Santiago ePrix: Vergne leads Techeetah one-two

    Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist gained up to 10 places to finish fourth.

    Published On Feb 04, 2018 04:11:00 PM

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    Santiago ePrix: Vergne leads Techeetah one-two

    Jean-Eric Vergne took his second Formula E victory at the Santiago ePrix, ahead of Techeetah team-mate Andre Lotterer, to give the team its first one-two.

    Sebastien Buemi grabbed third for Renault e.dams, but once again defending champion Lucas di Grassi was out of luck - retiring with yet another technical issue in his Audi. Fourth place for Felix Rosenqvist and fifth for Sam Bird (plus the fastest lap bonus point) kept their championship challenge on track - but Vergne now leads the standings.

    Vergne led away from pole position, but was under pressure into the first turn from Nelson Piquet Jr, who made a stunning getaway from fifth on the grid. The Jaguar driver remained hot on the Techeetah Renault's tail, before the race was cooled down under the safety car as Jose Maria Lopez and Maro Engel had their cars retrieved following separate opening-lap incidents.

    Piquet was caught napping at the restart, and over the first part of the race Vergne stretched out his lead to out to over 3.6 seconds before the mandatory pitstop. But by now it was Lotterer in second place, the German having pulled a slick move on 2014/15 champion Piquet into Turn 3, the right-hander that would be the main action point on the Santiago track.

    This was the first race where there was no minimum pitstop time and Rosenqvist was the big winner - leaping up from 10th place to fifth during the stops. The big loser was di Grassi, whose car ground to a halt as he exited the pits, extending the miserable start to his title defence.

    Bird stayed out a lap longer has rivals, but this didn't work to his benefit as he slipped from fourth back to sixth.

    With Vergne losing radio contact with his pit, he was forced to be cautious with his energy use, and this meant that Lotterer closed right in. On at least three occasions the team-mates touched, including one heart-stopping moment when Lotterer hooked his nose over Vergne's rear wing and literally pushed him into Turn 3.

    Buemi and Piquet staged a great duel for third, with Piquet overcooking his braking into Turn 3 as he tried to reclaim the position. As the Techeetah drivers held each other up, Buemi, Rosenqvist and Bird homed right in for a nail-biting conclusion, but Vergne and Lotterer held on ahead.

    Piquet and Mitch Evans ensured it was a decent day for Jaguar in sixth and seventh - Evans having driven a stunning race to come through from last despite a 10 seconds penalty.

    Jerome D'Ambrosio was another big winner in the pits and scored his first points of the season for Dragon in eighth. Antonio Felix da Costa was ninth for Andretti, while Nico Prost rounded out the points for Renault e.dams.

    Result

    POS

    DRIVER

    TEAM

    CAR

    LAPS

    GAP

    1

    Jean-Eric Vergne

    Techeetah

    Renault

    37

    1h01m24.514s

    2

    Andre Lotterer

    Techeetah

    Renault

    37

    1.154s

    3

    Sebastien Buemi

    e.dams

    Renault

    37

    1.959s

    4

    Felix Rosenqvist

    Mahindra

    Mahindra

    37

    2.793s

    5

    Sam Bird

    Virgin

    DS Virgin

    37

    4.490s

    6

    Nelson Piquet Jr.

    Jaguar

    Jaguar

    37

    6.364s

    7

    Mitch Evans

    Jaguar

    Jaguar

    37

    7.099s

    8

    Jerome d'Ambrosio

    Dragon

    Penske

    37

    13.308s

    9

    Antonio Felix da Costa

    Andretti

    Andretti

    37

    14.811s

    10

    Nicolas Prost

    e.dams

    Renault

    37

    21.092s

    11

    Tom Blomqvist

    Andretti

    Andretti

    37

    32.924s

    12

    Luca Filippi

    NIO

    NextEV NIO

    37

    44.127s

    13

    Edoardo Mortara

    Venturi

    Venturi

    37

    49.398s

    14

    Oliver Turvey

    NIO

    NextEV NIO

    37

    1m12.282s

    -

    Alex Lynn

    Virgin

    DS Virgin

    26

    Retirement

    -

    Nick Heidfeld

    Mahindra

    Mahindra

    23

    Retirement

    -

    Lucas di Grassi

    Audi

    Audi

    21

    Retirement

    -

    Daniel Abt

    Audi

    Audi

    11

    Retirement

    -

    Maro Engel

    Venturi

    Venturi

    0

    Retirement

    -

    Jose Maria Lopez

    Dragon

    Penske

    0

    Retirement

     

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