BMW Andretti’s Maximilian Gunther scores first FIA Formula E Championship win in Santiago ePrix ahead of DS Techeetah’s Antonio da Costa.
Pole-sitter and Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans headed the way in Formula E Santiago ePrix as Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein got through BMW Andretti’s Maximiliam Gunther to be second, with NIO’s Oliver Turvey in fourth ahead of the two Venturi drivers.
It was Edoardo Mortara ahead of Felipe Massa as Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh from Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi, DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries in the Top 10. Behind, Porsche’s Neel Jani retired without completing a lap.
He got into the mid-pack tangle to retire, while Envision Virgin’s Robin Frijns had a puncture. There was damage to BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims as well, which forced him to retire as the race director initiated the Full Course Yellow.
It was short-lived though with the car being tucked in soon but it was certain that the British racer would lose his Formula E championship lead. While Evans lead the way, Envision Virgin’s Sam Bird was spun around outside the Top 10.
He had Audi’s Daniel Abt and Nissan’s Oliver Rowland in the mix, with the latter losing his front wing. Meanwhile, inside the Top 10, Mortara moved to fourth with Massa in fifth as Turvey started to lose places. He dropped outside the points position.
The two DS Techeetah drivers were tucked together with Vergne in sixth and Antonio da Costa seventh as Mercedes’ Vandoorne and de Vries stayed inside the Top 10. The battle at the front got intensified with Gunther getting past Wehrlein for second.
He pushed on and got Evans as well to lead the Formula E Santiago ePrix, with Wehrlein losing out to both Vergne and da Costa to be fifth. De Vries was the man on charge as the Dutchman fought through to be sixth, passing teammate Vandoorne too.
Mortara started to lose places though with Massa hanging on to seventh. The chaos allowed the Audi drivers to get in action too with Abt and Lucas di Grassi getting inside the Top 10 along with Buemi, who lacked pace in the middle stint to drop back.
As Gunther lead Evans, da Costa was third as teammate Vergne dropped out with an issue to his front-left. Wehrlein lost to de Vries in the fight for fourth as Vandoorne was sixth from Buemi, who got through di Grassi as Abt dropped to 10th.
This allowed Jaguar’s James Calado in ninth as Mortara retired due damage after collision with da Costa. The Portuguese, meanwhile, passed Evans to take second as de Vries, Buemi, Mahindra’s Jerome D’Ambrosio and NIO’s Ma Qing Hua were handed time penalty.
They had five seconds added for a technical infraction, while Rowland was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a collision. In the meantime, da Costa pushed through Gunther at the hairpin to take the lead of Formula E Santiago ePrix in a ballsy move.
The fight was not over though as Gunther passed da Costa in the final few corners to take the lead and register his first Formula E victory in Santiago ePrix as the Portuguese had to settle for second, which his first podium with the DS Techeetah team.
Behind, de Vries finished third on the road from Evans but a five second penalty dropped him to fifth as the Kiwi kept third ahead of Wehrlein. With the Dutchman in fifth, he had teammate Vandoorne just behind in sixth – in another double for Mercedes.
Penalties for both Buemi and Abt helped di Grassi to be seventh with Calado eighth, Massa ninth and Bird fighting his way up to be 10th. GEOX Dragon’s Nico Mueller missed out in 11th with Turvey only 12th ahead of Buemi and Abt.
Frijns was 15th but was a lap down while Ma was 16th with multiple penalties and Rowland being the last classified in 17th – the latter being four laps down. With no points for Sims, it propelled Vandoorne to top of the drivers’ standings with 28 points.
DNF: D’Ambrosio, Brendon Hartley, Vergne, Mortara, Andre Lotterer, Sims, Jani.