2015 Formula E Punta del Este ePrix Sebastien Buemi
  • Image Credit: Formula E
Punta del Este ePrix Lucas di Grassi
  • Image Credit: Formula E
2015 Punta del Este ePrix crowd
  • Image Credit: Formula E
2015 Punta del Este ePrix street course
  • Image Credit: Formula E
2015 Punta del Este ePrix Podium
  • Image Credit: Formula E
Formula E returned to streets of Punta del Este in Uruguay this weekend for the third round in the championship. And the results were anything but predictable as the man and team to beat didn't take pole position. After starting from the front at the first two races this season, Sébastien Buemi in the Renault e.Dams was stuck way down in fifth place on the starting grid.

In his place, Jérôme d'Ambrosio put his Venturi-powered Dragon on pole for the first time, lining up alongside his teammate Loïc Duval. Sam Bird took third for DS Virgin, followed by Lucas di Grassi in the Abt-Audi, fresh from his win in Putrajaya. Buemi started next, followed by his teammate Nicolas Prost, Daniel Abt of his namesake team, António Félix da Costa (for Aguri), Bruno Senna (Mahindra), and Oliver Turvey (NextEV China). Defending champion Nelson Piquet was relegated to twelfth on the starting grid, and former F1 champ Jacques Villeneuve crashed during qualifying to be excluded from the race.

Buemi, however, wasted no time in fighting back to the top as soon as the race got underway, passing di Grassi right off the line on the clean side of the track. Bird overtook Duval in the opening laps for second, but it wasn't long before Buemi overtook them both, then closed in and took the lead from D'Ambrosio – never to relinquish it again.

Di Grassi followed Buemi up the field to land in second, but couldn't quite catch up to Buemi. After a strong initial showing, Bird suffered an electrical problem that took him out of the race and brought out a full-course yellow flag. But even after the ranks were closed, di Grassi still couldn't get past Buemi.

With Bird out of the way and Buemi unassailable in the lead, the top four stayed tightly packed. Duval pressed D'Ambrosio for third but couldn't get past. Further adrift, Jean-Eric Vergne used the popularly awarded FanBoost to overtake Stéphane Sarrazin, and won the battle with Piquet when the defending champ hit the wall sideways on entry to the chicane.

Ultimately Buemi took his second win out of three races so far this season after a commanding performance. Di Grassi took another second-place finish (following his win in Malaysia and second in Beijing). And d'Ambrosio scored his first podium of the season (following his win and two second-place finishes last season). The remaining points went to Duval, Prost, da Costa, Vergne, Abt, Sarrazin, and Andretti's Robin Frijns. His teammate Simona de Silvestro finished eleventh, followed by Turvey, Oliver Rowland, and Nathanaël Berthon. Piquet, Senna, and Bird failed to make it to the finish line, with Villeneuve excluded following his two prior finishes outside the points.

The results leave Buemi just ahead of di Grassi in the championship standings, with 62 points to 61. D'Ambrosio trails in third with 28 points, ahead of Bird and Duval with 24 apiece, Heidfeld and Frijns with 17 each, and Sarrazin and da Costa each with 16. Renault e.Dams holds the lead in the teams' standings with 73 points to Abt's 71 and Dragon's 52. The championship resumes in early February in Argentina for the Buenos Aires ePrix.

Help us improve our comments.
Share This Photo X