Bird wins Santiago E-Prix after Buemi crashes

Sam Bird

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

Pos Driver Team Laps Race time/Split
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

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Jérôme d’Ambrosio 44
2 Sam Bird 43
3 António Félix da Costa 28
4 Robin Frijns 28
5 Jean-Éric Vergne 28
6 Mitch Evans 22
7 Daniel Abt 21
8 André Lotterer 19
9 Pascal Wehrlein 18
10 Alexander Sims 18
11 Sébastien Buemi 15
12 Edoardo Mortara 12
13 Lucas di Grassi 9
14 Oliver Rowland 6
15 Oliver Turvey 2
16 Nelson Piquet Jnr 1
17 José María López 1
18 Maximilian Günther 0
19 Tom Dillmann 0
20 Gary Paffett 0
21 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
22 Felipe Massa 0
23 Felix Rosenqvist 0

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