Formula E is back in Chile – Preview

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After a thrilling and truly excting season-opening weekend in Saudi Arabia, the world’s most famous and innovative fully electric racing series is back in action in Chile for Round 1 and 2, the Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix.

The 2019/2020 Formula E Championship started in a spectacular fashion when the Gen2 cars conquered the streets of Riyadh. With the arrival of the premium German car-makers, Mercedes and Porsche, the expectations were high, and the series did not fail to impress. The first event of the sixth season of the fully electric series took place in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh which hosted an ePrix bot hon Friday and Saturday. London will be the only other double-header when the field makes a welcome return to the streets of the British capital for the season finale.

During the Diriyah ePrix weekend, the first race was won by Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who cemeted his special status in the series as the only driver to have won in every season of the series. However, things changed for the second day, because the pole-sitter Alexander Sims could convert his starting position into a well-deserved race victory on Satuday, making him the leader after two rounds.

Newcomer Mercedes and Porsche also commenced their participation in the innovative series successfully as André Lotterer clinched the second place for the sportscar manufacturer in the first race while Stoffel Vandoorne finished both rounds in third position.

An exciting novelty for the weekend

This weekend, Chile will play host to the Santiago ePrix for the third consectuive time. Formula E first visited the South American Chile in the 2017-2018 season and the country with a land forming a long and narrow strip has been on the calendar since.

In the inaugural year, Jean-Eric Vergne secured the first starting position which he kept to win the exciting race. Behind the Frenchman, André Lotterer and Sebastien Buemi secured the remaining podium finishes.

In the previous year, Sebastien Buemi clinched the pole position, but the Swissman was unable to convert it into a victory in the race and even failed to secure a place on the rostrum. Sam Bird became the winner of the second Santiago ePrix in front of Pascal Wehrlein and Daniel Abt.

For 2020, the series promises yet another spectacle with the Driver’s Eye – an innovative new camera angle which allows fans to ride onboard with some of their favourite drivers, watching their lightning speed reactions while navigating the bumps.

A fast and flowing track at Parque O'Higgins

Chile has joined the Formula One Championship three years ago. In the inaugural year, the race was run on the Santiago Street Circuit, in the heart of the chilean capital. However, due to logistics challenges and intense opposition from locas residents, the promoters decided to move the event to the Parque O’Higgins, the second largest public park of the city.

The Parque O’Higgins Circuit belongs to the average tracks in terms of length with its 2.348km on the Formula E calendar. Last year, Sebastien Buemi secured the pole position, registering a lap time of 1m8.816. The circuit is a relatively high-speed track among the streets courses of the electric championship. The entire length of the circuit incorporates a total of eleven turns with only a few of them being slow ones.

The first part of the circuit is dominated by curved, medium-speed sections where it it vital to find the right rhythm. The combination of Turn 6 and Turn 7 is the first slow-speed section where drivers have to concentrate on a perfect exit as a long curved follows where every bit of extra speed is vital. New for this season, the chicane at Turn 8 has been removed paving way for even more overtaking opportunities. In contrast to the opening part of the section, the last bit of the circuit features three slow-speed turn which then lead back to the main straight.