Formula E 2017 season: Renault e.dams win opening race in Buenos Aires
Renault e.dams has won the third ePrix of season three of the FIA Formula E Championship with a mature and confident drive from Sébastien Buemi on the Puerto Madero circuit. The win is Séb’s third in a row and the team’s sixth consecutive victory, taking the Renault e.dams tally to twelve from twenty-four ePrix since the series inauguration, a 50% success rate.
Nico Prost backed-up Séb’s victory with fourth after a race-long dice with rival racer Lucas di Grassi, Nico has scored points in every ePrix this season, last finishing outside the points at the Long Beach ePrix in April 2016.
Race day started with the threat of the first full wet ePrix on everyone’s minds, however the clouds dissipated to a hot afternoon, once more putting the team’s technical focus on battery management.
Both drivers proved pacey through the practice sessions despite the repeated appearance of red flags as competitors clashed with the barriers as an illustration of the tricky track surface on the three-season familiar 2.48km anticlockwise, asphalt and concrete track. Séb drew Q2 and Nico Q4 for qualifying, with Nico unlucky to narrowly miss out on joining Séb in Superpole.
Séb started from P3, Nico P6. Séb maintained position at the start, whilst Nico lost a place, however both worked their way forwards, Séb into P1 ahead of the car swap pit stop, Nico into P3 by the same marker.
Séb thereafter sailed sere
ne to his sixth win in a row, whilst Nico fell victim to Lucas di Grassi, dropping to fourth. Post-race, di Grassi did visit the stewards for an unsafe release at the pit stop - for which his team was ultimately penalised - but his finishing position remained.
Renault e.dams won in Buenos Aires thanks to the support of technology partner, HP. The team uses the latest HP technology to give the greatest potential for success, the proof of which has been seen by the perfect start to season three of Formula E with three wins from three races.
Renault e.dams leaves Argentina with 111 points in the Teams Championship, ahead of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport on 60 points. Sébastian has 75 points in the Drivers' Championship with his nearest rival, Lucas di Grassi, on 46. Nico Prost is in third position with 36 points.
Renault e.dams, Sébastien and Nico will next be seen in action for the fourth round of season three, the Mexico City ePrix at Circuito Hermanos Rodriguez on April 1.
"It's been a very good weekend and to end with a win is an amazing feeling. I think I had a better start than Jean-Eric, but I didn't try to really attack him in the first corner. I stayed in P2 for a few laps just to work out our relative pace. When I saw I was a little bit quicker than him, I took the opportunity. After that the car ran faultlessly and there were no issues with the pit stop as the team did a great job. As a driver, I am very happy because I didn't make any mistakes. To score as many points as possible was really important this weekend and it's good to have three wins in a row this season. Of course, the points for pole position are missing but in the end I am more than happy with the result."
"It was a very good race for me. I lost one place at the start where there was a lot of zig-zagging going on, but after that I chased the cars in front and made some strong overtakes. I was happy with the pace in the first car and overtook Lucas. My second car didn’t feel quite as strong, and he was able to re-take me. I thought we might get the position back after the race, but it wasn’t to be. It’s a very positive start to the season for me and the team. I’ve lacked a tiny bit in qualifying, so we’re going to look very closely at the set-up as that has previously been a strength for me. If I can find just a little bit more pace in qualifying I’ll be very happy; that’s the target for Mexico.”
Vincent Gaillardot, Renault Sport Project Leader:
"We have a great car, a strong team and superb drivers so the combination is really working well.
We’re managing to make continual improvements in every regard, however our competition is always improving, meaning we still have to work very hard to ensure we remain on the top. It was a good weekend, but we still have to work harder on our qualifying pace. There were some challenges here due to the hot weather as Argentina is one of the hottest tracks we visit. We were well prepared for the different weather scenarios and it wasn’t as hot as it could have been. We had different strategies in case of rain or extreme heat, so we had everything under control. Once again a big thanks to the team, Nico and Séb for enabling us to showcase Renault technology in such a robust manner."
Jean-Paul Driot, Senior Team Manager:
"Our third victory of the season was an important one as we hadn’t won in Buenos Aires before. Séb and Nico both scored points, which means big points for the team as well. This season is very long so every point counts as we won’t always have races as strong as our start to the season. Everyone is working very well in the team and there is fantastic co-ordination between Renault and e.dams. My target is to ensure that cohesion continues with everyone working so well together."
Alain Prost, Senior Team Manager:
“Today’s victory was very important for us and Séb, Nico and the team delivered superbly. Renault has many Argentinean fans who came to the ePrix so it was great to reward them with a fantastic win. The fans here are really passionate and appreciate our success, and this gives credibility to Renault’s electric vehicle technology. It’s a big market for Renault in Argentina so what we achieved today has been very rewarding for the team. It is very impressive how the team works so well together at the moment and that is also a reason why we are performing well. We also have a strong partner in HP who support us with their latest technology which has really proved beneficial in this highly competitive environment. I was really happy to see how everything went today and how we managed to control the day. It is important that we keep this momentum going for the rest of the season."