Bird wins Santiago E-Prix after Buemi crashes
Sam Bird has closed in on the Formula E championship lead having won in Santiago after Sebastien Buemi crashed out of the lead.
The Virgin Racing driver hung on to take victory in the face of late pressure from Pascal Wehrlein while Daniel Abt was classified third as a result of a penalty for Alexander Sims.
Buemi started from pole and it was the Nissan e.dams driver heading Wehrlein, Bird, and Abt in the early stages.
They crept away from the rest of the field before Buemi established a margin of his own with attack mode on Lap 6, then Bird used attack mode to overtake Wehrlein on Lap 11.
Buemi was up by about half a second on Lap 22 when he locked a brake at Turn 7 and skated into the wall, ending his race.
Bird might have been gifted the lead but was made to work to hold onto it by Wehrlein, who closed up again with his second attack mode activation with six minutes to run.
However, the German had to relent due to battery temperature in his Mahindra and ultimately finished 6.5s adrift.
BMW Andretti’s Sims had passed Abt on Lap 21 but was given the equivalent of a drive-through penalty for turning Edoardo Mortara around earlier in the race.
The sanction saw Audi driver Abt promoted to third and Sims put back to seventh.
Mortara still went on to finish fourth in his Venturi, ahead of Virgin’s Robin Frijns and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans.
Lucas di Grassi had an eventful day in the second Audi, firstly when he was stripped of pole and sent to the back of the 22-car grid for a braking infringement on his group qualifying in lap.
He made his way to ninth at the chequered flag after 32 laps but found himself 12th in the final classification as a result of a penalty for an incident with Jose Maria Lopez (Dragon).
Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) retired after contact, as did Felipe Massa (Venturi).
Jerome d’Ambrosio holds on to the championship lead by a point having hauled his Mahindra from 20th on the grid to finish eighth.
Race 4 of the season takes place in Mexico City on February 16.
Race results: Race 3, Santiago
|1||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||36||47:02.511|
|2||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||36||+6.489|
|3||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||36||+14.529|
|4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||36||+17.056|
|5||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||36||+20.276|
|6||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||36||+23.755|
|7||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||36||+27.590|
|8||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||36||+41.984|
|9||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||36||+45.059|
|10||José María López||Geox Dragon||36||+45.376|
|11||Nelson Piquet Jnr||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||36||+48.635|
|12||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||36||+1:03.552|
|13||André Lotterer||DS Techeetah||36||+1:14.706|
|14||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||35||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||31|
|DNF||António Félix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||23|
|DNF||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Techeetah||22|
|DNF||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||21|
|DNF||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||17|
|DNF||Maximilian Günther||Geox Dragon||12|
|DNF||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||12|
|DNF||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||10|
|3||António Félix da Costa||28|
|13||Lucas di Grassi||9|
|16||Nelson Piquet Jnr||1|
|17||José María López||1|