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18 JANUARY 2019, SANTIAGO, CHILE – The third race of the 2019/20 FIA Formula E Championship took place today in the Chilean capital of Santiago, with teams competing in the searing South American heat. Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein and Jérôme D’Ambrosio fought hard in tough conditions with Pascal finishing just off the podium in fourth to open his points account for the season.
After the group qualifying sessions, Pascal was 6th, advancing to Super Pole - Mahindra's third successive appearance in Season 6 – and he set the third fastest time in the shoot-out to line up on the second row behind pole sitter Mitch Evans and Maximilian Günther alongside on the front row. The competition was as close as ever, with Pascal and fourth placed Felipe Massa setting identical Super Pole lap times.
In the race, Pascal had a fantastic start to pass Günther for second and he maintained position until lap 16, when Günther retook second while in Attack Mode. An action packed start to the second half of the race saw Günther, Evans and Wehrlein in intense battle for the podium positions until Jean Eric Vergne, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Nick De Vries entered the fray in the last 15 laps, making it a six way battle and jostle for position. After passing De Vries on the final straight of the final lap, Pascal crossed the line in fourth place, just missing out on a podium finish.
Jérôme showed his strengths once again as he had to make a comeback in the race after suffering a technical issue in qualifying, which affected his lap, forcing him to start the race from 20th. The cause of the issue will be investigated post-race. After dropping to the back at the start, he then started picking his way through the field on a salvage mission. By lap 7 he had already made up nine places to 15th and continued to move up, sitting just outside of the points in 11th by lap 37. He was unfortunately handed two time penalties and was not classified in the final results.
BMW’s Maximilian Günther won today’s Santiago E-Prix, with DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix Da Costa second and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans third.
"I finished second here last year and fourth this year so it’s a track I really like! We knew it was going to be quite difficult. I had a good start and moved up to second. I tried everything to defend positions and to be as fast as possible but that was the maximum we could do. The team have been working so hard the past two months and went through a big transition with lots of new people and so I think today is a good result for us."
"It's a bit of a disappointing weekend because I had a problem in qualifying, which really informed how my race was going to go. But that's racing and so obviously right now everyone in the team and myself is frustrated but there's only one answer in these situations and that is to regroup and look at the positives, learn from our mistakes, resolve any technical issues and aim for reliability. We have speed in qualifying and there is definitely room for improvement which is a positive. Mahindra Racing has a lot of good, hardworking people and we will solve the issues."
DILBAGH GILL, TEAM PRINCIPAL
"We were on the podium here in Santiago last year and we really wanted to repeat that so we are disappointed not to achieve that but are buoyed by a strong result for Pascal which we aim to build on in the next round in Mexico City. There were some good positives to be had; this race has shown two years in a row that it is a race of high attrition and it’s a positive to get two cars to the end. We showed good energy management, thermal management and Attack Mode strategy and we also showed our speed and competitiveness. It was a shame we had the issue with Jérôme's car in qualifying as, otherwise, I believe he would have continued the Super Pole run that he began in Riyadh. We will take the positives and work on the areas we need to work on with the firm aim of a podium in Mexico."