- Nelson Piquet Jr finishes a strong sixth in Santiago, Chile
- Jaguar I-TYPE 2 shows strong race pace
- Mitch Evans battles his way from the back of the grid to secure a double points finish for Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Santiago -E-Prix in photos
GKN Brand Ambassadors report from the Santiago E-prix
For the first time in Formula E history the race came to Santiago, Chile. As we arrived at Chile’s capital, we could already tell the event was altering the city’s routine as the cab driver asked us if we were travelling to Santiago for the race.
His excitement showed us how proud the locals were to be hosting the event. Arriving at the race’s location, we saw the grandstands located all around the track positioned at key curves, so the fans wouldn’t miss a single overtake or eventual crash. On Friday the track was opened to whoever wanted to take pictures or just walk the circuit and feel part of the excitement that Formula E can provide.
When the date of the race finally arrived, the atmosphere in the city was electric. People took to the streets early on in the morning to catch a glimpse of their favorites drivers, as well as the cars. Inside the event, the E-Village was packed with stands presenting new technologies and allowing you to interact with most of them. The merchandising store had a huge line from the beginning to the end of the event, with fans from all over the world wanting to buy something that reminded them of this very important day.
While the E-Village was full of fans from all teams enjoying the day together, on the track the drivers started to put aside their friendliness, replaced with competitiveness as the qualifying begun. The qualifying was divided into four groups of five drivers each selected at random, the fastest driver of each group would then compete in the Super Pole to define the first five positions. Mitch Evans was on the first group followed by Nelson Piquet Jr. on the second. Unfortunately, Mitch made a mistake on his qualifying lap which put him on the last position of the grid. Nelson secured the sixth position of the grid and held a real chance of reaching the podium by the end of the race.
The whole arena stopped and looked at the big screens to follow the count down. People from the tall buildings surrounding the track were also watching closely. Once the countdown was complete, people at the grand stands all cheered and were really energetic watching the race. Not shortly after it begun, one of the cars hit a corner and all of the others had to drive behind the safety car for the next few laps.
The drivers then drove in line holding their positions until the crashed car was removed from the track and the safety car cleared the way, so that the drivers could return to their high speeds. Nelson was able to get up to second place during the first lap. As time passed he wasn’t able to withstand the pressure from the third and fourth cars and was overtaken by them. Unfortunately as he tried to regain the third position, he made a mistake very similar to the one Mitch made in the qualifying and dropped to sixth, securing this position until the end of the race. Mitch was in for a recovery race as he had nothing to lose he showed excellent driving skills and was able to secure the seventh position at the end.
Once the race was over, we headed to the podium area and watched the celebration and trophy distribution along with the anticipated champagne shower. Although Panasonic Jaguar Racing didn’t appear on the podium, the results were very satisfying because it is really hard to have two drivers scoring points in the same race, this will help to boost Panasonic Jaguar Racing in the teams championship.
The event was a major success and we feel so lucky and proud to be selected as ambassadors. Seeing the shirts, garage, and cars carrying the GKN logo makes us very happy and gives us an understanding as to how deep GKN is involved with the team. For the next years to come, the involvement of GKN with Panasonic Jaguar Racing will increase even more and that partnership will drive electric technology further so we can create a benchmark when it comes to driveline engineering. Now we’re on to Mexico City where we hope the team can maintain the great start of the season and reach for the top positions of the grid.
Santiago Race Results
Team Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Formula E Santiago
Formula E arrives in Santiago, Chile on, Saturday 3rd February 2018 for the first race of the Latin American leg of the season.
The Chilean capital will host an E-Prix for the very first time this year. The 2.47km circuit starts on Avenue Santa Maria and snakes through local parks and city blocks, crossing the ricer Mapocho twice in the process. Turns 2 through 5 encompass the famous Plaza Baquedano, a major landmark and part of the Chilean national identity, where locals go to celebrate sporting victories. Latin America has a long and rich history in motorsport, and we will no doubt see the same high level of fan enthusiasm here as Formula E starts a new chapter in this corner of South America. How the drivers will react to this new challenge remains to be seen.
The Championship races
In the media
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