Search icon


05th Feb 2018

Formula E history was made during a thrilling Santiago E-Prix

Formula E's first visit to Chile didn't disappoint

Simon Lloyd

In Association with Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne edged out Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer during a gripping Santiago E-Prix on Saturday, claiming a piece of Formula E history in the process.

This was the first time ever in the championship that two drivers from the same team had claimed a one-two finish, although their hotly-contested duel for first place nearly ended disastrously in the closing stages as Lotterer ran into the back of Vergne with just four laps remaining. Sebastian Buemi was unable to benefit from the collision, the Renault e.dams driver settling for the final spot on the podium.

The race – the first ever in Santiago – took place in sweltering conditions in the heart of the Chilean capital: temperatures reaching 31°C. The thousands of spectators lining the sides of the track were treated to an incredible, action-filled afternoon.

An eventful opening lap saw Vergne – starting the race in pole position – instantly put under pressure from Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet Jr, who made a blistering start from fifth on the grid. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he was unable to sustain this after the safety car was deployed when Jose Maria Lopez and Maro Engel crashed out in separate incidents, eventually finishing in sixth position.

Felix Rosenqvist, fresh from his Round 3 victory in Marrakesh, ended the race in fourth. The Swede benefitted from this being the first race with no minimum pitstop time, helping him climb from 14th on the grid.

Britain’s Sam Bird’s decision to stay out a lap longer than his rivals proved costly, the DS Virgin driver slipping back two places from fourth. He was, however, able to climb back up to fifth before the end of the race.

Meanwhile, this was another miserable afternoon for Lucas Di Grassi. The reigning world champion suffered more problems with his Audi Sport Abt car, forcing him to make his second consecutive retirement. After four rounds, the Brazilian is yet to record his first points of the season, his title defence already seemingly in tatters.

The result sees Vergne rise to the top of the drivers’ standings heading into Round 5 in Mexico next month, the Frenchman describing his first victory of the season as “an amazing result.”

Rosenqvist sits five points behind him, with Bird now third. Lotterer, whose second-place finish saw him record his first ever Formula E points, is now in 9th.

ABB FIA Formula E‘s next race comes from Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on March 3.