Antonio Felix da Costa clinched victory in an action-packed Buenos Aires ePrix ahead of e.dams-Renault’s Nicolas Prost and China Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr. The Amlin Aguri driver kept clear of trouble and slowly made his way into the lead as his rivals fell by the wayside. Both polesitter Sebastien Buemi and championship leader Lucas di Grassi retired with suspension failures at the fast Turn 8 and 9 chicane.
Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld looked favourite to win in the closing stages but a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane scuppered his chances. Da Costa, who missed the opening round in Beijing, progressed up the field from eighth on the grid to collect the full 25 points.
Prost managed to steer clear of the battle between Daniel Abt and Jaime Alguersuari in the closing stages, an over-optimistic move by the Audi Sport ABT driver sent the Spaniard into a spin. Abt was out on the spot but Alguersuari managed to limp his car home in fourth. Piquet picked up his second consecutive podium despite being held behind the red light and losing a lap in the pitlane during the safety car period.
The Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed after Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok also fell victim to broken rear suspension at the Turn 8 and 9 chicane. Piquet wasn’t the only driver to be effected by the confusion as a number of drivers had to pass the safety car to unlap themselves. Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was part of the lead group but he picked up a drive-through penalty for ignoring the pit exit lights.
Bruno Senna, who was one of the FanBoost winners, finished fifth ahead of a feisty Jean-Eric Vergne who damaged his nosecone in the fight for the final podium spot. Da Costa’s team-mate Salvador Duran clinched four points in eighth ahead of Heidfeld in ninth. Dragon Racing’s Oriol Servia rounded out the top-10 positions while Formula E debutant Marco Andretti came home in 13th place.
Jarno Trulli, P16: “First of all I would like to thank the mechanics, the engineers our sponsors and the rest of the team for all their hard work. Without them, none of this would be possible. I’d also like to thank the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Italy for coming by the garage to wish me good luck. The problems and bad luck from this morning’s qualifying spin-out proved to be without end today. Starting at the bottom of the grid is never easy, but we made some good progress climbing the ranks. After the car-change we made even better progress, but the luck only lastsed until lap 33 when the engine shut down and I had to box. My mechanics are having a look at the moment and will amend it in time for Miami. To sum up today, so close, yet so far. Despite being without points this time, we’ve showed what we can do and I’m confident that the Miami ePrix will be successful”.
Michela Cerruti, P20: “Again I’m out of the points, which is very disappointing of course. Spinning out already in lap one meant i quickly had to box and change car to have a chance to get some more lap times in. I feel sorry for my team who are all working very hard to make all of this happen – so I’d like to extend a very big thank you to them for this. Knowing I had only one car meant that I was out of the game early as the battery can’t last a whole race, but we managed to get some good practice on the track and at this point, all experience is welcome. It’s great for me to work with Jarno who has so much experience in street circuits, now I just have to put everything I learnt to practice. Now we go back to the drawing board and see what we can do different for Miami where I really hope my luck will change I will score my first points”.
Before the race all the drivers, teams and the Formula E Championship together with the City of Buenos Aires, Argentinean authorities and the FIA President Jean Todt gathered on the grid for a minute silence to pay respect to the victims of the dramatic terrorist attack which happened in Paris earlier this week. The race attracted a sell-out crowd of around 20,000 who also witnessed the first round of the Formula E School Series, which was won by Lucas Gambante representing the Antonio Bermejo School.
- Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, 48:52.100
- Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +5.354s
- Nelson Piquet Jr, China Racing, +8.552s
- Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +11.148s
- Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +11.535s
- Jean-Eric Vergne, Andretti, +13.319s
- Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, +13.617s
- Salvador Duran, Amlin Aguri, +14.724s
- Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, +15.464s
- Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, +19.334s
- Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +28.973s
- Ho-Pin Tung, China Racing, +37.858s
- Marco Andretti, Andretti, +1 lap
- Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +2 laps
- Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, +2 laps
- Jarno Trulli, Trulli, DNF
- Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, DNF
- Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, DNF
- Michela Cerruti, Trulli, DNF
- Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, DNF
Lucas di Grassi – 58
Sam Bird – 48
Sebastien Buemi – 43
Nicolas Prost – 42
Nelson Piquet Jr – 37
Antonio Felix da Costa – 29
Jaime Alguersuari – 26
Jerome D’Ambrosio – 22
Franck Montagny – 18
Karun Chandhok – 18
e.dams-Renault – 85
Virgin Racing – 74
Audi Sport ABT – 62
Andretti – 41
China Racing – 37
Dragon Racing – 37
Mahindra Racing – 36
Amlin Aguri – 35
Trulli – 12
Venturi – 5