Sebastian Buemi took a commanding win in which was the first ever Buenos Aires ePrix in Formula E’s history. Its comes to a shock, as it looked like the ABT Audi team were best suited to the streets of Argentina.
Buemi had qualified P3 earlier in the day, but managed to overcome both Jean-Eric Vergne and pole man Di Grassi to complete a hat trick of wins in the opening 3 rounds of the season.
Vergne’s pace through the last few laps of the race was not enough to mount a genuine race winning charge and he took the chequered flag in 2nd. Di Grassi had dropped as far as 5th, but reignited his pace after the car swap over to allow him to reclaim 3rd place come the end of the race.
As the 5 red lights went out, the #11 ABT Shaeffler enjoyed a perfect launch off the start line allowing Di Grassi to maintain his lead into the first corner.
Further behind, Jaguar’s Adam Carroll failed to make it off the start line and so brought out a Full Course Yellow. As the track resumed to Green Di Grassi fended off any threat.
Vergne did manage to pass the Brazilian on Lap 3 with Buemi following suit. With both drivers running the optimum package- the Renault powertrain- they passed Di Grassi as the leader fell to third.
On Lap 6 Buemi made his move on Vergne up the inside of Turn 1. Getting the job done on brakes, he took a wide apex to defend any counter from the Frenchman through T2 and moved up into the lead of the race.
Despite a strong initial showing, Di Grassi’s falling back in the ABT Schaeffler emphasised the Renault’s dominance over last season’s closest challengers.
This allowed Buemi to complete his third set of three wins in a row in his Formula E career.
Tooted pre-season as a potential championship challenger, Sam Bird’s race win from Buenos Aires twelve months ago seemed a far off memory as on Lap 8 he was forced to pit. He dropped early on to P19 and then suspected damage to the rear left of his DS Virgin curtailed any remaining optimism. He resumed after the pit stop faze in the second car to set the fastest lap of the race to secure a precious additional championship point but his race efforts returned nothing else.
Maro Engel was forced into retirement as the same qualifying technical issues manifested themselves in the back of the #5 Venturi.
Mitch Evans looked to have claimed Jaguar’s first Formula E points. Despite falling off from the lead pack and with useable energy levels up to 10% less than those on same lap, he nevertheless marked Jaguar’s progress during the off season. However, having been rewarded with a 5 second penalty for speeding under the FCY, he was relegated to P11 and out of the points.
Rosenqvist had opted to stay on track passed the preferred Lap 19 pit stop, but his efforts were in vein as the second car would not calibrate itself. As he sat stationary in the pit garage it effectively ended his chances of scoring points.
Home man Lopez delivered a hard fought 10th place in front of his Argentinean fans who applauded with every overtake the 3-time World Touring Car Champion made. The highlight of his charge from P18 on the grid was a diving pass on Stephane Sarrazin on Lap 13, pushing the multi-disciplined Venturi driver out wide through Turn 4.
Images: FIA Formula E
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