In Formula E, the most important person to beat is your teammate. Who did just that in Buenos Aires? 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.
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.
What a turnaround for Amlin Aguri! Having only amassed six points in the first three rounds, they are now Formula E race-winners. The victory may have been somewhat inherited, but as the old saying goes: “To finish first, first you must finish”.
Da Costa thought that his best qualifying lap was a bit conservative and that he might have been able to qualify higher than eighth. We can only speculate if that’s true or not but the Amlin Aguri team have certainly found some pace from somewhere and we may see them rising up in the Team’s Championship in the next few races.
Whilst Da Costa was pestering the leaders, Salvador Duran was left to scrap for the final few points-paying positions. Whilst the Mexican has shown some improvements in pace, he didn’t really seem to want to put up much of a fight on the racetrack, seemingly just “waving drivers through” as Dario Franchitti pointed out. Despite his ‘Sunday driver’ approach, he was able to finish in eighth place, only to be hit with a disqualification for exceeding the maximum power output rules. He can, however, be pleased with having a fastest lap only one tenth away from his race-winning team-mate.
Fastest Lap: Antonio Felix da Costa (1-1)
Qualifying: Antonio Felix da Costa (6-0 to Da Costa)
Race: Antonio Felix da Costa (10-0 to Da Costa)
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 17-1 Salvador Duran
Amlin Aguri: 35-1 to Da Costa/Sato
Andretti Formula E:
It’s a new Formula E race, so that means we have the customary Andretti team driver swap. Despite the criticisms for constant driver changes, it turns out Andretti’s driver-switching was very necessary, and now that Marco Andretti looks to be driving for at least the next two rounds in the USA, it’s going to make my job a little easier as to which driver is doing the best job. Although I think we may have to make the first three rounds redundant because there’s absolutely no basis for comparison anywhere. Scoring will (hopefully) start from Buenos Aires onwards.
As it turns out, Marco Andretti was unable make the same impact that Jean-Eric Vergne did in Punta del Este. He was out-qualified by over a second, but may well have been competing for points if he hadn’t have been caught out by the safety car, which put him a lap down. A twelfth place finish and a reasonable fastest lap is a solid foundation, but he’ll surely be hoping for better in the next round.
Vergne, however, had quite a combative race. He was running with the leading pack until the pit stops, and from there he was challenging for what would become second place. He was a bit impatient whilst trying to pass Alguersuari and, whilst he was coming up against some keen defensive driving, he didn’t seem too bothered about bumping Alguersuari out of the way.
That aside, it was a strong race from Vergne, who may well have held on to a podium had he not suffered over-heating issues with his battery very late on. He’ll get the TM Battles points this week for a good drive to his first Formula E points.
Fastest Lap: Jean-Eric Vergne (1-0 to Vergne)
Qualifying: Jean-Eric Vergne (3-0 to Vergne)
Race: Jean-Eric Vergne (5-0 to Vergne)
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
Andretti Formula E: 9-0 to Jean-Eric Vergne
Audi Sport Abt:
It has to be said, if this championship was to go to the final race, then we might need to start seeing a bit more bad luck from the championship leader this season. It looked for a couple of laps as though he had benefitted from others misfortune once again when he took the lead from Sebastien Buemi. This lead only lasted a couple of minutes as his suspension failed on the exit of the chicane which resulted in his championship lead cut to 10 points. Prior to the incident, he had done everything right from where he started. He gradually scythed his way forward from fifth on the grid to be challenging for the lead in the second half of the race.
Team-mate Daniel Abt was also eliminated from the race in the later .Sp5rl!47rs, albeit because of a slightly over-zealous overtake in a crowd of cars. Abt out-braked himself on a dusty surface and slid straight into Jaime Alguersuari with less than two laps to go. Despite being at fault for the collision, the poor guy must feel like he can’t catch a break at the moment.
Regardless of fortunes, it was Lucas di Grassi who was the dominant Audi driver in Buenos Aires and completes a clean-sweep this time.
Fastest Lap: Lucas di Grassi (2-2)
Qualifying: Lucas di Grassi (9-3 to di Grassi)
Race: Lucas di Grassi (20-0 to di Grassi)
Audi Sport Abt: 31-5 to di Grassi
Nelson Piquet was throwing his name into the hat for the Driver’s Championship after Buenos Aires, as the Brazilian had a bizarre but successful race. Set back by the red light at the end of the pit lane, he had to fight his way through the pack and, if he had known that he was actually racing them, he may well have finished higher up. He took third place, much to his surprise, after believing he was a lap down. With many of the championship leaders struggling, he’s now within a win away from Lucas di Grassi at the top of the standings. At this early .Sp5rl!47r, he’s certainly a candidate.
Ho-Pin Tung was back in the second seat after fufilling other duties and missing Punta del Este. However, it seems the reserve driver would’ve been a better pick than the regular driver. Antonio Garcia almost scored points last time out, whereas Ho-Pin Tung was, once again, miles off the pace of his team-mate. It’s another clean sweep for Piquet, but the question is; can Piquet achieve a 100% record for this season against his team-mate? At the moment, that definitely looks achievable.
Fastest Lap: Nelson Piquet Jr (4-0 to Piquet)
Qualifying: Nelson Piquet Jr (12-0 to Piquet)
Race: Nelson Piquet Jr (20-0 to Piquet)
China Racing: 36-0 to Piquet
Jerome D’Ambrosio is making a bit of a habit of having to drive through the field during a race. This time, after being unable to continue in qualifying, the Belgian started from the pit lane, cruised around towards the back, seemingly encountering issues and finishing two laps down.
Oriol Servia was almost equally as anonymous in his race to tenth place (later becoming ninth after Duran’s disqualification). Interestingly, Servia is the only driver to have finished in points-paying positions in every race so far, albeit finishing no higher than seventh.
Such discreet races for both drivers makes it difficult to assess them, but Servia will have the race points on this occasion for a consistent drive to a points finish.
Fastest Lap: Jerome D’Ambrosio (4-0 to D’Ambrosio)
Qualifying: Oriol Servia (6-6)
Race: Oriol Servia (15-5 to D’Ambrosio)
Dragon Racing: 25-11 to D’Ambrosio
Sebasitien Buemi looked to be in a bullish mood throughout free practice, topping the time sheets in both sessions before taking pole position. Throughout the race, he looked to be on course to convert pole position into victory until his collision with the wall at the chicane, put under pressure by championship rival Lucas di Grassi.
Nicolas Prost, on the other hand, had a fairly quiet event until the last couple of laps of the race. He capitalised on the errors of others up front and avoided any damage from the heated battle for the podium to emerge in second place. The result means that the e.dams drivers are just one point apart in the championship.
This is certainly a tough one to call. Buemi was in control for practice, qualifying and most of the race, but it was ultimately a driver error that cost him victory in Buenos Aires, whereas Prost was second best against his team-mate all weekend, but finished the race, and finished well. Race points will go to Prost for making it onto the podium, avoiding all chaos, and apparently suffering with flu too.
Fastest Lap: Nicolas Prost (3-1 to Buemi)
Qualifying: Sebastien Buemi (9-3 to Prost)
Race: Nicolas Prost (10-10)
e.dams-Renault: 20-16 to Prost
After a forgetable qualifying session for Bruno Senna, he was another driver with a lot of work to do for the race and, if he hadn’t have been held up by the red light at the end of the pit lane, he may well have emerged in the leading pack and been on course for a podium. Despite the if’s and but’s, it was a great recovery from Senna who is now looking desperate to earn his first Formula E podium.
Karun Chandhok looked set for a semi-decent points finish until his rear suspension gave in. The Indian driver never troubled the top of the timesheets, but looked good money for a solid points finish. This stroke of poor fortune means that both he and Senna are tied on 18 points in the Driver’s Championship, but both are hoping for better when they get to Miami.
Senna looked the quicker man during the race, so gets the race points today, but it would’ve been useful to see them battling on the track.
Fastest Lap: Bruno Senna (2-2)
Qualifying: Karun Chandhok (9-3 to Chandhok)
Race: Bruno Senna (10-10)
Mahindra Racing: 21-15 to Chandhok
It was another day of “what could’ve been” for the TrulliGP team as they just couldn’t stay out of the wars. Michela Cerruti almost put the car in the wall during her qualifying group, whilst Jarno Trulli crashed at the very same corner later on in the session, failing to set a lap time.
Starting 17th and 20th was always going to be a tall order for points. Damage done to Cerruti’s car in a collision with Bruno Senna on lap one put her a long way behind and Trulli was unable to generate much pace in the race, circulating towards the back before retiring from the event with about three laps to go. A thoroughly frustrating weekend for the team which sees them drop to ninth in the Team’s Championship.
They were running close together in the opening laps, but race points will go to Trulli for managing to stay out of trouble a bit more than Cerruti.
Fastest Lap: Jarno Trulli (3-1 to Trulli)
Qualifying: Michela Cerruti (6-6)
Race: Jarno Trulli (15-5 to Trulli)
TrulliGP: 24-12 to Trulli
Poor old Nick Heidfeld. He’s lead two races, challenged for a podium in three of them and been one corner away from winning a race, yet he has only five points to his name for the season. This time, he was thwarted by a speed limiter that was not set on his second race car, meaning he broke the pit lane speed limit, incurring a drive-through penalty. Venturi will be desperate to turn around their fortunes, especially with their home ePrix of Monaco coming up later in the year.
For Stephane Sarrazin, despite seeming to making something of a breakthrough in the Punta del Este test day, was a considerable distance behind his team-mate. This was made evident by the fact that Heidfeld still finished ahead despite picking up a penalty. A clean sweep for Heidfeld this time.
Fastest Lap: Nick Heidfeld (2-2)
Qualifying: Nick Heidfeld (12-0 to Heidfeld)
Race: Nick Heidfeld (20-0 to Heidfeld)
Venturi: 34-2 to Heidfeld
This was a close battle between the two in Argentina. Jaime Alguersuari looked to have finally got to grips with these Formula E cars, narrowly missing out on pole position by less than half a tenth. Sam Bird was just a couple of tenths behind him in fourth.
They ran together for the opening phase of the race, only being separated when Alguersuari made an earlier pit stop, which backfired as he lost touch with the leaders. From there, Sam Bird was fighting for the podium and victory whilst Alguersuari became a moving punchbag as his group battled for what would become the final podium places.
Alguersuari struggled to show relive his qualifying pace and, when drivers overtook, he was rarely able to fight back. The pace has certainly improved for the Spandiard, but his race pace just doesn’t seem to be quite at the level of Bird yet, made evident by a fastest lap for Sam Bird, race points go to Bird this time (but only just).
This will certainly be an entertaining team-mate battle for the remainder of this season.
Fastest Lap: Sam Bird (2-2)
Qualifying: Jaime Alguersuari (9-3 to Alguersuari)
Race: Sam Bird (15-5 to Bird)
Virgin Racing: 20-16 to Bird
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