Max Gunter BMW I Andretti Motorsports Santiago Winner

Formula E: Round 3 – Santiago, Chile

Formula E took place in Santiago, Chile this past weekend. Alexander Sims entered the weekend in first place in the driver’s standings. He did not finish the weekend there.

Mitch Evans (Jaguar) was on pole position to start the race. Alexander Sims started in 15th place. The early part of the race was similar to a stock car race.


The two hairpin corners produced a lot of contact. Sims eventually stopped on track and the stewards issued a Full Course Yellow for eight seconds to recover his car. Is that the shortest FCY ever?

Both Porsches were in the pits early due to contact. A Nissan’s front wing exploded on the front straight.

Turn 8 is a crazy long left-hand turn. It is shallow enough though that the drivers used it as a straightaway.

2020 Formula E Santiago Track Map

This is the first race that I’ve watched where the commentators are discussing heat energy and needing to cool the car. The more regen energy is put into the battery and the more is then used, the battery continues to get hotter.

Strategy Matters

Evans in the Jaguar took both Attack modes early, with 30 minutes left in the race. Mortara put Massa, his teammate, in the wall. Forced his way through at the hairpin. It was completely unnecessary. Instead of fourth and fifth, the contact left them with Mortara in 4th and Massa in 7th. Mortara eventually retired and Massa finished in 9th.

Max Günther used Attack Mode to pass Wehrlein and Evans to go from 3rd to 1st. Evans was a sitting duck since he had already used both attack modes.

DS Techeetah needed this race. They were running 3rd and 4th collectively when Vergne’s front left bodywork started to rub and produced a lot of smoke and made the car understeer. Vergne blocked his teammate, Da Costa, and eventually gave way. Physics pulled the bodywork off, but Vergne eventually had to pit and dropped to 18th.

Da Costa worked his way up to 2nd and forced his way passed Günther. Da Costa was over-exuberant and had battery temp issues as he took the lead. He bumped Günther right out of the way and had to immediately try to cool his battery. 

Günther was managing his own race (saving power), got bumped, and then was able to immediately attack Da Costa again. The race is 45 minutes plus one lap and is what enabled Günther to retake the lead. If Da Costa had been seconds slower crossing the line, he would have won the race. Instead,  they had to complete another lap and Günther was able to pass him at the end of the crazy long left-hander at turn 9.

It was more exciting than the end of just about every Formula 1 race from last year.

The Results

Max Günther won the race for BMW I Andretti Motorsport. Antonio Felix Da Docsta finished second for DS Techeetah. Vergne did not finish the race and was awarded no points.

After Jaguar fumbled Mitch Evans’s strategy by taking both Attack Modes early in the race, he was able to save his race and finish third. He won more points than second-place because the pole position also receives 3 championship points, so Evans’s third-place finish was more 19 points to second place’s 18.

This race restructured how the Formula E championship looks. Alexander Sims was leading coming into this race and is now second. Stoffel Vandoorne has risen to lead the championship after his sixth-place finish in Santiago. Is it shocking that Mercedes is leading a motorsport championship? Nope. Sam Bird is now 3rd after his Round 1 victory and finishing 10th in Chile. Max Günther had scored zero points in the first two rounds of the championship and is now 4th overall.

BMW I Andretti leads the constructors’ race with Mercedes four points behind. Envision Virgin Racing is in 3rd currently.

Next Up

The next race is February 15th in Mexico City. There will be zero commentaries on the altitude affecting the cars’ motors. They’ll probably still discuss it about the aero though…

Watch Santiago’s highlights for yourself.

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5 responses to “Formula E: Round 3 – Santiago, Chile”

  1. alex Avatar

    I would rather watch endless “Soupy Sales” reruns than formula E

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    Formula E certainly has the unpredictability that you just don’t get in other forms of motorsport that have had 50 years of figuring out the optimal way to do things. Also some of the drivers have a different mindset to those in other top level motorsport.

    Having said that, to do well you have to be on the ragged edge in the same way Nascar drivers are, because the FE cars are set up differently from most open wheel cars (particularly tyres) and they run on much different tracks; some of the driving is more like WRC tarmac stages.

  3. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    This series should get more eyes on it than it does. This race in particular is why it works. There was a ton of actual racing here. Besides having your technical side to follow with the cars. The drivers are always working on eeking out every little bit of both speed and power from their cars. They are always on tight road tracks that force them to bump into each other. This race gave us a brief three wide which was very unexpected as well.
    There is no more swapping out of cars. So you can’t use that as an excuse. These are second level drivers either. A lot of them come from other series. Drivers like Massa who is finally getting the feel for his car right until his team mate screwed up his race.
    I’ve been watching this series since race 1 of season 1. It has definitely evolved. It’s fun to watch a race that isn’t a parade.

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    I’ll continue to have difficulty taking Formula E seriously as a racing series for at least as long as any aspect of vehicle performance is determined via their Fanboost popularity contest. Their own website notes that “Formula E is the only event in the world that lets fans play an active role in influencing the outcome of the race” which some may find entertaining, but it’s not racing.

    One may argue that the effect of Fanboost is so minor as to be insignificant to the actual racing, but if true that’s just another reason to get rid of it.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Good point, it always seems to go to the same drivers too.