The 2016 phase of the current FIA Formula E Championship, the only electric sports car race in the world today, gets underway on Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The city hosts the second running of the Buenos Aires ePrix on the street circuit set up in the Puerto Madero area. FIA is the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.
The 2.48-kilometer circuit is essentially unchanged from last year, apart from a few minor modifications to turns eight and 10. Sunday’s race will be run over 35 laps, making a distance of close to 87 kilometers.
Logically, the favorite to win is the leader of the Drivers’ classification, Sebastien Buemi. The Swiss driver won in Beijing and again at Punta del Este, proving that Renault e.Dams is currently running the most competitive package, both in qualifying and in the race.
Entering the race, Renault e.Dams announced its new partnership with leading precision connector and cable designer LEMO.
Alain Prost, co-founder of Renault e.dams said, “Obviously, we’d like to thank LEMO for their support and trust. They are a well-known and respected brand with a passion for motor racing, which made them the perfect choice for us. This partnership will allow us to progress and help us become even more competitive.”
However, the fact that Buemi has only a one-point lead (62 to 61) over Lucas di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) proves that nothing can be taken for granted, which is always the case in all forms of motor sports, but maybe even more so in Formula E. So far, the Brazilian driver has always made it to the podium, with a win at Putrajaya and two second places in Beijing and Punta de Este. Consistency is one of his strengths, with nine top three finishes from 14 ePrix starts.
Strangely, neither Buemi nor Di Grassi saw the chequered flag in the previous Buenos Aires race, as they both retired with suspension problems while leading.
In one of the most thrilling races of the season, the Buenos Aires ePrix was won by Portugal’s Antonio Felix da Costa, ahead of Nicolas Prost and Nelson Piquet Jr.: the Brazilian was particularly surprised after taking the chequered flag, as he believed he had been lapped following a neutralisation period,
Making his Formula E debut back then in the Argentinian capital was Mexico’s Salvador Duran, who is due back behind the wheel of an electric single-seater this weekend, after a less than successful experience at the start of the season with the Trulli team. Called in by Team Aguri to replace Frenchman Nathanael Berthon, Duran will race, assuming the Stewards look favorably on the team’s request to change drivers. Making his championship debut in Buenos Aires will be Mike Conway with the Venturi team. The Englishman, who actually tested for Dragon Racing in 2014, replaces the Canadian Jacques Villeneuve who, by mutual agreement with the Monegasque team, has cancelled his contract.
Returning to the track in Argentina will be the German, Nick Heidfeld, back behind the wheel of the Mahindra, after breaking his wrist at Putrajaya and having to miss the Uruguayan Punta del Este round, where Englishman Oliver Rowland deputized for him.