Formula E: Santiago ePrix Preview

Source: Michelin Motorsport

Tomorrow sees Formula E head to Chile as they host their first ever ePrix in its capital city of Santiago.

Preparations for the race have been successful as demonstrated by one of the organisers in this short video:

The 1.53-mile clockwise street circuit – situated at the Parque Forestal Ciudad de Santiago – will be made of 12 turns, with the start line placed on the Avenue Santa Maria.

Following this, the drivers will arrive at the first turn, which will be expected to provide the main overtaking opportunities of the weekend’s action, and cross the river Mapocho.

The next handful of turns around the Plazza Baquedano are quite tight before reaching the hairpin at Turn 8, which could provide more overtakes should the drivers be able to master their braking distances on the slippery surface.

The remainder of the lap sees a series of short straights which the drivers will navigate as they pass through the Forestal Park, before reaching the finish line on the Cardenal José Maria Caro.

Speaking after a demonstration to welcome the race in October, Co-Founder & Deputy CEO of Formula E Alberto Longo discussed his excitement in the latest addition to the schedule outside La Moneda Palace.

“It’s an honour to join President Bachelet for the first appearance of Formula E on the streets of Santiago,” said Longo.

He added, “South America is steeped in motorsport history and tradition – and Formula E will make its own history in Chile for many years to come, starting this coming season.”

Since the previous race in Marrakesh, the main story in Formula E has been that the cancelled race in Montreal – which was planned to host the season finale this summer – will not be replaced, reducing the number of races this season to 12.

There were several discussions which took place, with many reports of the return to London amongst other venues being considered, but ultimately none of them came to fruition.

A spokesperson for the all-electric series stated the following: “We’ve looked at a number of alternatives but decided not to replace Montreal.”

“Racing in city centres requires proper planning and whilst this process opened up some interesting alternatives, we’ll allow more time to look at these before including (them) in our calendar.”

“Our season finale event will be in New York (on the 14th & 15th of July) and it will surely provide a spectacular backdrop to crown this year’s champion.”

This news follows prior announcements that the Monaco ePrix would not return for season four, in addition to the postponement of the São Paulo race until 2019.

The previous race in Marrakesh saw Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist claim his second victory to move into the lead of the Drivers’ championship on 54 points.

The Swede was initially third before he inherited second place due to a mistake made by Sam Bird (DS Virgin).

After the pit stops, Rosenqvist reeled in race leader Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.Dams), who was unable to use his fan boost, allowing Rosenqvist to make the important pass on Lap 29 by squeezing past the Swiss driver under braking for Turn 8.

As a result, Bird dropped to second in the standings but remains close behind on 50 points, with Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne moving up to third on 43 points.

The Constructors’ Championship conveys a similar story, with Mahindra’s two wins courtesy of Rosenqvist helping them to 75 points, extending their lead over DS Virgin to 17 points.

Techeetah are in third place on 43 points, but Panasonic Jaguar are having a much better second season and are only three points behind the Chinese outfit.

The two practice sessions for the Santiago ePrix will be shown live on YouTube via the official ABB Formula E Championship.

Practice One begins at 10:55am and Practice Two is scheduled for 1:25pm.

The qualifying coverage will be shown live on 5Spike at 2:45pm, with the race build-up beginning at 6:30pm, half an hour before the race start at 7pm on the same channel.