|2017 Buenos Aires ePrix|
The Buenos Aires ePrix circuit remained unchanged for 2017.
|Date||18th February 2017|
|Official Name||FIA Formula E Buenos Aires ePrix 2017|
|Location||Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Lap length||2.480km (1.541mi)|
|Distance||37 laps / 91.760 (57.017mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Lucas di Grassi|
|Team||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport|
|Fastest Lap||1:09.467 on lap 31|
|Sébastien Buemi||Jean-Eric Vergne||Lucas di Grassi|
|Winner Team||Renault e.Dams|
Qualifying saw Lucas di Grassi claim his first pole position in an ePrix, the Brazilian sharing the front row with Jean-Éric Vergne. Championship leader Sébastien Buemi would start from third, while the two NextEV NIOs of Oliver Turvey and Nelson Piquet Jr. completed the Super Pole shootout, having survived an incident packed session.
At the start it was pole sitter di Grassi who led the field away from the line, with Vergne and Buemi slotting in behind. Yet, before either of the two Renault powered machines could challenge, a Full Course Yellow was called after Adam Carroll failed to get away from the grid.
Once Carroll was away the race resumed, with di Grassi quickly coming under pressure from Vergne. The Brazilian was starting the race in a car he had crashed in FP2, and his wounded car did little to aid his cause. He was therefore powerless to prevent Vergne, Buemi, Turvey and Nicolas Prost from passing before the stops.
Buemi also managed to take the lead before the stops, before establishing a sizeable lead ahead of the stops. Yet, his second car was not setup to his liking, and so the Swiss racer's six second lead slowly collapsed, with Vergne, and a resurgent di Grassi, catching him in the closing stages.
A tense final few laps saw Felix Rosenqvist snatch fastest lap, while Sam Bird crashed at turn four, having had an issue with his first car early on. Buemi, meanwhile, held on for victory at the front of the field to claim his third win in a row, while Vergne had to back off on the final lap to conserve energy. di Grassi claimed third with Prost in fourth, while Mitch Evans looked set to claim Jaguar Racing's first points, before being slapped with a five second time penalty.
The Buenos Aires ePrix had become a popular venue for Formula E during the first two seasons, and there was little desire for a replacement for the 2016/17 season. As a result, the Buenos Aires ePrix would be included in both the provisional and official calendars released throughout the summer of 2016, listed as the third round of the new season. Its placement in the calendar was also significant, as the Buenos Aires round would be the first time during 2016/17 season that had hosted Formula E before, meaning comparisons could effectively be drawn from previous seasons on an unchanged circuit.
The three month mid-season break since the Marrakech ePrix resulted in very little news that affected the series, until the 9th of January. That development surrounded the future of Esteban Gutiérrez, who was in racing limbo after a deal to join Manor Racing in Formula One fell through. The Mexican racer therefore opted to take the chance to join the Formula E family, announcing that he was in talks with numerous teams to take part in his home race, the Mexico City ePrix, set to be held on the 1st of April. Gutierrez was also revealed as an ambassador for the series, and confirmed his intention to obtain a full drive in the series for the 2017/18 season.
One other major story involving Formula E would be the inaugural Visa Vegas eRace, held on the 7th of January. The event saw several sim-racers take on several Formula E drivers in a simulated race weekend, with a huge $200,000 prize on offer for the winner. That man would be Bono Huis, who walked away with the biggest prize in eSports racing history having defeated his opponents in every session, which was televised at the 50th edition of CES at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The best of the Formula E runners would be Felix Rosenqvist in second, with half of the top ten made up of the sim-runners.
Elsewhere, there were changes in store for FanBoost ahead of the third round of the 2016/17 season, with the voting window reduced from twelve days. In an attempt to increase participation in the FanBoost voting system, the FIA and Formula E decided to open the voting just six days before the start of the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix, but would still remain open into the first six minutes of the race. The change also included the removal of voting via Instagram, an option which had largely been ignored since its introduction.
Victory for Sébastien Buemi in Marrakech had seen the Swiss racer double his tally for the season, a perfect start ensuring the reigning FIA Formula E Champion arrived in Argentina with a 22 point advantage. Lucas di Grassi, the Swiss racer's biggest rival, was the closest challenger, with Nicolas Prost up to third. Felix Rosenqvist used pole and third place to jump into fourth, ahead of Sam Bird.
The supreme team in Formula E were proving to be Renault e.Dams after another strong weekend, their weekend in Africa leaving them with double the points of their nearest challengers. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Mahindra Racing sat on 36 points apiece, ABT Schaeffler ahead courtesy of a second place finish, with another large gap back to DS Virgin Racing in fourth. The only team yet to score were Jaguar Racing, although Dragon Racing, Venturi and Techeetah were all still in single figures after two rounds.
The full entry list for the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below:
There would be no changes to the qualifying format ahead of the Buenos Aires ePrix, with four groups of five cars randomly drawn to complete a single flying lap. The fastest five from the combined table would then go through to the Super Pole shootout, going out one by one to try and set the pole time. Positions six to twenty are then based on times set during the group stage.
Group one was to consist of the Jaguar Racing pair of Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll, Maro Engel of Venturi, Robin Frijns for Andretti and DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird. Of the quintet it would be Bird who was favourite after a strong Practice performance, with the Brit also having a win at the circuit. Frijns was likely to be battling with Engel with an outside shot of Super Pole, while the two Jaguar racers would be hoping for top ten starts at best.
There was a huge surprise right at the start of qualifying, as Evans pushed his Jaguar round to the fastest time in group one, beating pre-quali favourite Bird by three tenths. The Brit struggled to get heat into his tyres, leading him to slap the wall at turn seven without any major damage. Behind them came Frijns and Carroll, both in the 1:10.000s, while Engel had an issue on his full power lap with his car shutting itself down.
Championship leader Sébastien Buemi headlined group two ahead of qualifying, joined by arch rival Lucas di Grassi for ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. Another man not to be ruled out was Jean-Eric Vergne for Techeetah, the Frenchman having been strong in Practice, while Nelson Piquet Jr. was another to look out for. Jérôme d'Ambrosio completed the quintet for Dragon Racing.
Group two ultimately provided four of the top five times from the group stage, with Vergne putting together an excellent lap to set the fastest time of the day, a 1:08.751. Buemi was next ahead of di Grassi, while Piquet's lap was two tenths faster than Evans to set the fourth best time. The fifth man in quintet was d'Ambrosio, with the Belgian slotting in between Evans and Bird.
The third quintet featured home hero José María López in the second Virgin, with many of the fans hoping their man could challenge for the shootout. António Félix da Costa was another who could entertain hopes of getting into Super Pole, a race winner at Buenos Aires in the past, while Felix Rosenqvist claimed pole last time out. Completing the group were Frenchmen Stéphane Sarrazin and Loïc Duval, racing for Venturi and Andretti respectively.
There would be heartbreak in group three for the home fans, as López lost the backend of his car through turn seven and smacked the wall, breaking his rear suspension on his full power run. He was not the only one to crash during group three, da Costa clipping the inside wall of the final chicane, although the Portuguese racer was able to complete his lap. Sarrazin, Rosenqvist and Duval all ran trouble free, but none of them could threaten the Super Pole times.
The final group of the day was to be lead out by Nicolas Prost for Renault e.Dams, with the sister car of Ma Qing Hua also on track with Techeetah. Oliver Turvey was also to go out with NextEV NIO, while Daniel Abt would race with ABT Schaeffler. Completing the final quintet would be Nick Heidfeld on behalf of Mahindra Racing.
Group four saw Turvey cause a shock, as his last gasp attempt knocked the second Renault e.Dams car of Prost out of Super Pole, just moments after the Frenchman had elbowed Evans out of the top five. Elsewhere, Abt smacked the wall at turn four on his quick lap, limping round to complete the sixteenth best time, with Ma suffering the exact same accident a few moments later. As for Heidfeld, the German completed a clean but otherwise uninspiring lap to finish in the middle of the pack.
First man out in Super Pole was Piquet, but the 2014/15 Champion put together a scruffy lap, falling shy of his group time by two seconds. Teammate Turvey was next, although he would suffer a huge lockup on his way to beating Piquet. Then came di Grassi for ABT Schaeffler, with the Brazilian putting together the first clean lap of Super Pole to record a 1:09.404.
Buemi went out to set the penultimate time of the session, although the Swiss racer's lap was ruined by a lock up at turn one, meaning he could only beat the two NextEVs. Then came Vergne with an ultra attacking lap, although a huge lock up at turn seven cost him almost two tenths, enough to drop him behind di Grassi and into second.
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix are outlined below:
|2017 Buenos Aires ePrix Qualifying Result|
|1st||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:09.404||—||1|
|3rd||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:09.825||+0.421s||3|
|4th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:10.075||+0.671s||4|
|5th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:11.274||+1.870s||5|
|2nd||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:09.018||+0.267s||SP|
|3rd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:09.084||+0.333s||SP|
|4th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:09.314||+0.563s||SP|
|5th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:09.383||+0.632s||SP|
|6th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:09.442||+0.691s||6|
|7th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:09.505||+0.754s||7|
|8th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:09.681||+0.930s||8|
|9th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:09.697||+0.946s||9|
|10th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:09.839||+1.088s||10|
|12th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:10.152||+1.401s||12|
|14th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:10.257||+1.506s||14|
|15th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:10.946||+2.195s||15|
|16th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:13.284||+4.533s||16|
|17th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:13.326||+4.575s||17|
|NC*||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:16.760||+8.009s||18|
|NC*||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:22.405||+13.654s||19|
- * Cars #5, #33 and #37 all failed to complete a lap within 107% of the fastest time (1:13.564). They would all race at the steward's discretion.
The final classification of the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2017 Buenos Aires ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Nat.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||37||45:45.623||1:11.058||25|
|3rd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||37||+6.921s||1:10.744||18|
|4th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||37||+8.065s||1:11.130||12|
|5th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||37||+9.770s||1:10.994||10|
|6th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||37||+35.103s||1:11.850||8|
|7th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||37||+35.801s||1:11.831||6|
|8th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||37||+36.335s||1:11.512||4|
|9th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||37||+37.111s||1:12.076||2|
|10th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||37||+38.206s||1:10.893||1|
|11th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||37||+43.740s||1:11.407|
|13th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||37||+44.918s||1:12.062|
|15th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||37||+51.456s||1:10.910|
|16th||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||36||+1 Lap||1:12.358|
|17th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||36||+1 Lap||1:11.730|
|18th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||34||+3 Laps||1:09.467||1|
|Ret||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||20||Accident||1:09.754|
- Third ePrix to be staged in Buenos Aires.
- Maiden pole position for Lucas di Grassi.
- Sébastien Buemi earned his third win in a row.
- Techeetah awarded their first podium finish through Jean-Éric Vergne.
- Fifteenth podium for di Grassi.
A third victory in a row put Sébastien Buemi on 75 points after just three rounds, leaving the Swiss racer with a huge 29 point lead. The man in second would be Buemi's arch rival Lucas di Grassi, ten points clear of the Swiss racer's teammate Nicolas Prost in third. Jean-Eric Vergne leapt into fourth with his second place finish, while Felix Rosenqvist was relegated to fifth.
Renault e.Dams left Argentina with 111 points to their name, Buemi's hattrick of victories combining with Prost's trio of fourth place finishes. German team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport remained in second on 60, almost half their French rivals total, while Mahindra Racing were falling away in third. Jaguar Racing once again failed to score, as NextEV NIO and Techeetah both entered the top five after a mutually strong weekend.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 'From Hong Kong to New York: FIVE NEW CITIES FOR THIRD FORMULA E SEASON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/from-hong-kong-to-new-york/, (Accessed 02/07/2016)
- ↑ 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 'Di Grassi on pole in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/di-grassi-on-pole-in-buenos-aires/, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 'Buemi becomes hat-trick hero in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/buemi-becomes-hat-trick-hero-in-buenos-aires/, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 'Esteban Gutierrez to race in Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/01/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/january/esteban-gutierrez-to-race-in-formula-e/, (Accessed 10/01/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 'Bono Huis wins $200,000 in Visa Vegas eRace', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/01/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/january/bono-huis-wins-200-000-in-visa-vegas-erace/, (Accessed 10/01/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'FanBoost tweaks made ahead of Buenos Aires ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/02/2017), http://formula-e.wikia.com/wiki/2017_Buenos_Aires_ePrix, (Accessed 06/02/2017)
- ↑ 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 'Buenos Aires ePrix - Qualifying groups', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/buenos-aires-eprix-qualifying-groups/, (Accessed 18/02/2017)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 'Qualifying Highlights Buenos Aires 2017 - Formula E', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E Championship, 18/02/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HlR2gCpuGY, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 'Formula E: Race Results - Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/results/race-results/season/2022016/round/3, (Accessed 18/02/2017)