Sebastiaan Buemi had to work hard for his victory in Uruguay having started in P5 on the grid. With a Dragon Racing 1-2 we look back at a thrilling Punta del Este ePrix and find out how the teammate battles are shaping up after the third round.
Buemi 2 – 1 Prost
Buemi’s charge from fifth position on the grid to a race win required hard work and finesse to pass under the tricky, sandy conditions at Punta del Este. This excellent display of skill ensured that the Swiss man was leading after the pitstops and had only the latter half of the race to ensure he kept his lead.
Nico Prost started just one place behind his teammate on the grid and struggled to match Buemi’s pace. The Frenchman was caught up in a battle with the front runners and couldn’t make any headway on those ahead. He finished in P5, one place ahead of where he started.
Duval 1 – 2 D’Ambrosio
Dragon’s spectacular front row lockout was marred by a difficult start to the race as, by lap eight, both cars had been overtaken by Buemi. D’Ambrosio initially got away well and managed to hold on to his lead but after the round of pitstops, the Belgian was bumped down into second place by Di Grassi.
Duval had a more eventful start to the race. The Frenchman got a poor getaway due to the sand at the start which affected almost everyone on the left hand side of the grid. This allowed Sam Bird to take the initiative and the position from Duval. Buemi also managed to get past, but as Sam Bird started to struggle in the opening stint, Duval managed to take the position back from the Briton.
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Di Grassi 3 – 0 Abt
The ABT team had another points finish, but still didn’t manage to get both cars onto the podium; a feat that the team has never managed to achieve. Di Grassi was running as low as sixth before a timely pitstop ensured that the Brazilian would finish in P2 for his third consecutive podium finish.
Daniel Abt couldn’t quite match his teammate for overall pace, but did finish in the points yet again. Whether the team have a strong enough driver line-up to challenge for the teams’ championship remains to be seen, but things are moving in a positive direction for the German.
Piquet 1 – 2 Turvey
Another low-key race for the NEXTEV team saw both cars firmly planted in the mid-field in qualifying. Piquet failed to finish the race after a battle with Jean-Eric Vergne which put his car into the wall. It was feisty driving from the Frenchman who didn’t hold any punches, but Piquet may feel that this move contributed to his retirement.
Turvey raced well in the first part of the race and was on for a points’ finish after the pitstops; but with a stop the broke the minimum time he received a drive-through penalty and was bumped down to 12th and out of the points.
DS Virgin Racing
Bird 2 – 1 Vergne
DS Virgin had a mixed qualifying with Sam Bird starting in third place, but Jean-Eric Vergne starting down in 17th. Bird started the race well and managed to leapfrog the Dragon car of Duval for second place. Following his pitstop, Bird’s Virgin stopped on track and couldn’t get going again. After a few attempts at a restart, he retired from the race.
Vergne had an eventful race battling up through the field. Before the pitstop he climbed an impressive eight places. After stopping he spent the latter half of the race climbing the field once again; his final overtake was a feisty move on Piquet. He finished just inside the points.
De Silvestro 0 – 3 Frijns
Simona De Silvestro managed to finish the race and got a good first few laps in initially before Berthon and Vergne charged through. After the pitstops, the Swiss driver couldn’t make any gains on her 13th place, finally finishing in 11th after other drivers crashed out or suffered problems.
Frijns continues to impress on his rookie season and ran well just inside the top ten. After the pitstops, the Dutch driver managed to haul himself back into the points and holds an impressive seventh place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Da Costa 2 – 1 Berthon
The Aguri cars continue to perform well using last seasons’ powertrain. Da Costa qualified in a strong eighth place and made some decent progress on the opening laps to head into the pits in seventh. When rejoining the track, the Portuguese man managed to hold station finishing in sixth overall.
It was a slightly more difficult day for Berthon who started from P14 and after dropping a place at the start, worked his way up to 13th before the pitstops. It was a low-key race for Berthon who finished last of the classified runners.
Heidfeld 1 – 1 Senna
Rowland 1 – 0 Senna
Mahindra had a difficult day in Punta del Este; their car has been running towards the front during the first two races, but something didn’t quite work here. Senna got a puncture early in the race and, following Formula E’s first ever mid-race tyre change, the Brazilian had to retire from the race reporting issues with his brakes.
Rowland’s first ever Formula E race was an “enjoyable experience” and the British youngster even go up to second place during the pitstop window. Rowland raced well and finished just ahead of Berthon; impressive considering that he’s had little experience in an electric racer.
Villeneuve 0 – 3 Sarrazin
The Venturi squad are very much hit and miss this season. Villeneuve managed to crash his car in qualifying and with Formula E race weekends having such a tight schedule, his car wasn’t repaired in time.
The teams’ hopes were pinned on Sarrazin who started strongly getting into the final points paying position before the pitstop window. An eventful second half of the race saw the Frenchman lose two positions, then gain them back again to get ninth place and score two points.