Bird wins chaotic Santiago E-Prix

Sam Bird won a chaotic Santiago E-Prix despite being under investigation for being underweight post race. The Brit was cleared and the win stays intact.

The Envision Virgin Racing driver inherited the lead from Pole sitter Sebastien Buemi after the Swiss driver crashed out at Turn 7 with 20 minutes to go.

The race got underway and Buemi retained the lead from Wehrlein, Abt and Bird. Bird swiftly made his way past Abt and when he made a gap to the German, used his first Attack Mode to close in on Wehrlein.

Bird passed the rookie and set his sights on race leader Buemi. Two full course yellow periods were deployed to remove the stricken car of Maxi Gunther and debris when Stoffel Vandoorne hit the wall at Turn 3.

Not long after returning to green flag racing, Buemi then ran slightly off line onto the broken up tarmac of Turn 7 and hit the wall, he would make it back to the pits to try and repair the car, but the polesitter was out.

Further down the field, Andre Lotterer went into the back of Antonio Felix da Costa, who in turn went into Jean Eric Vergne, who spun at the final hairpin. The reigning champion, along with Da Costa would later retire from the race.

Alexander Sims was making his through the field and spun Edoardo Mortara at the chicane, his eyes were now set of Daniel Abt’s third place, however the Brit would earn a drive through penalty converted into a time penalty at the end of the race.

While Alexander Sims battled Daniel Abt over third, Pascal Wehrlein was using his second Attack Mode to fight Bird for the win, despite giving it his all, he couldn’t make the move and fell back to cool down his battery in the searing Chilean heat.

This meant that Bird could cruise to the win, ahead of Wehrlein with Abt in third after Sims’ time penalty dropped him to seventh. Mortara finished fourth, ahead of Robin Frijns and Mitch Evans. Jerome D’Ambrosio recovered from a poor qualifying to eighth, and retains the championship lead by a single point, with Oliver Turvey and Jose Maria Lopez collecting their’s and their team’s first points of the season.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship returns in Mexico City on 16th February.

 

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