Punta del Este – Saturday’s FIA Formula E Uruguay ePrix was exciting to the last. The race started with former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne taking pole in his Formula E debut. He was joined on the front row by Brazilian Nelson Piquet, Jr. Vergne’s fellow Frenchman Nicolas Prost started in 3rd alongside Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi in 4th. Spain’s Jamie Alguersuari started in 5th just ahead of the winner of Beijing, Brazilian Lucas di Grassi in 6th. Behind di Grassi in 7th was former Formula 1 Italian driver Jarno Trulli, alongside a fellow F1 veteran, Nick Heidfeld of Germany. Behind them, Heidfeld’s countryman Daniel Abt stated in 9th, with India’s Karun Chandhok starting in 10th.
Behind Chandhok in 11th was Spain’s Oriol Servia and in 12th Portugal’s Antonio Felix da Costa. France’s Stephane Sarrazin and Spain’s Antonio Garcia started on Row 7 in 13th and 14th. They were followed by Mexican Salvador Duran and Italian Michela Cerruti on Row 8 in 15th and 16th. Row 9 saw Belgian Jérôme d’Ambrosio start in 17th alongside Malaysia’s winner Sam Bird start in 18th with American Matthew Brabham starting in 19th. Brazilian Bruno Senna started with a penalty from the pits, droping down from his 8th place qualification.
Vergne was quickly overtaken by Piquet, on the opening lap, staying behind the Brazilian until Lap 13 of 31. Vergne was able to hold his lead for only a few laps, as his power was significantly reduced by the time he had overtaken Piquet, Meanwhile, Buemi was continually held up by Piquet, which in turn held up the rest of the field. Vergne pitted on Lap 16. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, his first pitstop in Formula E lost him the lead of the race to Buemi.
At the same time, Sarrazin, who had been driving quite aggressively in the preceding laps, hit the kerb on Lap 17 before coming into contact with Brabham, launching the Frenchman into the barrier and forcing his retirement. Brabham likewise ran into the same trouble with the kerbs, retiring on Lap 27.
Vergne continued to fight for first place throughout the race until his untimely retirement after a safety car period to remove Brabham’s damaged car. Buemi quickly seemed to have some sort of break issue, cutting the chicanes, leading to Vergne to deploy his fan boost, which soon thereafter drained his power, ending Vergne’s race 1 lap early.
Buemi charged into the final lap of the race, completing the circuit in first, winning e.dams Renault’s first victory in Formula E. Buemi was followed across the line by Nelson Piquet, Jr (2), and Lucas di Grassi (3).
The full results of the 2014 FIA Formula E Urugray ePrix are:
- Sebastien Buemi, Switzerland, e.dams Renault, 49:08.990
- Nelson Piquet, Jr., Brazil, China Racing, +00:00.732
- Lucas di Grassi, Brazil, Audi Sport ABT, +00:02.365
- Jarno Trulli, Italy, Trulli, +00:04.163
- Jamie Alguersuari, Spain, Virgin Racing, +00:04.698
- Bruno Senna, Brazil, Mahindra Racing, +00:05.197
- Nicolas Prost, France, e.dams Renault, +00:06.514
- Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Belgium, Dragon Racing, +00:07.567
- Oriol Servia, Spain, Dragon Racing, +00:08.646
- Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Venturi, +00:10.563
- Antonio Garcia, Spain, China Racing +00:10.594
- Michela Cerruti, Italy, Trulli, +00:19.617
- Karun Chandhok, India, Mahindra Racing, +00:54.175
- Daniel Abt, Germany, Audi Sport ABT, lapped
- Matthew Brabham, United States, Andretti Formula E, retired
- Stéphane Sarrazin, France, Venturi, retired
- Antonio Felix da Costa, Portugal, Amlin Aguri, retired
- Sam Bird, Great Britain, Virgin Racing, retired.