Formula E

GUENTHER GRABS VICTORY FROM DA COSTA ON LAST LAP

MEDIA RELEASE/Formula E – Photo: supplied

– Maximilian Guenther makes late lunge on final lap in Santiago to finish ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa and clinch first win in Formula E

– Strong start to season six of ABB FIA Formula E Championship for BMW i Andretti Motorsport with second victory in succession

– Da Costa picks up first podium place in DS TECHEETAH colours in front of Julius Baer pole-sitter Mitch Evans for Panasonic Jaguar Racing in third

BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther clinched a hard-earned victory in the scorching heat of Santiago after a fierce battle with DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa. Coming in third was Poleman and Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans.  Here’s how it all unfolded.

Pulling away from Pole, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans led the way into the opening laps of the 2020 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix followed by Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein who passed BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther, now positioned in third. 

Running clean for the opening laps, championship leader Sims came to a halt on track with a full-course yellow being called. After his car was retrieved, racing restarted with 37 minutes left on the clock.

Heading through Turn 10 and 11, Nissan e.dams’ Oliver Rowland made contact Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, damaging his front wing which broke away from the car. At the same time, Bird spun, loosing precious places and dropping to 19th. 

Picking up ATTACK MODE, Max Guenther advanced on Rokit Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara, using the extra power to blast past the Venturi driver and move into third. With Mortara in fourth and his teammate Felipe Massa in fifth, the two Venturi cars trailed the podium sitters, biding their time. 

Heading into Turn 10 together, Massa was forced wide by his teammate, hitting the wall and dropping to seventh. Taking advantage of the situation, reigning champion and DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne slipped past into fifth. 

With 25 minutes left on the clock, Evans maintained the lead with Guenther now in second, Wehrlein in third. Still in ATTACK MODE, Guenther went for the lead slipping past Evans on the approach to Turn 9. 

Despite starting from the back of the grid, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi moved up into 12th, two places off his teammate Daniel Abt. 

With 14 minutes of the race left, Wehrlein slowed allowing Vergne to pass into third as well as his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa who now sat behind him in fourth. 

With the two DS Techeetah drivers in third and fourth, reigning champion Vergne’s front left tyre started rubbing on the wing, leaving a trail of smoke behind him. Regardless, Vergne continued – now in sixth – before the wing broke off. With just seven minutes to go, Vergne pulled into the pits with his damaged car leaving his teammate battling on track for the top step of the podium. 

Making a break for second, Da Costa passed Poleman Evans on the long Turn 8, now hunting Guenther for the win. 

Holding out, Guenther maintained the lead with less than three minutes left on the clock. With both cars coming into Turn 10 together, Da Costa forced the BMW driver wide, passing on the inside and into first.  

With less than a minute left, Guenther was back on the attack as Da Costa led the way. Both with the same level of energy, Guenther stormed past Da Costa going into Turn 9, regaining his hard-earned lead. Once around 10 and 11, the BMW driver clinched the win with Da Costa in second and Evans in third.

60 seconds race highlights

MAXIMILIAN GUENTHER

“Today is a dream come true. For all of us, it was about managing the race in hot conditions and it was a straight fight to the finish. Having not made a great start on the dirty side of the track, which actually cost me position, we used the extra power for ATTACK MODE very cleverly. That ultimately allowed me to take the lead. In those temperatures, it was also important to keep an eye on the battery. We did that really well and on the final lap, Antonio had to coast a little earlier than me on the straight. I thought to myself it is now or never and went for the overtake. Fortunately, it came off!”

ANTONIO FELIX DA COSTA

“So much happened during that race! It is a bit of an awkward situation losing the win to BMW i Andretti Motorsport as my old team, but congratulations to Max. I am happy where I am, and we are only going to get better and improve as a team. It is going to be a fun season. A lot of positives to take away, but I lost out at the start as I got a massive hit from behind and my steering was never straight for the rest of the race. However, we have speed in the car and that made all the difference. I lost a lot of time behind JEV and was fed some wrong information on temperatures and when it all came down to the last lap… these guys just managed it better.”

MITCH EVANS

“The execution of the race sort of slipped out of our hands. It was a bit of a strange one. Looking at the positives we have got some good points and a podium after having a bad start to the season. Starting from pole I wanted to walk away with a win, but we clearly still have work to do. In qualifying we had some good speed and I just could not keep up and convert that into race pace. For the first three laps I had some system issues where I was not getting any readings. I am a bit disappointed obviously as when you start the race in first place you want to end there. Full credit to these guys, they were super quick.”

FINAL CLASSIFICATION

1 Maximilian Guenther BMW i Andretti Motorsport  46:11.511s (25)
2 Antonio Felix da Costa DS TECHEETAH +2.067s (18)
3 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing +5.119s (19)
4 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing +7.050s (12)
5 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ +9.883s (10)
6 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ +11.237s (8)
7 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +14.437s (6)
8 James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing +18.255s (4)
9 Felipe Massa ROKiT Venturi Racing +20.430s (2)
10 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing +21.780s (2)
11 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 +27.778s  
12 Nico Mueller GEOX DRAGON +33.786s  
13 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams +43.257s  
14 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +47.198s  
15 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1 Lap  
16 Ma Qing Hua NIO 333 1 Lap  
17 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 4 Laps  
DNF Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 40 Laps
DNF Brendon Hartley GEOX DRAGON 35 Laps
DNF Jean-Eric Vergne DS TECHEETAH 32 Laps
DNF Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing 29 Laps
DNF Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 4 Laps
DNF Neel Jani TAG Heuer Porsche 2 Laps
DSQ Andre Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche 28 Laps

DRIVER STANDINGS

Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ 38
Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 35
Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 28
Maximilian Guenther BMW i Andretti Motorsport 25
Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 24
Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 22
Antonio Felix da Costa DS TECHEETAH 21
Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 21
Andre Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche 18
Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing 18
Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ 18
Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 12
Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 10
James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing 10
Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 8
Jean-Eric Vergne DS TECHEETAH 4
Felipe Massa ROKiT Venturi Racing 2
Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 2
Brendon Hartley GEOX DRAGON 2
Oliver Turvey NIO 333 0
Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 0
Nico Mueller GEOX DRAGON 0
Neel Jani TAG Heuer Porsche 0
Ma Qing Hua NIO 333 0

TEAM STANDINGS

BMW i Andretti Motorsport 60
Mercedes-Benz EQ 56
Envision Virgin Racing 38
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 32
Panasonic Jaguar Racing 31
DS TECHEETAH 25
Nissan e.dams 22
ROKiT Venturi Racing  20
TAG Heuer Porsche 18
Mahindra Racing  14
GEOX DRAGON  2
NIO 333 0

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