A faster elec­tric For­mula

Buemi makes For­mula E rac­ing his­tory with wins for Re­nault

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

AN­OTHER ePrix, an­other first place for Se­bastien Buemi.

Switzer­land’s Buemi has made For­mula E his­tory by be­com­ing the first driver to win three races in a row.

Vic­tory for the Re­nault e.dams ace con­tin­ues the per­fect start to his ti­tle de­fence.

It was his ninth win in the al­l­elec­tric street rac­ing se­ries, and the 12th for the team.

That means Re­nault e.dams have now won half of all the For­mula E races that have taken place.

But in front of 21 000 en­thu­si­as­tic fans, Buemi had to work hard for his vic­tory. From his first-ever Julius Baer pole po­si­tion, Lu­cas di Grassi (ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport) led away at the start, while Jean-Eric Vergne slot­ted his Techee­tah into sec­ond place.

Di Grassi was strug­gling with his car, and in quick suc­ces­sion he was passed by Vergne and then Buemi. Techee­tah uses the same pow­er­train as Re­nault e.dams, but there was noth­ing Vergne could do to stop Buemi charg­ing past into the lead.

Fur­ther back, Di Grassi slipped be­hind the im­pres­sive Nex­tEV Nio of Oliver Tur­vey and the sec­ond Re­nault e.dams of Nico Prost as his strug­gle in­ten­si­fied.

By the time the manda­tory car change pit stop came around, Buemi was al­most six sec­onds to the good and seem­ingly set for an easy win.

But the brake bal­ance of the sec­ond car was far from his lik­ing, and strug­gling to slow the car in a straight line, his pace dropped off, which al­lowed Vergne back into the hunt.

Di Grassi was now also a con­tender. A slow stop for Tur­vey dropped him out of the podium fight, while an ag­gres­sive pass on Prost moved Di Grassi back into the top three.

With the car han­dling much more to his lik­ing, he was clos­ing in on both Buemi and Vergne, but the gap was too big for him to over­come.

Three wins in a row have in­creased Buemi’s points lead to a huge 29 points. And af­ter two pre­vi­ous dis­ap­point­ments at the Puerto Madero track, he was de­lighted to take an­other win.

De­spite never get­ting close enough to pres­sure Buemi for the win, Vergne was very pleased to take sec­ond — the first podium fin­ish for the new Techee­tah team.

An­other podium for Di Grassi — his 15th in to­tal — keeps him in sec­ond place in the cham­pi­onship, but he knows that he and his ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport team will have their work cut out to over­throw Buemi.

For the third race in a row, Prost took fourth place for Re­nault e.dams.

Season one cham­pion Nel­son Pi­quet Jr claimed his best re­sult since his ti­tle-win­ning cam­paign with a strong fifth for Nex­tEV Nio, while be­hind him waged a fab­u­lous bat­tle for the re­main­ing points po­si­tions.

The cham­pi­onship now moves to Mex­ico City and the his­toric Au­to­dromo Her­manos Ro­driguez, where round four of the 2016/17 season takes places on April 1. — WR.

Driver stand­ings

1. Se­bastien Buemi, Re­nault e.dams 2. Lu­cas di Grassi, ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport 3. Nico Prost, Re­nault e.dams 4. Jean-Eric Vergne, Techee­tah 5. Felix Rosen­qvist, Mahin­dra Rac­ing 6. Sam Bird, DS Vir­gin Rac­ing

Team stand­ings

1. Re­nault e.dams 2. ABT Scha­ef­fler Audi Sport 3. Mahin­dra Rac­ing 4. Nex­tEV Nio 5. Techee­tah 6. DS Vir­gin Rac­ing 7. Fara­day Fu­ture Dragon Rac­ing 8. An­dretti For­mula E 9. Ven­turi For­mula E 10. Pana­sonic Jaguar Rac­ing

PHOTOS: SUP­PLIED

The FIA For­mula E has named Spark Rac­ing Tech­nolo­gies as the sup­plier of the next gen­er­a­tion of For­mula E race cars. For the fifth season of For­mula E, which starts in late 2018, Spark Rac­ing Tech­nol­ogy will part­ner with chas­sis builder Dal­lara to de­velop a ‘SRT05e’ chas­sis un­der newer, stricter reg­u­la­tions than in sea­sons past. The French com­pany prom­ises im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics, a re­duc­tion in weight, and more ef­fi­cient use of the bat­tery. Spark does not use a tra­di­tional rear wing but a big dif­fuser. Man­u­fac­tur­ers cur­rently par­tic­i­pat­ing in the se­ries in­clude Re­nault, Audi, Jaguar, Mahin­dra, and Citroën’s DS sub-brand, as well as star­tups Nex­tEV and Fara­day Fu­ture. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have taken op­tions to en­ter the se­ries at a fu­ture date, while Audi has said it will ex­pand its pres­ence. DIF­FUSER RE­PLACES REAR WING ON NEXT E-RAC­ERS

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Se­bastien Buemi won the first three For­mula E ti­tles in a row in the Re­nault e.dams.

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