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Argentina 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix
Buenos Layout
The Buenos Aires ePrix circuit
Race Information
Date 6th February 2016
Official Name Formula E Buenos Aires ePrix
Location Flag of Buenos Aires Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
Lap length 2.44km (1.52mi)
Distance 35 laps / 85.4km (53.1mi)
Qualifying Result
Pole Sitter Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird
Team Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing
Time 1:09.420
Fastest Lap
Driver Flag of Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio
Fastest Lap 1:10.285 on lap 29
ePrix Result
First Second Third
Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Brazil Lucas di Grassi
Winner Team Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing
Time 45:28.385
ePrix Guide
Previous Next
Punta del Este Mexico City
The 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix is set to be the fourth round of the 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[1] The Buenos Aires ePrix is the first round of the season to be held in 2016, and the second ePrix to be held in Argentine capital city.

Sam Bird claimed a maiden pole position for DS Virgin Racing, and fended off a late race challenge from Sébastien Buemi to win for the first time in season two, and become the first driver to score wins in all three years of the Formula E Championship.[2] Buemi, for his part, had come from last place to take second, completing a memorable drive through the field, while Lucas di Grassi ended up in third, needing to conserve energy at the end of the race and so fell away on the final lap.[2]

BackgroundEdit

The huge six week break between the Buenos Aires and Punta del Este ePrix saw little action in regards to the Championship, although the break did witness the only in-season test for the Series. The 2015 Punta del Este Test was staged on the Sunday after the respective ePrix, and saw all of the teams test their machinery and complete numerous laps.[3] Sébastien Buemi ended up at the top of the time sheets, with Jean-Eric Vergne splitting the Swiss driver from his French team mate Nicolas Prost.[3]

After the test, there were rumours of a fall out between Venturi and driver Jacques Villeneuve, with the two ultimately going in separate ways in the build up to the ePrix in Argentina. Villeneuve's vacated seat was filled by Mike Conway, who had been slated to drive in the inaugural season before focusing on his other commitments.[4] It would be the Brit's début, although he had tested a Formula E car before, having taken part in the 2014 Donington Test for Dragon Racing.[4]

Further changes to the entry list were announced when the FanBoost vote opened twelve days from the start of the race.[5] Team Aguri announced, surprisingly, that Nathanaël Berthon was leaving the team with no replacement immediately announced.[6] Berthon, for his part, also left a cryptic message with the withdrawal, stating that he would remain, and race, in Formula E at the 2016 Paris ePrix later in the season.[6] It was later announced that Salvador Duran would return to the team (having left during the 2015 Donington Test), having failed to take part in the earlier races of the season for Trulli.[7]

Elsewhere, the FIA and Formula E Holdings announced the future approach of the series with regards to increasing the power of the cars.[8] Initial reports suggested that the power would be increased to 250 kW at the start of the third season, although the FIA, after researching the development costs for the systems, opted to introduce the 25% increase over three seasons.[8] This would also be welcome news for Jaguar, with the British manufacturer set to join the series as the first new manufacturer, as it would reduce their potential costs to join the series. Also highlighted in the press release was an increase in regenerated power, up to 150 kW (a 50% increase), and a minimum weight reduction to 880kg.[8]

It was the man who dominated the Punta del Este Test that led the Championship, as Buemi brought a one point lead over Lucas di Grassi to Argentina. di Grassi, for his part, was proving to be every part as consistent as he had been at the start of last season (three ahead of his tally from the start of last season), as a huge 33 point gap seperated the top two from the rest of the pack. Jérôme d'Ambrosio led the charge from behind, joined by Sam Bird just a handful of points behind, while Loïc Duval sat level on points with the Brit to complete the top five.

It was a much tighter picture, overall, in the Teams' Championship, as Renault e.Dams sat two points ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport at the summit of the series. Dragon Racing sat in third, down on points but within striking distance of the leading duo, before another small gap to the DS Virgin Racing team. The loss of the Trulli Formula E Team before the previous round meant that all nine teams had scored in the Championship, with NEXTEV TCR at the foot of the table after their difficult start to the new season.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below:

2016 Buenos Aires ePrix Entry List
No. Nat. Name Entrant Constructor Car
1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NEXTEV TCR NEXTEV FormulaE 001
2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing Virgin DSV-01
4 France Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi Formula E Team Venturi VM200-FE-1
6 France Loïc Duval Dragon Racing Venturi VM200-FE-1
7 Flag of Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing Venturi VM200-FE-1
8 France Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams Renault Z.E.15
9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams Renault Z.E.15
11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler FE01
12 Flag of the United Kingdom Mike Conway Venturi Formula E Team Venturi VM200-FE-1
21 Brazil Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing Mahinda M2ELECTRO
23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing Mahindra M2ELECTRO
25 France Jean-Eric Vergne DS Virgin Racing Virgin DSV-01
27 Dutch Flag Robin Frijns Andretti Autosport Spark-Renault SRT_01E
28 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Andretti Autosport Spark-Renault SRT_01E
55 Portugal António Félix da Costa Team Aguri Spark-Renault SRT_01E
66 Germany Daniel Abt ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler FE01
77 Flag of Mexico Salvador Duran Team Aguri Spark-Renault SRT_01E
88 Flag of the United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NEXTEV TCR NEXTEV FormulaE 001
{{{Source}}}

PracticeEdit

FP1Edit

FP2Edit

QualifyingEdit

Shortly before the first practice session of the weekend, the qualifying group draw was made, allocating each driver to a specific group for the session.[9] Each driver would get a warm-up lap before a single lap at full attack to set the best possible time during the six minutes allocated to each group. The top five drivers (overall) would then go through to the Super Pole session, which would determine the top five on the grid.[9]

Group 1Edit

DS Virgin Racing would send both of their cars out in Group 1, as Sam Bird and the recovering Jean-Eric Vergne headlined the group.[9] Stéphane Sarrazin and Nick Heidfeld would also be out on circuit, as would be Formula E debutante Mike Conway in his first taste of a competitive FE weekend.[9] Vergne and Heidfeld were expected to struggle, with Vergne having not driven at all after suffering from food poisoning, and Heidfeld still recovering from an injury to his arm sustained earlier in the season.

Bird had been impressive all weekend, and put together a strong lap to top the first group, until Sarrazin flashed through a quarter of a second faster moments later.[10] Conway was a surprise third in the group, just over a tenth behind Bird, and ahead of Heidfeld with the German a second off Sarrazin.[10] Vergne rounded out the group but looked more comfortable in the car than he had been.[10]

Group 2Edit

The man favourite for pole position, and leading the Championship, would headline Group 2, with Sébastien Buemi also joined by team mate Nicolas Prost.[9] Loïc Duval would join them on circuit for six minutes, as would Simona de Silvestro and Daniel Abt, although their presence was only expected to be a minor distraction as Buemi and Prost hunted pole.[9]

There was a shock in group two, as Buemi threw away his hot lap after braking too late for turn five, spinning into the run off area, just as Nicolas Prost set the fastest time.[10] Prost, however, was unable to beat Sarrazin's time, while Buemi would be almost guarenteed to start from last.[10] Abt ended the session behind Bird and Conway, with Duval and de Silvestro either side of Heidfeld.[10]

Group 3Edit

Again, the now reduced entry list meant that the third group would only contain four cars, meaning there would be more space on track.[9] Nelson Piquet Jr. would be hoping to reverse his poor form in season two with a strong quali performance, while Bruno Senna and Robin Frijns would hope to continue their fairly good performances.[9] Salvador Duran was making his return for Team Aguri, and would hope to rediscover his form from the previous season.[9]

Frijns took advantage of the heat affecting the newer tech to set the fastest time from group three, but fell short of Bird and Conway, leaving him on the verge of missing out on the Shootout.[10] Piquet put in a strong time to almost guarentee his best start for the season, with Senna and Duran struggling to stay on the pace, both over two seconds slow.[10]

Group 4Edit

Lucas di Grassi was the centre of attention in the final group, as he led the quartet onto the circuit, hoping to qualify as close to Buemi as possible.[9] Jérôme d'Ambrosio was another expected to get through to the Super Pole, given his impressive from in the Dragon, while António Félix da Costa was an outside hope for the shootout as the winner of the Buenos Aires ePrix in 2015.[9] Oliver Turvey would round out the final group for NEXTEV TCR.

A mistake for di Grassi on his flying lap meant he missed out on getting into the shootout, as da Costa completed a stunning time to finish second overall, a little over a tenth off Sarrazin.[10] di Grassi would have to settle for seventh, while d'Ambrosio completed the top ten, just ahead of Turvey who was beaten by team mate Piquet for the first time all season.[10]

Super PoleEdit

First out for their shootout lap was Conway, although a mistake saw him fail to best his earlier time and left him bottom of the pile.[10] Bird was out next, beat his time from the group phase and topped the session, ramping the pressure up on the remaining three.[10] Prost was next out, but was unable to best Bird, leaving him at the mercy of the final two to see if he would remain on the front row, as da Costa wound his car up for his shootout lap.[10]

It was another strong lap from da Costa, but he fell short of Prost's time by just a hundreth of a second to end up in third, with Bird now only able to be beaten by Sarrazin.[10] Yet, Sarrazin was unable to get close to his group time, and ended up on the second row behind da Costa, leaving Bird with his, and Virgin's first, pole position.[10]

Post QualifyingEdit

The final qualifying result for the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix are outlined below:

2016 Buenos Aires ePrix Qualifying Result
Pos. No. Nat. Name Team Time Gap Grid
1 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing 1:09.420 1
2 8 France Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams 1:09.751 +0.331s 2
3 55 Portugal António Félix da Costa Team Aguri 1:09.761 +0.341s 3
4 4 France Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi 1:10.298 +0.878s 4
5 12 Flag of the United Kingdom Mike Conway Venturi 1:12.391 +2.971s 5
Super Pole
6 27 Dutch Flag Robin Frijns Andretti 1:09.616 6
7 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:09.677 +0.061s 7
8 66 Germany Daniel Abt ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:09.814 +0.198s 8
9 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NEXTEV TCR 1:09.931 +0.315s 9
10 7 Flag of Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 1:10.067 +0.451s 10
11 99 Flag of the United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NEXTEV TCR 1:10.126 +0.510s 11
12 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 1:10.130 +0.514s 12
13 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:10.321 +0.705s 13
14 28 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Andretti 1:10.446 +0.830s 14
15 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne DS Virgin Racing 1:10.581 +0.965s 15
16 21 Brazil Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 1:11.306 +1.690s 16
17 77 Flag of Mexico Salvador Duran Team Aguri 1:13.256 +3.640s 17
18 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams No Time 18
Source

RaceEdit

Anticipation hung in the air around the Buenos Aires ePrix circuit ahead of the start time, with Championship leader Sébastien Buemi expected to battle his way through the field in arguably the best car on the grid.[2] Adding to the potential fight through the field was the fact that the temperatures in Argentina's capital had been causing cooling issues all day, and with temperatures unlikely to drop during the race, all of the drivers would have to take care during the race.[2] But, that was a concern for the race, and completely out of everyone's minds when the lights went out.[2]

ReportEdit

A slick start from Sam Bird on pole saw him pull cleanly ahead of Nicolas Prost into the first corner, as António Félix da Costa fended off Stéphane Sarrazin for third.[2] Yet, the real action was to come from the back, as Buemi braked far later than those around him, and slithered his car from eighteenth to fifteenth in one fell swoop.[2] Quick reactions prevented the Swiss driver from collecting the back of compatriot Simona de Silvestro, as the Renault e.Dams machine slid sideways through the first corner before setting off after the rest of the pack.[2]

The early laps were the familiar barrage of overtakes and lock-ups, as Buemi claimed a further position before the end of the first lap. Prost, meanwhile, was attacking Bird for the lead, but the Brit remained defiant and it soon became clear that da Costa and Sarrazin were more of a threat to the Frenchman.[2] Mike Conway was holding his own in fifth on his début, while Jean-Eric Vergne found himself ghosting past cars in the wake of Buemi.[2]

Lucas di Grassi had hoped to take advantage of Buemi's disastrous qualifying to take the lead in the Championship, but a poor start saw him slip back into the pack.[2] Yet, the Brazilian fought back and by the start of lap three was hounding Robin Frijns for sixth, having dropped as low as tenth on the opening lap.[2] Jérôme d'Ambrosio was suddenly tumbling down the order, after contact with the returning Salvador Duran saw him suffer bodywork damage that was rubbing against his rear-right tyre.[2]

Bird was holding off his competitors by about a second as race came to the ten lap mark, with Prost suddenluy under attack from da Costa.[2] The Portuguese had been running well all weekend, and his older Spark-Renault seemed to be coping well in the heat, as he pulled a clean dive down the inside of the Frenchman into turn five, snatching second.[2] He then set off after Bird, whose Virgin was becoming increasingly sideways, although he remained in control of the race.[2]

Back with Buemi and the Swiss driver was navigating a tight group of cars, headed by the two NEXTEV TCR cars, whose race pace was no where near their qualifying speed.[2] Buemi took each one of the group methodically, using the same move lap after lap to pass, using a good exit out of turn three to snatch the inside line into the turn four hairpin.[2] Clearing that gaggle left him in twelfth, as rival di Grassi took Frijns and Conway in short order, before pouncing on Sarrazin as the pitstop window approached.[2]

Yet, there was to be heartbreak at the front of the field, as a software issue forced Team Aguri's da Costa out of the race just half a lap from the pitlane.[2] His car was left abandoned at turn six and would require a safety car to be called, although the track officials opted to wait until the pitstops had been completed.[2] Prost, meanwhile, was running very low on energy by this stage, and was left to trundle down the pitlane at the slowest possible speed, right in front of di Grassi.[2] The Brazilian was forced to sit behind the Frenchman, giving him several taps in the process, before pulling into his own pitbox.[2] Next to fall victim to the ailing Prost was his Renault team mate Buemi, who pulled alongside the sister car just before their pitboxes.[2] All three were placed under investigation for their conduct in the pits.[2]

Piquet was last to pit having saved enough energy for an extra lap, with the safety car called out the moment the Brazilian pulled out of the pits.[2] It meant that Bird, who had benefited hugely from Prost's pitlane performance, lost an eight second lead over di Grassi, with Sarrazin now third.[2] Yet, it was the last of this trio who would become the centre of attention, after he misread the boards and assumed that the race was being run under Full Course Yellow conditions instead, meaning he fell away from the leading two.[2] With Buemi weaving around him to try to get him to speed up, the officials stepped in and instructed the safety car to slow and allow the pack to catch up.[2]

ResultEdit

The final classification of the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.

2016 Buenos Aires ePrix Race Result
Pos. No. Nat. Name Team Laps Race Time Fastest lap Pts.
1 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird FanBoosticon DS Virgin Racing 35 45:28.385 1:11.368 28
2 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi FanBoosticon Renault e.Dams 35 +0.716s 1:11.288 18
3 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 35 +7.525s 1:11.264 15
4 4 France Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi 35 +9.415s 1:11.610 12
5 8 France Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams 35 +11.316s 1:11.495 10
6 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 35 +15.660s 1:11.532 8
7 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 35 +16.444s 1:11.560 6
8 27 Dutch Flag Robin Frijns Andretti Autosport 35 +18.685s 1:11.563 4
9 88 Flag of the United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NEXTEV TCR 35 +22.007s 1:11.746 2
10 21 Brazil Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 35 +22.456s 1:11.715 1
11 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne FanBoosticon DS Virgin Racing 35 +24.482s 1:11.779
12 1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NEXTEV TCR 35 +24.641s 1:11.650
13 66 Germany Daniel Abt ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 35 +27.998s 1:11.722
14 28 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Andretti Autosport 35 +36.171s 1:12.875
15 12 Flag of the United Kingdom Mike Conway Venturi 35 +39.581s 1:12.216
16 7 Flag of Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 34 +1 lap 1:10.285 2
Ret 55 Portugal António Félix da Costa Team Aguri 17 Software 1:12.671
Ret 77 Flag of Mexico Salvador Duran Team Aguri 14 Brakes 1:12.852
Source
  • FanBoosticon Indicates a driver that was awarded FanBoost during the race.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Victory moved Sam Bird to within 25 points of the top two, as Sébastien Buemi managed to pull ever so slightly further ahead. Lucas di Grassi now sat four behind the Swiss driver, with the Championship increasingly looking like a two horse race, although Bird could not be ruled out. Loïc Duval sat in fourth, 20 points back from Bird, with team mate Jérôme d'Ambrosio completing the top five.

Renault e.Dams forged ahead in the Teams' Championship, fifteen clear of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport after four races. Dragon Racing were in an increasingly distant third, and coming under pressure from DS Virgin Racing after their maiden win, while Mahindra Racing slipped to fifth.

 
2015/16 Drivers' Championship
Pos. Nat. Name Pts. +/-
1 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 80 ◄0
2 Brazil Lucas di Grassi 76 ◄0
3 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird 52 ▲1
4 France Loïc Duval 32 ▲1
5 Flag of Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio 30 ▼2
6 France Stéphane Sarrazin 28 ▲2
7 Germany Nick Heidfeld 23 ▼1
8 Dutch Flag Robin Frijns 21 ▼1
9 France Nicolas Prost 21 ▲1
10 Portugal António Félix da Costa 16 ▼1
11 Brazil Bruno Senna 11 ◄0
12 Flag of the United Kingdom Oliver Turvey 10 ▲1
13 Germany Daniel Abt 10 ▼1
14 France Jean-Eric Vergne 6 ◄0
15 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 4 ▲1
16 France Nathanaël Berthon 4 ▼1
2015/16 Teams' Championship
Pos. Nat. Name Pts. +/-
1 France Renault e.Dams 101 ◄0
2 Germany ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 86 ◄0
3 Flag of the United States Dragon Racing 62 ◄0
4 Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing 58 ◄0
5 Flag of India Mahindra Racing 34 ◄0
6 Monaco Venturi Formula E Team 28 ▲2
7 Flag of the United States Andretti Autosport 21 ◄0
8 Flag of Japan Team Aguri 20 ▼2
9 People's Republic of China NEXTEV TCR 14 ◄0

Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Videos and Images:

References:

  1. 'WMSC reveals dates for season two Formula E calendar', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/07/2015),http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/july/wmsc-reveals-dates-for-season-two-formula-e-calendar.aspx, (Accessed 10/07/2015)
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named RR
  3. 3.0 3.1 'Buemi flies in Punta test', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/buemi-flies-in-punta-test.aspx, (Accessed 21/12/2015)
  4. 4.0 4.1 'Conway to race for Venturi in Argentina', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/mike-conway-to-race-for-venturi-in-buenos-aires.aspx, (Accessed 23/01/2016)
  5. 'FanBoost open for Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/fanboost-open-for-buenos-aires-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 28/01/2016)
  6. 6.0 6.1 'Nathanael Berthon parts company with Team Aguri', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/berthon-parts-company-with-team-aguri.aspx, (Accessed 28/01/2016)
  7. 'Salvador Duran joins Team Aguri', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/salvador-duran-joins-team-aguri.aspx, (Accessed 28/01/2016)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 'Future power increase plans revealed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/01/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/january/future-power-increase-plans-revealed.aspx, (Accessed 12/01/2016)
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 'Buenos Aires ePrix: Qualifying groups', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/02/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/february/buenos-aires-eprix-qualifying-groups.aspx, (Accessed 07/02/2016)
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 'Bird claims first Formula E pole in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/02/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/february/bird-claims-first-formula-e-pole-in-buenos-aires.aspx, (Accessed 06/02/2016)

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