This weekend, Formula E will head to a new destination for the 4th round of the season. After 3 seasons of being dominated by Audi Abt Schaeffler and Renault e.DAMS, a new team has emerged as a strong contender. Even though 3 races have been completed, it is safe to say that Mahindra Racing has a strong chance of running away with both championships. Now, as we head to the Santiago EPrix in Chile, we look forward to an interesting race on unfamiliar tarmac.
Story So Far
In the first race in Hong Kong, Sam Bird took the win ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Nick Heidfeld. In Race 2 it was Felix Rosenqvist who won the race, although Audi’s Daniel Abt crossed the finish line first. Mahindra’s Rosenqvist inherited the win after Abt’s car was disqualified on technical grounds. In Marrakesh, former champion Sebastien Buemi put up a fight but was ultimately beaten by Rosenqvist for the win. As a result, Rosenqvist and Mahindra Racing rocketed to the top of the standings.
The Santiago EPrix Track
The Santiago Street Circuit is a 2.46 km track with 12 corners. Drivers will be lining up on the grid along Avenue Santa Maria before crossing the river Mapocho. Then they will navigate their way around Plazza Baquedano before cutting through Forestal Park to return to the start/finish line.
With 2 wins under his belt, Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist will be a hot favourite. However, the likes of DS Virgin’s Sam Bird and Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne are proven race winners as well. Renault e.DAMS’ Sebastien Buemi is also getting back in the groove after a nightmarish Hong Kong stint. Rosenqvist’s experienced teammate Nick Heidfeld is also a dark horse, as are the Jaguar duo of Nelson Piquet and Mitch Evans. Also, if Audi can get on top of their issues, then defending champion Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt can be right up there.
This season, there are 3 rookie drivers competing in Formula E. Luca Filippi, Tom Blomqvist, Andre Lotterer and Edoardo Mortara made their debuts for NIO, Andretti, Techeetah and Venturi respectively. Another driver is Alex Lynn, driving for DS Virgin. Lynn actually debuted last season with the same team after Jose Maria Lopez had to honour his WEC contract. Lynn raced in 3 rounds of the season.
Of the rookies, Swiss driver Mortara has been the most impressive. In Hong Kong, he was even leading the race and would have won if he hadn’t spun off. Nevertheless, he recovered to finish 3rd on track. It would soon become 2nd after Abt’s exclusion, though.
Blomqvist has only had one race so far, having taken over from Kamui Kobayashi after Hong Kong. The British driver finished 8th in his debut race in Marrakesh. Lotterer had a dismal start to his debut season with a disqualification and a retirement in 2 of the 3 races. To make matters worse for the German, he cause the first Formula E red flag situation. Filippi has had an up and down debut season as he finished 10th in the opening race. It was followed by a non-finish and 16th place respectively.
As mentioned earlier, the Santiago EPrix will be new territory for all the drivers and they only have a one hour session to learn the track before Qualifying and the race on the same day. To help you, here is a quick track guide of the circuit.