. Helped somewhat by Buemi – who appeared to lose his nerve – Piquet took the title by one point.

Oliver Turvey was the man employed to help him out in the final race weekend, and went about his tasks very competently. He qualified well for race one and even out-qualified Piquet for race two, allowing him to pass when needed. Turvey’s three points for a qualifying victory mean he’s done a better job than the rest of Piquet’s team-mates combined! Turvey was certainly close to his team-mate’s pace, leading to praise from the team and Piquet himself, which may well land the Briton a seat for season two.

  • Fastest Lap: Piquet/Piquet (2-0 to Piquet)
  • Qualifying: Piquet/Turvey (3-3)
  • Race: Piquet/Piquet (10-0 to Piquet)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Nelson Piquet 36-0 Tung/Garcia
  • Race 5-8: Nelson Piquet 35-1 Charles Pic
  • Race 9: Nelson Piquet 9-0 Garcia
  • Race 10-11: Nelson Piquet 15-3 Turvey
FIA Formula E Media
FIA Formula E Media

Dragon Racing:

The Dragon Racing team were one of the big winners at the London ePrix; securing a podium in race one courtesy of Jerome D’Ambrosio, a double podium in the second race and coming from almost nowhere to steal second place in the Team’s Championship from Audi Sport Abt.

D’Ambrosio certainly had the measure of Loic Duval in race one, securing the qualifying, race and faster lap honours over his team-mate. It was a much closer affair in race two as they began – and finished – the race with D’Ambrosio in second and Duval in third. Former championship-contender D’Ambrosio had to overtake his team-mate on track (in a move which Duval didn’t seem too happy about post-race). The only point Duval manages to acquire is for a faster lap in race two, giving a rather one-sided total. If Duval does partner D’Ambrosio next season, expect a closer fight between them, as they’ve become close competitors in recent events.

  • Fastest Lap: D’Ambrosio/Duval (6-1 to Duval)
  • Qualifying: D’Ambrosio/D’Ambrosio (21-0 to D’Ambrosio)
  • Race: D’Ambrosio/D’Ambrosio (35-0 to D’Ambrosio)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jerome D’Ambrosio 25-11 Oriol Servia
  • Race 5-11: Jerome D’Ambrosio 57-6 Loic Duval

e.dams-Renault:

In what has been a close contest for the majority of the season, Nicolas Prost was nowhere in comparison with the team’s front-runner, Sebastien Buemi. Prost began the weekend (mathematically, at least) in championship contention, but given that he admitted before the weekend that he was there to help the team and Buemi, he went to London very much resigned to playing number two.

Buemi became Piquet’s main rival for the ultimate prize, winning superbly in race one – his third of the season, but a costly half-spin in race two helped his rival to the title. E.dams-Renault took the team’s championship crown in race one, and as far as the Team-Mate Battle goes, a double-header clean sweep for Buemi comfortably secures number one status in the team. Prost will have to figure out why things went downhill immediately after his Miami ePrix win.

  • Fastest Lap: Buemi/Buemi (9-2 to Buemi)
  • Qualifying: Buemi/Buemi (18-15 to Buemi)
  • Race: Buemi/Buemi (40-15 to Buemi)

e.dams-Renault: Prost 32-67 Buemi

Mahindra Racing:

Another close season-long contest has been witnessed in Mahindra’s TM Battle. It’s Senna’s better performances in qualifying that secure him season one honours, although he was unfortunate not to finish the battle with more of a flourish, having acquired a pit lane speeding penalty in the first London ePrix race. He did, however, put in one of his best performances of the season in race two, taking fourth place to deny Sebastien Buemi the driver’s title.

Whilst Chandhok was a semi-regular points-scorer at the start of the year, he’s found opportunities hard to come by since Putrajaya (round two). He seems to have been left behind by Senna, particularly in the back-end of the season, and now with rumours of his Formula E future being insecure, might the London ePrix be the last we see of Karun in the sport?

  • Fastest Lap: Senna/Senna (6-5 to Senna)
  • Qualifying: Senna/Senna (21-12 to Senna)
  • Race: Chandhok/Senna (27.5-27.5)

Mahindra Racing: Chandhok 44.5-54.5 Senna

FIA Formula E Media
FIA Formula E Media

TrulliGP:

Vitantonio Liuzzi was double-booked for the season finale in London, so the Trulli team brought in Swiss-Greek GP3 driver Alex Fontana, whose previous successes include GP3 podiums and a victory in the former Formula Two championship.

Jarno Trulli started race one from the back owing to a five-place grid drop for his corner-cutting antics in Moscow, but had beaten Fontana in qualifying by over one second. Trulli managed to overtake his team-mate during the race, but Fontana was ultimately forced to retire four laps from the end.

For race two, Fontana managed to out-qualify Trulli, who looked like he just didn’t get a lap together. A start-line issue hampered Fontana’s getaway and he fell to nineteenth, ruining any chance of points early on. Trulli gradually fell down the field before retiring, but was ahead of his colleague before that, so gets the points for race two. It was a poor weekend for the team, who’ll be hoping for some big gains with the Motomatica powertrain in season two.

  • Fastest Lap: Trulli/Fontana (1-1)
  • Qualifying: Trulli/Fontana (3-3)
  • Race: Trulli/Trulli (10-0 to Trulli)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jarno Trulli 24-12 Michela Cerruti
  • Race 5-9: Jarno Trulli 38.5-6.5 Vitantonio Liuzzi
  • Race 10-11: Jarno Trulli 14-4 Alex Fontana

Venturi:

Stephane Sarrazin almost completed an up-and-down season with a race-winning high, and did just that for a few minutes until the race stewards issued a post-race penalty for using too much energy in his efforts to stay ahead of Sam Bird. It was an all-or-nothing attempt at holding on for the win, but having nothing left in the battery mean’t he gave it all up.

Before the second London ePrix race, it was a very unnoticeable race one for the Venturi team, with Sarrazin scoring a sole point in tenth place, beating team-mate Nick Heidfeld despite originally being out-qualified by him. Sarrazin didn’t have it all his own way in race two, though, as Heidfeld secured the faster lap. A great final event for Sarrazin evens up the TM Battle score a little, as their competition looks likely to resume in season two.

  • Fastest Lap: Sarrazin/Heidfeld (7-4 to Sarrazin)
  • Qualifying: Heidfeld/Sarrazin (21-12 to Heidfeld)
  • Race: Sarrazin/Sarrazin (30-25 to Heidfeld)

Venturi: Heidfeld 55-44 Sarrazin

Virgin Racing:

News broke in the week before the London ePrix that Jaime Alguersuari was forced to withdraw from the event owing to ongoing tests regarding his health, after he collapsed immediately after the Moscow ePrix. His replacement was revealed as former-GP2 champion Fabio Leimer.

As far as a team-mate battles goes, this is fairly open-and-shut. Sam Bird was driving his home ePrix like a man possessed, whilst Leimer spent most of his time acclimatising to the car. Like half the field, Leimer was caught out by the rain in qualifying for race two, but struggled to match his team-mate’s pace throughout the weekend. It’s full marks for Bird, who comfortably beats both his team-mates this season. Quite who will partner Bird for season two remains open for bets.

  • Fastest Lap: Bird/Bird (2-0 to Bird)
  • Qualifying: Bird/Bird (6-0 to Bird)
  • Race: Bird/Bird (10-0 to Bird)

Virgin Racing:

  • Race 1-9: Bird 53-28 Alguersuari
  • Race 10-11: Bird 18-0 Leimer

Agree or disagree with the verdicts? Comment and let us know!

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About Luke Murphy

I've been a motor racing fan since the late 90's, enjoying the underdog stories, the history and the technology of the sport. Graduate of Huddersfield University with a BEng Motorsport Engineering Degree and a keen amateur karter.

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