3rd round of Formula E 2018/2019 produced not only the hottest Formula E race in history (with 37C temperature in Santiago de Chile), but also one of the wilder ones with many crashes, collisions and penalties.
Superpole qualifying saw Lucas Di Grassi falling foul of the new rule regulating the use of brakes during the in-lap. Brazilian was stripped of his pole position lap and sent to the back of the grid – and the his racing day only got worse, as he was hit with a further penalty during the race for causing a collision and finishing 12t after running as high as 7th.
His qualifying penalty gave pole position to Nissan driver Sebastien Buemi, who led for more than half of the race before hitting the wall and retiring. This gave the lead to Sam Bird, who started fourth, managed to squeeze in some tight overtaking moves to climb to second and then managed to hold on to the lead until the end of the race after Buemi retired. Pascal Wehrlein pushed him almost all of the way, but Mahindra driver had to reduce his speed significantly in last two laps as his car overheated. Daniel Abt brought Audi 3rd place (in addition to a win, as Birds’ Virgin car is also powered by Audi powertrain).
Bird is now only a point (43 vs. 44) behind championship leaser Jerome d’Ambrosio, who only finished 8th in Santiago, while da Costa (who only finished in points in first race), Frijns and reigning champion Jean Eric Vergne share 3rd place with 28 points.
1. Sam Bird (Virgin) 47.02,511
2. Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra) +6,489
3. Daniel Abt (Audi) +14,529
4. Edoardo Mortara (Venturi) +17,056
5. Robin Frijns (Virgin) +20,276
1. D’Ambrosio 44
2. Bird 43
3. Frijns, Da Costa and Vergne 28