Da Costa wins after a chaotic Buenos Aires ePrix
In as many races so far in the first FIA Formula E Series, there has been as many winners. Although there were moments when former winners – Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird and Sebastien Buemi – appeared as if they could pull off a double win, eventually Antonio Felix Da Costa emerged as the fourth winner of the inaugural season after a chaotic Buenos Aires ePrix.
Buemi, the most recent victor at Punta del Este, started from pole position for the 35-lap race. Jaime Alguersuari started behind Buemi, but was usurped from that position by Nick Heidfield before the first lap had even finished. Buemi was in front for the relatively uneventful first half, leading Heidfeld, di Grassi, Alguersuari and Bird before the pit stops.
Just as the pit stops began, Karun Chandhok’s Mahindra Racing car suffered a suspension failure. Alguersuari led a group of racers into the pit, and that’s when things got interesting or confusing, whichever way you want to view it.
The safety car was deployed because of Chandhok’s incident, and the Alguersuari-led group reappeared behind it. Buemi led another group of cars to pit; this group reemerged ahead of the safety car and continued around the track until they gained nearly a lap ahead of the rest. It was only after several laps when the Alguersuari-led group was told they could pass the safety car, but by then several drivers had already lost track of which lap they were on.
With the race finally back on, Buemi was still in the lead until he crashed at the chicane, which ended the race for him. Di Grassi then took the lead until he too experienced a similar suspension failure as Chandhok. This gave the top two spots to Heidfeld and Bird, but both were served drive-through penalties for pit road violations, which means Amlin Aguri’s Antonio Felix da Costa name was catapulted to the top of the scores until the end of the race.
Rounding up the podium were Nicolas Prost and Nelson Piquet Jr.
Andretti’s Franck Montagny was replaced by Marco Andretti at the race after failing a drug test administered during the Putrajaya ePrix.