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Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

Team-Mate Battles – Moscow 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 Moscow? 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.

Amlin Aguri:

After having a very forgettable weekend in Berlin, the Amlin Aguri team were back in the points in Moscow, achieving their best team result since winning in Buenos Aires.

Qualifying once again went the way of Salvador Duran, despite da Costa looking handy throughout practice, which mean Duran now takes the lead in that particular contest.

Both still had a lot to do for the race and the pair had to negotiate Jarno Trulli. Duran was swift enough to complete that in the first few laps whilst da Costa spent half the race behind him. Once freed, da Costa gradually caught his team-mate, but Duran had enough to finish comfortably ahead. A faster lap from da Costa narrowly prevents a Duran clean-sweep for Moscow!

  • Fastest Lap: Antonio Felix da Costa (5-2 to Da Costa)
  • Qualifying: Salvador Duran (12-9 to Duran)
  • Race: Salvador Duran (25-10 to Da Costa)

Totals:

  • Race 1: Takuma Sato 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 2: Antonio Felix da Costa 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 3 onwards: Antonio Felix da Costa 39-24 Duran

Amlin Aguri: Da Costa 39-24 Duran


Andretti Formula E:

So to make the Formula E Team-Mate Battles gig even harder, Andretti were forced once again to change one of their drivers. This time, Jean-Eric Vergne was being partnered by IndyCar driver Justin Wilson whilst Scott Speed was away competing at the X-Games.

Unfortunately Wilson wasn’t to make the same impact as Speed on his debut. It was always going to be a tall order to outpace Vergne, but the Briton didn’t shame himself, scoring a point after the late collision between Duval and Trulli promoted him into the top ten.

Meanwhile, Vergne was competing strongly for a podium. He may have lost the lead from the getaway, but he ran in the top three until the final lap, losing out to Sebastien Buemi and Nick Heidfeld. It was an easy Team-Mate Battles victory for Vergne who will face his fifth team-mate of the season in London.

  • Fastest Lap: Jean-Eric Vergne (0-1 to Vergne)
  • Qualifying: Jean-Eric Vergne (0-3 to Vergne)
  • Race: Jean-Eric Vergne (0-5 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

Andretti: Wilson 0-9 Vergne

Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E
Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

Audi Sport Abt:

Lucas di Grassi will probably be in two minds about whether Moscow was a good weekend or not. On one hand, he seems pleased to have proven that they are a fundamentally quick team and that they don’t need to cheat to be at the front of the field. On the flip side, however, the man he needed to beat – Nelson Piquet – was the only man to finish ahead of him in the race, which further increases his deficit to the number one spot. He was only able to pass Vergne in the pit stops, but the gap was already too big to challenge Piquet for the race lead.

Daniel Abt had a much-needed strong weekend after only picking up three points in the last three races. He was outpaced on all three criteria in Moscow, but he’ll be hoping to set himself up nicely for season two by helping his team to the challenge e.dams-Renault for the team’s championship in the final two races.

  • Fastest Lap: Lucas di Grassi (5-4 to di Grassi)
  • Qualifying: Lucas di Grassi (18-9 to di Grassi)
  • Race: Lucas di Grassi (35-10 to di Grassi)

Audi Sport Abt: di Grassi 58-23 Abt

NextEV Team China Racing:

Nelson Piquet becomes only the second driver of the Formula E repeat winners club after leading the vast majority of the Moscow ePrix to extend his championship lead to a healthy 17 points – the biggest advantage he’s had all season – but the fact that there are 60 points available in the final two rounds means that he cannot rest on his laurels.

His team-mate this time was Antonio Garcia, who competed in Punta del Este when original driver Ho-Pin Tung was unavailable. Charles Pic appears to have been dropped by the team, so it remains to be seen if Garcia will compete in London to finish off the season.

As a contest, though, it’s hard to have seen it going any other way than a one-sided win to Piquet, a driver who is in sterling form against a driver in only his second Formula E race. A clean sweep to Piquet for Moscow.

  • Fastest Lap: Nelson Piquet Jr (1-0 to Piquet Jr)
  • Qualifying: Nelson Piquet Jr (3-0 to Piquet Jr)
  • Race: Nelson Piquet Jr (5-0 to Piquet Jr)

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

NextEV TCR: Piquet 9-0 Garcia

Dragon Racing:

It’s been a rollercoaster couple of races for the Dragon Racing team. From the heights of race victory and championship contention, they complete Moscow without a single point and without much hope of challenging for either title.

Loic Duval had a chaotic day with several mistakes and a couple of damaged cars. He was set to qualify quite well until he accidentally put his car into neutral, and had carved his way into challenging for the points until his late collision with Jarno Trulli capped off a woeful day for the Frenchman.

Jerome D’Ambrosio looked like he was going to enjoy a more successful day than his team-mate by running well into the points, but a pit stop delay sent him outside the top ten. He was unable to recover and now requires a lot of extenuating circumstances to win the driver’s championship at the double-header in London.

  • Fastest Lap: Loic Duval (5-0 to Duval)
  • Qualifying: Jerome D’Ambrosio (15-0 to D’Ambrosio)
  • Race: Jerome D’Ambrosio (25-0 to D’Ambrosio)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jerome D’Ambrosio 25-11 Oriol Servia
  • Race 5 onwards: Jerome D’Ambrosio 40-5 Loic Duval

Dragon Racing: D’Ambrosio 40-5 Duval

FIA Formula E Media
FIA Formula E Media

e.dams-Renault:

There may have only been two places between them on the grid, but that equated to almost a quarter of a second between the e.dams-Renault pair, with Buemi qualifying the higher of the two in fourth place, albeit behind his two main championship rivals.

As far as the intra-team battle went, neither driver saw each other and closest in track position they came was only when Buemi was slapped with a penalty after the race for an unsafe pit release, which dropped him to ninth behind team-mate Prost.

The penalty was hardly Buemi’s fault, and he wouldn’t have picked one up at all if the e.dams team hadn’t misread the minimum pit time. The mistake didn’t cost Buemi any positions, but it lost him a lot of time on his championship rivals. The Swiss pilot has nothing to be ashamed of though, he was close to faultless in Moscow. He gets another clean-sweep after setting a better fastest lap by over one second compared to his team-mate.

Despite their pit stop disaster, their points finish means they’re now the only team to have scored in every event this season.

  • Fastest Lap: Sebastien Buemi (7-2 to Buemi)
  • Qualifying: Sebastien Buemi (15-12 to Prost)
  • Race: Sebastien Buemi (30-15 to Buemi)

e.dams-Renault: Prost 32-49 Buemi

Mahindra Racing:

The Mahindra Formula E team are in freefall right now. Moscow saw them go three events without a point and slip behind the Venturi team into ninth place in the team’s championship. Their qualifying efforts weren’t as bad as the last race in Berlin, but 15th and 16th on the grid put them at a disadvantage at a circuit which became known for not promoting overtaking. Senna took qualifying honours by only 0.009 of a second, but neither were able to progress very far in the race.

Senna was undone by losing the back end of his car at turn one and detaching his rear wing, whilst Chandhok kept his nose clean and finished twelfth following some incidents further up the road. Race points go to Chandhok for having a tidier race, which closes the gap marginally in this particular team-mate battle.

  • Fastest Lap: Bruno Senna (5-4 to Chandhok)
  • Qualifying: Bruno Senna (15-12 to Senna)
  • Race: Karun Chandhok (22.5-22.5)

Mahindra Racing: Chandhok 39.5-41.5 Senna

TrulliGP:

The Trulli team would’ve been hoping to kick on after their improved showing in Berlin, but found themselves out of luck on the streets of Moscow. Jarno Trulli achieved a respectable starting position of ninth place, comfortably beating Vitantonio Liuzzi who failed to put a lap together and started 19th (only after Stephane Sarrazin’s penalty).

If there was an award for determination handed out in a race, then Jarno Trulli would’ve certainly been a candidate in Moscow. Hanging on to the lower reaches of the points-paying positions, Trulli successfully (although unfairly) held off Antonio Felix da Costa for most of the race by bailing out of the chicane every time the Amlin Aguri driver attempted a pass there. Trulli was fortunate to not be penalised there and then, and kept his position until after the pit stops. Through the misfortune of others, Trulli still had the chance of a point towards the end of the race, but a collision with Loic Duval finally ended the Italian’s efforts with three laps to go.

Vitantonio Liuzzi’s race never really got going; he was forced to pit in the first few laps of the race, but still manage to reach the end of the race, albeit one lap down. Problems or not, it’s unlikely he would’ve been able to overtake several cars and challenge his team-mate in Moscow, so the race points go to Trulli.

  • Fastest Lap: Jarno Trulli (4-1 to Trulli)
  • Qualifying: Jarno Trulli (12-3 to Trulli)
  • Race: Jarno Trulli (22.5-2.5 to Trulli)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jarno Trulli 24-12 Michela Cerruti
  • Race 5 onwards: Jarno Trulli 38.5-6.5 Vitantonio Liuzzi

Trulli: Trulli 38.5-6.5 Liuzzi

Venturi:

The Monegasque team’s slow-burner of a season is finally starting to light up. Incredibly, that was Nick Heidfeld’s and Venturi’s first podium of the season, despite the fact that he wasn’t able to celebrate it on the rostrum.

Despite starting eighth, Heidfeld gradually made his way through the field to fifth with a couple of laps remaining. He passed Jean-Eric Vergne before the chequered flag to take fourth place, which would become third after Buemi’s post-race penalty.

Stephane Sarrazin, meanwhile, was recovering from being put to the back of the grid after breaking parc fermé rules in qualifying. A spin part-way through the race set him back and he finished in 14th place. He set the faster race lap, but team-mate Heidfeld gets the majority of the points this time.

  • Fastest Lap: Stephane Sarrazin (6-3 to Sarrazin)
  • Qualifying: Nick Heidfeld (18-9 to Heidfeld)
  • Race: Nick Heidfeld (30-15 to Heidfeld)

Venturi: Heidfeld 51-30 Sarrazin

Adam Warner/LAT/Formula E
Adam Warner/LAT/Formula E

Virgin Racing:

The Moscow ePrix turned into Virgin Racing’s poorest event of the year. They were one of only three teams with a 100% points-scoring record prior to the race, but a bad day for both sides of the garage mean that they now fall behind the Andretti team in team’s championship.

Sam Bird’s day was hindered by a wheel coming off in practice and technical problems in practice, qualifying and the race. Remarkably he still managed to out-qualify his team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari, who had to settle for a lowly 17th.

Bird ran ahead for the early laps before he encountered further technical gremlins and Alguersuari was challenging for the top ten before he was penalised for exceeding the maximum power output. As he was running quite far ahead at the time, Bird gets the race points this time, but that’ll be little reward for a man whose championship challenge is barely existent.

Bird is still mathematically in championship contention going into his home race double-header in London, but he requires all available points to him. He would need to win both events, secure pole position in both events and achieve the fastest lap in both events, and hope that Piquet doesn’t score a single point. He would also need huge amounts of bad luck to befall the other championship challengers, ultimately meaning that unfortunately anyone who bets on Bird taking the driver’s crown would either look very foolish or very rich.

  • Fastest Lap: Sam Bird (6-3 to Bird)
  • Qualifying: Sam Bird (15-12 to Alguersuari)
  • Race: Sam Bird (35-10 to Bird)

Virgin Racing: Bird 53-28 Alguersuari

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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