Sebastien Buemi continues his winning streak in style
Reigning champion Sebastien Buemi has won the third round of the Formula E 2016/17 season, bringing his lead in the championship to 29 points over rival Lucas di Grassi.
Di Grassi made some inroads by clinching pole position earlier in the day, and with it three points to bring Buemi’s lead down to 19, who could only manage third fastest in the Super Pole shootout.
The Brazilian got away cleanly from the line at the start of the race ahead of Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and the Renault e.dams of Buemi.
The race was briefly neutralised by a full course yellow, preventing Di Grassi from building a gap to the rest of the field, as Jaguar Racing driver Adam Carroll was left stranded on the grid.
After the race restarted, Vergne launched an attack on Di Grassi and passed him on the wide left-hander of turn four to take the lead of the race.
This pushed Di Grassi into the clutches of Buemi, who made short work of passing his closest rival in the drivers’ championship before setting about challenging Vergne for the lead, making his move around turn one’s tight hairpin. In the space of six laps, there were three different drivers leading the race.
Di Grassi then fell pray to the other Renault e.dams of Nico Prost, who went up the inside of the Abt Audi Sport driver at the ever-popular turn four.
Buemi started to control his own pace from there on, and all three protagonists managed clean pitstops, though there was a hairy moment for Di Grassi as his Abt Audi Sport was released into the path of nemesis Nelson Piquet Jr.
Shortly after this with just under half the race still to go, Di Grassi managed to jump back past Prost to reclaim third after gaining momentum on the longest straight of the Formula E calendar.
However neither he nor Vergne could claw back the lead Buemi had built up, and the Swiss driver sailed to victory for the third time this season.
Nextev NIO driver Oliver Turvey managed to stay with the three leaders in the opening stages of the race. He passed Di Grassi around the left-hander of turn four for third place, but started to struggle with energy management approaching mid-distance and had to pit a lap earlier than those around him. By the end of the pitstop window, he had fallen from third to sixth: he was then caught by the Faraday Future Dragon Racing cars and Daniel Abt and finished down in ninth.
Last year’s winner Sam Bird started to drop down the order on the second lap, his DS Virgin Racing car having picked up damage on the restart. The Brit was forced to pit early for his second car: his final hope of points would be to set the fastest lap of the race. In between attempts to do so, Bird had to cruise round and keep out of the way of cars still in contention but finished his day in the wall on the final racing lap.
Race was over pretty quick today. Jerome Dambrosio didn’t give me any room at the hairpin and oversteered into me it forced me into the wall
— sam bird (@sambirdracing) 18 February 2017
Local hero Jose Maria Lopez started the race on the back row after crashing his car in qualifying, and with the support of the home crowd fought his way back up the order to tenth to clinch the final point on offer.
FIA Formula E 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix Results
- Sebastien Buemi Renault e.dams
- Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah
- Lucas di Grassi Abt Audi Sport
- Nico Prost Renault e.dams
- Nelson Piquet Nextev NIO
- Loic Duval Faraday Future Dragon Racing
- Daniel Abt Abt Audi Sport
- Jerome D’Ambrosio Faraday Future Dragon Racing
- Oliver Turvye Nextev NIO
- Jose Maria Lopez DS Virgin Racing
- Antonio Felix Da Costa MS Amlin Andretti
- Stephane Sarrazin Venturi
- Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing
- Robin Frijns MS Amlin Andretii
- Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing
- Ma Qing Hua Techeetah
- Adam Carroll Panasoni Jaguar Racing
- Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing
- Maro Engel Venturi
DNF: Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing
Formula E returns with the Mexico ePrix on Saturday 1st April