|2015 Buenos Aires ePrix|
Circuit Layout for the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix
|Date||10th January 2015|
|Official Name||2015 FIA Formula E Buenos Aires ePrix|
|Location||Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires|
|Lap length||2.44km (1.52mi)|
|Distance||35 laps / 85.40km (53.07mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Sebastien Buemi|
|Fastest Lap||1:11.540 on lap 29|
|António Félix da Costa||Nicolas Prost||Nelson Piquet, Jr.|
|Winner Team||Amlin Aguri|
|Punta del Este||Miami|
After news emerged of Franck Montagny testing positive for cocaine and being served with a suspension from all FIA competitions, Marco Andretti was announced as his replacement at Andretti Autosport, taking over the #28 Spark-Renault. Also returning to the grid would be Ho-Pin Tung for China Racing, whom missed out on Punta del Este through other commitments. Montagny would later be banned from competing in any FIA championship for two years after the investigation was completed in March 2015.
Lucas di Grassi came to Buenos Aires with an eighteen point lead in the Driver's championship, with Sam Bird and Sebastien Buemi tied on 40 points. Nicolas Prost was slowly climbing into the title fight, having overtaken Nelson Piquet, Jr. for fourth, but the pair were already more than 30 points behind di Grassi.
Audi Sport ABT had, meanwhile, lost their lead in the Team's championship in Punta del Este, and now sat two points behind e.dams-Renault on 62 points. Virgin Racing were in clean air in third, eight behind ABT and eighteen ahead of Dragon Racing. Dragon however, would have to focus on fending off Andretti Autosport, whom were sat on 33 points, just three back. The Venturi Formula E Team sat at the bottom of the Team's standings, three points behind Amlin Aguri, after Trulli GP picked up their first points in Uruguay.
The full entry list for the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below:
The qualifying groups were announced shortly after practice one, with the draw carried out at random. Starting at 12:00pm, the drivers had ten minutes in their groups to set their fastest time, following the usual proceedure.
Punta del Este winner Sebastien Buemi was joined by Sam Bird, Antonio Felix da Costa, Nelson Piquet Jr, and the returning Ho-Pin Tung of China Racing. Buemi came out on top in the group, setting the first time of the session and what proved to be the fastest in qualifying overall, handing e.dams-Renault their second pole of the season.
Bird was next in the group for Virgin Racing, setting a time two tenths slower than the Swiss driver, ultimately slipping to fourth overall. Next up were da Costa and Piquet, ending up eighth and ninth respectively overall, half a second slower than Buemi. Last in the group, and fifteenth overall, was Tung, whose return to Formula E in Buenos Aires saw him go one and a half seconds slower than his team mate.
Group 2 saw Jaime Alguersuari, Nicolas Prost, Michela Cerruti, Oriol Servia and championship leader Lucas di Grassi take to the track. It turned out that Alguersuari would be the class of the group, missing out on pole by just 0.027s for Virgin Racing. Di Grassi was next up for Audi Sport Abt, ending up fifth overall, looking to use his starting position to extend his championship lead. Prost also ended up in the top ten, although he could not match the pace of his Swiss team mate, placing seventh overall and half a second down.
Servia took thirteenth overall for Dragon Racing, with Cerruti down in seventeenth. Di Grassi, meanwhile, hit the wall with his right rear on his second lap, with Audi Sport Abt needing to repair the car after qualifying.
Next into the ring were the Venturi boys, Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin, accompanied by Daniel Abt, Salvador Duran and Karun Chandhok. Heidfeld proved to be the fastest in the group, claiming third overall (pushing Bird down to fourth by just 0.021s), with team mate Sarrazine down in eleventh. Chandhok out-qualified Sarrazine by three tenths to take tenth for Mahindra Racing, with Abt in close attendance in twelfth. Duran was slowest in the group, ending up in sixteenth.
Marco Andretti made his debut for Andretti Autosport as part of the final group in qualifying, joined by a host of former Formula One drivers. Andretti team mate Jean-Eric Vergne went fastest in the group, completing the session in sixth, with Andretti himself ending the session in a positive fourteenth, just over a second off of his team mate's time.
The final three places on the grid would be occupied by the remaining members of the group. Jerome d'Ambrosio took eighteenth after a difficult session for Dragon Racing, while Bruno Senna claimed nineteenth, but was over four seconds slower than polesetter Buemi, Completing the grid was Jarno Trulli, after a crash at turn six ended his session early without setting a time.
Below is the full qualifying result from the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix.
- * d'Ambrosio qualified eighteenth, but work on his car prevented him from starting on the grid.
- † Trulli failed to set a time in qualifying, but was allowed to start at the stewards discretion.
Jerome d'Ambrosio had some issues after qualifying, with his team unable to fix them in time before the pitlane closed before the race, preventing him from joining the grid. The Belgian would therefore start from the pitlane, although the grid order was not adjusted to accomodate this. With the start line set away from the finish line, the cars assembled on the finish line to be prepared before the race, before going through the final section to line up on the grid proper for the start.
Off the line, Sebastien Buemi gained a small lead after a good start, although it would be overshadowed by Heidfeld. The German driver had an excellent start to get alongside second place Jaime Alguersuari going into the first corner, although he was on the outside of the hairpin when they turned in. Alguersuari tapped the German as they went through the turn, sending Heidfeld into a controlled slide that got him around the Spanish Virgin, and allowed him to tuck in behind Buemi. It was a clean start throughout, with d'Ambrosio joining the field from the pitlane.
The field settled down quickly, with Buemi leading Heidfeld (whom used his fan boost in a failed attempt to get past on the third lap), while Alguersuari led Sam Bird, Lucas di Grassi, Antonio Felix da Costa, Vergne and several others. Di Grassi was already thinking of the championship, taking Bird and Alguersuari in short over as the ePrix reached the ten lap mark, before catching and passing Heidfeld in short order.
Heidfeld then lost pace (presumably to save energy), falling into the sights of Alguersuari whom took the German with relative ease. Bird was the next to attempt a pass on the German, trying into the first corner on the next lap. The Venturi driver was forced out wide by Bird, allowing da Costa to pass the German as well, with drama lower down the field set to cause confusion across the teams.
On lap 16, as the pitstop window approached, Karun Chandhok suffered a suspension failure at the turn eight/nine chicane, sending the Mahindra racer into the wall. Several drivers decided to pit, including Nelson Piquet Jr., Nicolas Prost, Alguersuari and Vergne, while others stayed out as the safety car was deployed. The leaders, meanwhile, were held up behind the slow Michela Cerruti (down at the back after damage to her nose in the opening laps), meaning Buemi, di Grassi, Bird and Heidfeld looked set to lose the lead when they stopped a lap later.
As they entered the pits, the safety car picked up Bird and co. whom had stopped earlier. The late stoppers then rejoined at the back of the pack, with Buemi, according to the timing screens, in the lead. The officials took their time to confirm that this was the case, before allowing some thirteen cars to pass the safety car before Buemi resumed the lead on track. As the early stoppers then attempted to get to the back of the que before the restart, the safety car started its seventh and final lap.
Buemi had a good start, leading di Grassi, Heidfeld, Bird and Alguersuari, until Bird was given a drive through penalty for ignoring a red light in the pits. Then, Buemi made a mistake, clipping the inside wall at the chicane where Chandhok had retired, breaking his front left suspension. Audi Sport ABT celebrated the incident as di Grassi took the lead, although their reaction proved to be premature.
Within two laps of Buemi's retirement, di Grassi suffered a suspension failure almost identical to that of Chandhok, meaning he was out of the race. Heidfeld now led from Bird, until the Brit served his penalty, leaving Heidfeld in the lead, with da Costa second. Yet, the drama was not yet over for the lead, as Heidfeld was hit with a drive through for speeding in the pits, dropping him back and out of the lead battle. Da Costa and Amlin Aguri were now, shockingly (even for themselves) in the lead of the race, although Vergne was in close attendance in second.
Vergne soon began to lift off to conserve power, meaning da Costa pulled out a small lead, while Vergne dropped into a pack containing Alguersuari, Prost and Abt. With a couple of laps to go, Abt tried an ambitious dive down the inside of Prost, only to misjudge his speed and the dirtiness of the track at the inside of turn six. With his brakes locked, Abt slammed into the side of Alguersuari, putting himself out of the race, and allowing Prost past the pair of them. Alguersuari continued, and would be involved later on.
Vergne now struggled serverly with pace, as Prost drove cleanly around him to take second, while Piquet (believing himself to be a lap down) ran passed quickly for third. Alguersuari was another to take the ailing Andretti, before Senna tried to get past. Senna cruised past Vergne between turns six and seven, with Vergne opting to take the inside, before locking up and hitting the side of the sole Mahindra, pushing Senna into a slide. Both continued, with Senna holding on to the fifth place he had just taken.
But, it was to be a historic day for Amlin Aguri, as da Costa swept home to take his and the team's first victory, with a late charging Prost grabbing second. The podium was completed by Piquet, still under the belief that he was a lap down for China Racing, with Alguersuari and Senna completing the top five. Salvador Duran came home eighth to make it a double points day for Amlin Aguri, until he was excluded from the results after it was found he had used too much power during the race.
The final classification of the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2015 Buenos Aires ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Nat.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1||55||António Félix da Costa||Amlin Aguri||35||48:52.100||1:12.694||25|
|3*||99||Nelson Piquet, Jr.||China Racing||35||+8.552s||1:11.591||15|
|4||3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||35||+11.148s||1:12.292||12|
|5||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||35||+11.535s||1:11.923||10|
|6||27||Jean-Eric Vergne||Amlin Aguri||35||+13.319s||1:12.205||8|
|7||2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||35||+13.617s||1:11.540||8|
|9||6||Oriol Servià||Dragon Racing||35||+19.334s||1:12.551||2|
|11†||88||Ho-Pin Tung||China Racing||35||+1:12.858||1:13.420|
|12||28||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||34||+1 lap||1:13.014|
|13||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||33||Accident||1:12.164|
|14||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||33||+2 laps||1:11.574|
|Ret||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||26||Suspension||1:12.114|
|Ret||5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||15||Suspension||1:13.050|
|EXC§||77||Salvador Duran||Amlin Aguri||35||Excluded||1:12.747|
- * Piquet was awarded a five place grid penalty for Miami for speeding under yellow flags.
- † Tung was awarded a time penalty for not respecting the minimum pitstop time.
- ‡ Trulli will serve a ten place grid penalty in Miami after a change of gearbox.
- § Duran was excluded from the race result after his telemetery showed he had used more energy than permitted in the regulations.
Lucas di Grassi remained in the lead of the championship leaving South America, but was now under pressure from Sam Bird after his retirement. Sebastien Buemi slipped to third, while Nicolas Prost and Nelson Piquet, Jr. made significant gains in their pursuit of the title. There was now less than a win seperating di Grassi in first, from Piquet in fifth.
The Team's Championship, meanwhile, saw a significant shift in favour of e.dams-Renault, as Audi Sport ABT failed to score. The French based team now led Virgin Racing by eleven points, with the Germans a further twelve behind. Andretti Autosport overtook Dragon Racing to head to North America as the best placed American team, while Amlin Aguri jumped to eighth after Antonio Felix da Costa's victory.
Only point scoring drivers are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 'Formula E unveils track for Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/07/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/july/formula-e-unveils-track-for-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 'Antonio Felix da Costa wins chaotic Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/antonio-felix-da-costa-wins-chaotic-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny tests positive for cocaine derivative' autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 01/01/2015), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117253, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Marco Andretti to race in Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/marco-andretti-to-race-in-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Tung Returns for Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 31/12/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/december/tung-returns-for-buenos-aires.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 'Buenos Aires ePrix: Qualifying Groups', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/buenos-aires-eprix-qualifying-groups.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 'Buemi to start from pole position in Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/buemi-to-start-from-pole-position-in-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Senna, Vergne and Hiedfeld win FanBoost vote', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/fanboost-winners.aspx, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 'Action-packed Buenos Aires ePrix extended highlights', youtube.com, (FIA Formula E: YouTube, 19/01/2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D710gPUodrg, (Accessed 27/04/2015)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 'Post race penalties: Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/01/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/january/post-race-penalties-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx (Accessed 27/04/2015)