Santiago E-Prix: Mahindra misses out on second straight FE win
Mahindra Racing missed out on a second consecutive ABB FIA Formula E victory in the Santiago E-Prix, but maintained its 100% percent record podium in the 2018/19 season.
New recruit Pascal Wehrlein took the runner-up spot in only his second Formula E race, finishing 6 seconds behind race winner Sam Bird (Virgin Racing).
Wehrlein originally qualified third on the grid in Chile, but was promoted to the front row after provisional pole-sitter Lucas di Grassi (Audi) was disqualified for a technical infringement.
Wehrlein maintained his position for the first half of the race, but had no answer to Bird’s pace when the Virgin Racing driver activated the first of his attack modes, and dropped down to third.
After initially slipping a few seconds behind Sebastien Buemi (Nissan) and Bird, Wehrlein quickly caught onto the back of the leading duo after the second Full Course Yellow.
It was then Buemi made an error and hit the outside wall at the chicane, promoting Wehrlein up to second and setting up a two-horse race for victory.
The Mahindra initially bided his time before activating his final attack mode with just six minutes and an extra lap remaining in the race.
He attempted a move several times, but Bird’s extensive Formula E experience meant that he always had things under cover.
With about three laps to go, Wehrlein appeared to run into overheating issues in what was the series’ hottest ever race.
The situation appeared alarming, but Wehrlein handled it carefully to finish second and secure his first ever Formula E podium.
It was also Mahindra’s third consecutive rostrum finish in 2018/19 season following d’Ambrosio’s third place finish in Riyadh and victory in Marrakesh.
Unfortunately, d’Ambrosio wasn’t able to continue his own podium record after a mistake in qualifying left him 20th on the grid.
He, however, did manage to make his way up inside the points and finish eighth, gaining several positions away from sight during the dying moments of the race.
Update: Bird was briefly put under investigation for an underweight car, but no further action was taken.
Update 2: d'Ambrosio was handed a five second penalty for speeding under FCY and dropped down to 10th in the final race classification.
Santiago E-Prix: Bird beats Wehrlein as Buemi crashes out
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|Drivers||Pascal Wehrlein , Jérôme d'Ambrosio|