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Andretti/BMW's Guenther wins Santiago ePrix

Seals the win in final lap dash in Santiago scorcher
Saturday, January 18, 2020

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BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther takes thrilling last lap win
BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther takes thrilling last lap win

BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther clinched a hard-earned victory in the scorching heat of Santiago after a fierce battle with DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa. Coming in third was Poleman and Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans.

Pulling away from Pole, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans led the way into the opening laps of the 2020 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix followed by Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein who passed BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther, now positioned in third. 

Running clean for the opening laps, championship leader Sims came to a halt on track with a full-course yellow being called. After his car was retrieved, racing restarted with 37 minutes left on the clock.

Heading through Turn 10 and 11, Nissan e.dams' Oliver Rowland made contact Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird, damaging his front wing which broke away from the car. At the same time, Bird spun, loosing precious places and dropping to 19th. 

Picking up ATTACK MODE, Max Guenther advanced on Rokit Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara, using the extra power to blast past the Venturi driver and move into third. With Mortara in fourth and his teammate Felipe Massa in fifth, the two Venturi cars trailed the podium sitters, biding their time. 

Heading into Turn 10 together, Massa was forced wide by his teammate, hitting the wall and dropping to seventh. Taking advantage of the situation, reigning champion and DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne slipped past into fifth. 

With 25 minutes left on the clock, Evans maintained the lead with Guenther now in second, Wehrlein in third. Still in ATTACK MODE, Guenther went for the lead slipping past Evans on the approach to Turn 9. 

Da Costa came home a close 2nd
Da Costa came home a close 2nd

Despite starting from the back of the grid, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi moved up into 12th, two places off his teammate Daniel Abt. 

With 14 minutes of the race left, Wehrlein slowed allowing Vergne to pass into third as well as his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa who now sat behind him in fourth. 

With the two DS Techeetah drivers in third and fourth, reigning champion Vergne's front left tire started rubbing on the wing, leaving a trail of smoke behind him. Regardless, Vergne continued - now in sixth - before the wing broke off. With just seven minutes to go, Vergne pulled into the pits with his damaged car leaving his teammate battling on track for the top step of the podium. 

Guenther Celebrates
Guenther Celebrates

Making a break for second, Da Costa passed Poleman Evans on the long Turn 8, now hunting Guenther for the win. 

Holding out, Guenther maintained the lead with less than three minutes left on the clock. With both cars coming into Turn 10 together, Da Costa forced the BMW driver wide, passing on the inside and into first.  

With less than a minute left, Guenther was back on the attack as Da Costa led the way. Both with the same level of energy, Guenther stormed past Da Costa going into Turn 9, regaining his hard-earned lead. Once around 10 and 11, the BMW driver clinched the win with Da Costa in second and Evans in third. 

Quotes

1st BMW I ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT
MAXIMILIAN GUENTHER

"Today is a dream come true. For all of us, it was about managing the race in hot conditions and it was a straight fight to the finish. Having not made a great start on the dirty side of the track, which actually cost me position, we used the extra power for ATTACK MODE very cleverly. That ultimately allowed me to take the lead. In those temperatures, it was also important to keep an eye on the battery. We did that really well and on the final lap, Antonio had to coast a little earlier than me on the straight. I thought to myself it is now or never and went for the overtake. Fortunately, it came off!"

2nd DS TECHEETAH
ANTONIO FELIX DA COSTA

"So much happened during that race! It is a bit of an awkward situation losing the win to BMW i Andretti Motorsport as my old team, but congratulations to Max. I am happy where I am, and we are only going to get better and improve as a team. It is going to be a fun season. A lot of positives to take away, but I lost out at the start as I got a massive hit from behind and my steering was never straight for the rest of the race. However, we have speed in the car and that made all the difference. I lost a lot of time behind JEV and was fed some wrong information on temperatures and when it all came down to the last lap… these guys just managed it better."

3rd ANASONIC JAGUAR RACING
MITCH EVANS

"The execution of the race sort of slipped out of our hands. It was a bit of a strange one. Looking at the positives we have got some good points and a podium after having a bad start to the season. Starting from pole I wanted to walk away with a win, but we clearly still have work to do. In qualifying we had some good speed and I just could not keep up and convert that into race pace. For the first three laps I had some system issues where I was not getting any readings. I am a bit disappointed obviously as when you start the race in first place you want to end there. Full credit to these guys, they were super quick."

Nyck de Vries:
"Although I crossed the finish line in third place, I was ultimately ranked fifth - but all in all, it was a good race. I didn't have the best of starts on the inside, but I was able to limit the damage. After that, I managed to stay calm in the early stages of the race and benefit from some of the other drivers' mistakes. My pace was good, and I was able to fight my way forward through the field. Unfortunately, I then got a penalty, which is a pity. But overall it was a good race. Also the qualifying which, all things considered, was OK. Of course, there is always room for improvement here and there, but by and large, there were more positives than negatives."
 
Stoffel Vandoorne:
"That was a tough and highly eventful race for me. My car was clattered into from all sides and afterwards didn't drive one hundred percent straight. Consequently, it was very difficult to keep it going all the way to the finish. But I'm glad that I managed to do that, because there were a lot of incidents today and it's important for us to have scored decent points again. That's what matters in this championship. Qualifying went well for us, even though we didn't make it into the super pole. Realistically speaking, we had been expecting that to some extent all along. The important thing is that I was the fastest in my qualifying group by a big margin and we were able to start among the Top 10. Maybe we lost a few points today, but now we need to look ahead and do better in the next race."

Oliver Rowland
“A disappointing day for me as we had potential to score good points. My mistake in qualifying put us on the back foot, and then the contact with another car in the race dropped us down the field. I’m putting this race behind me and concentrating on Mexico.”

Sebastien Buemi
"This was a tough day. I started in P6, but then had a bad start with lots of wheelspin. After that, we had a technical issue with the steering wheel which cost me a few positions. I was able to salvage a few points at the end and finish P7, but the time penalty took us out of the points. A frustrating day but we now look forward to the next round in Mexico.”

Winning Move

Race Results

POSDRIVERTEAMCARTIME/BEHIND
1Max GuentherAndretti BMWBMW46m11.511s
2Antonio Felix da CostaDS TecheetahDS2.067s
3Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar5.119s
4Pascal WehrleinMahindraMahindra7.050s
5Nyck de VriesMercedesMercedes9.883s
6Stoffel VandoorneMercedesMercedes11.237s
7Lucas di GrassiAudiAudi14.437s
8James CaladoJaguarJaguar18.255s
9Felipe MassaVenturiMercedes20.430s
10Sam BirdVirginAudi21.780s
11Nico MullerDragonPenske23.786s
12Oliver TurveyNIONIO27.778s
13Sebastien Buemie.damsNissan43.257s
14Daniel AbtAudiAudi47.198s
15Ma QinghuaNIONIO1 Lap
16Robin FrijnsVirginAudi1 Lap
17Oliver Rowlande.damsNissan4 Laps
18Jerome d'AmbrosioMahindraMahindra4 Laps
19Brendon HartleyDragonPenske5 Laps
21Jean-Eric VergneDS TecheetahDSDNF
21Edoardo MortaraVenturiMercedesDNF
22Alexander SimsBMWBMWDNF
23Neel JaniPorschePorscheDNF
24Andre LottererPorschePorscheDSQ

Driver Standings

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Stoffel Vandoorne38
2Alexander Sims35
3Sam Bird28
4Max Guenther25
5Lucas di Grassi24
6Oliver Rowland22
7Antonio Felix da Costa21
8Mitch Evans21
9Andre Lotterer18
10Edoardo Mortara18
11Nyck de Vries18
12Pascal Wehrlein12
13Robin Frijns10
14James Calado10
15Daniel Abt8

Team Standings

POSTEAMPOINTS
1BMW i Andretti Motorsport60
2Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team56
3Envision Virgin Racing38
4Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler32
5Panasonic Jaguar Racing31
6DS Techeetah25
7Nissan e.Dams22
8ROKiT Venturi Racing20
9TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team18
10Mahindra Racing14
11Geox Dragon2
12NIO 333 FE Team0

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