The lights-to-flag victory that was enjoyed by Renault e.Dams driver Sebastien Buemi wasn’t to be replicated in Putrajaya as we were treated to a fascinating race with explosive action and drama. In our second team-mate battles feature for season two, we look at how the intra-team battles have heated up.
Buemi 1 – 1 Prost
Looking in comparison to Beijing, this race can only be described as a disaster for the French marquee. Coming on the back of a dominant performance in China, you’d fully count on another lights-to-flag victory. Both Renault’s suffered from software issues which caused Buemi to briefly stop out on track and Prost to pit early to swap his car.
It was then a case of tip-toeing around conserving power in order to make the chequered flag. Prost initially took the lead but got overtaken in the latter half of the race and finished just inside the points. Buemi didn’t score any race points, but managed to get points for pole position and fastest lap.
Duval 1 – 1 D’Ambrosio
Dragon Racing continues to impress in the paddock with their speed and efficiency. Their Putrajaya ePrix was unfortunately less of a success as both cars retired finishing in the wall. A slow pitstop meant that Prost leap-frogged Duval for P2, but before this the Dragon car was holding its own up front.
D’Ambrosio managed to last more laps than his team mate and as such, is classified higher on the final race results but the Belgian was running in P2 at this point. It was a costly race for Dragon who could’ve taken quite a haul of points.
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Di Grassi 2 – 0 Abt
Lucas di Grassi had another successful weekend qualifying and finishing ahead of his teammate but importantly, both Abt cars crossed the line in points paying positions. Di Grassi’s victory is an important one for the team and sees the Brazilian leap to the top of the drivers’ championship.
LMP2 star Daniel Abt is still continuing his podium drought and last finished in the top three back in Miami last season. The talent is definitely there, but Daniel will have to work on his setup if he is to push his team mate for results.
Piquet 1 – 1 Turvey
It was another troubling weekend for NEXTEV squad; the talent sitting in their cars is not in doubt, but unfortunately the drivers haven’t been given the car that they need to push for victories. Turvey ended his race in the wall after his throttle stuck on mid-corner and was racing in P17 when he retired.
Piquet had a better weekend and he can take some positives from the race. The Brazilian managed to conserve his power in the first phase of the race and pitted later than everyone else. As the rest of the field were desperately clinging on to their power reserves, Piquet managed to crawl up six places to finish an impressive P7. There is still a lot of work to do at NEXTEV if the team can regularly challenge for points.
DS Virgin Racing
Bird 2 – 0 Vergne
Sam Bird was hoping of a repeat performance from last season where he took a storming victory through the field. Although he couldn’t quite make the top step of the podium, he did finish in second place; something he was pretty happy about considering how his weekend started with a frantic scramble to get his car fixed.
Bird’s team mate Jean-Eric Vergne had a more difficult weekend crashing out on lap 1 in the race. However, the Frenchman did qualify ahead of Sam Bird by a tiny 0.085s. This intra-team competition looks like it’ll be the closest on the grid and should prove to be exciting as the season ramps up.
De Silvestro 0 – 2 Frijns
There’s not a lot of electric racing experience on the Andretti driver roster, but Formula E rookie Robin Frijns showed his class with an amazing drive towards the end of the race. Whilst making a move on Duval’s Dragon he ran wide on a mix of marbles and track breakup. He clipped the barrier and his car was crabbing badly; but the Dutchman not only got his car home, but stepped on the podium too.
It was another DNF for Simona de Silvestro who will definitely be feeling the frustration of not making it past the first lap. The speed is definitely there; she was quick in London. We’ll only know how the Swiss-born racer, known as “the Iron Maiden”, will fare when she completes the race distance.
Da Costa 1 – 1 Berthon
Team Aguri had a mixed race in Putrajaya, but it was another race where the team scored some valuable points. Antonio Felix Da Costa was running as high as second place in the latter half of the race but a mechanical failure saw him stop out on track and slip down to P12. Da Costa managed to claw back five positions to finish P6.
Nathanael Berthon qualified some 0.7s behind his Portuguese teammate and couldn’t make gains during the race. He managed to see the chequered flag, albeit finishing last out of all the runners. The Formula E rookie has a lot of time to find if he’s going to challenge his experienced teammate.
Heidfeld 1 – 1 Senna
Senna had a great race and felt sure that a podium position was possible. He qualified ahead of his teammate and raced well to finish in a solid points paying position despite stopping on track under the safety car.
Nick Heidfeld, who scored a podium in the previous round, had a fight on his hands in order to get the points that he scored in Malaysia. His race was compromised after a shunt at the first corner and the rest of his afternoon was blighted by radio issues. The German even had a drive-through penalty for an early pitlane release, and due to the lack of radio and human error, it felt more like a stop/go.
Villeneuve 0 – 2 Sarrazin
Sarrazin had a remarkable drive at Putrajaya to finish an incredible P4 after starting towards the back of the grid. The Frenchman, whoscored his highest finish in Formula E, started in P2 but couldn’t get the car started and was relegated to the back. Sarrazin raced well and even managed to gain five positions in the last five laps of the race.
Villeneuve had contact with another car for the second race in a row, has he was involved in the Vergne/Heidfeld incident on the first lap. The 1997 F1 World Champion couldn’t really make any headway after the pitstops and finished just outside the points in P11. Villeneuve will be looking forward to an incident-free race in Punta del Este.
Duran 0 – 0 Luizzi
Trulli didn’t participate in the Putrajaya ePrix due to their car failing scrutineering; therefore the drivers haven’t scored this weekend.