Saturday got off to a great start for the Renault e.dams squad with Sebastien finishing quickest in FP2 and his team-mate, Nico Prost, just behind him in third. Both drivers competed in the second qualifying group in which Nico did enough on his flying lap to take part in the Super Pole. But a error from Sebastien at Turn 7 put his Renault Z.E.15 into a spin, which saw him start from the back of the grid. Nico, meanwhile, lined up second on the grid for the 35-lap contest.
At lights out, both drivers made a fantastic start under the scorching Argentinian sun, with Sebastien moving up three places by the second lap of the race. From then on, it was a matter of picking his way through the competition one by one until the chequered flag. And he did just that, climbing an incredible 16 positions by the end of the race en route to second place and his third podium of the 2015/16 season.
For Prost, who managed to maintain his position for most of the first half of the race, a spin shortly after the mandatory car change hindered his chances of a podium finish. Whilst this pushed him further down the order, the appearance of a Safety Car on lap 20 following an incident involving Team Aguri’s Antonio Felix da Costa helped Nico to regain position, eventually crossing the line in fifth.
Both results see Renault e.dams increase its lead at the top of the Teams’ standings, with Sebastien at the head of the Drivers’ table and Nico in ninth.
#8 Nico Prost: “I was really happy with my pace earlier today; I was quick in practice and qualifying, so the result was really frustrating for me. I had an issue in the pit lane that meant I lost time there and then I made a mistake, which cost us a podium. Another fifth is good in terms of the standings, but I’m definitely looking to improve in Mexico.”
#9 Sebastien Buemi: “I’m really pleased with the result; I think that was probably one of my best races so far coming from the back to a podium. I was frustrated with qualifying – obviously it would have been better to bring home the maximum number of points again, but at the end of the day it’s another strong result and keeps us in the lead.”
Vincent Gaillardot, Renault Sport Formula E Project Leader: “This was a tough race because of the very high temperatures, which has caused us some issues in the past. But we did well with battery and motor temperature, and it proved that the changes we made after Putrajaya were correct. Perhaps we need to focus on our consistency in qualifying for the next race but, overall, we are really pleased with Sebastien and Nico’s results.”
Alain Prost, Senior Team Manager: “Even starting at the back, we did think Sebastien could recover to a points-scoring finish. But really he excelled himself with another podium and being so close to winning. Once again both of our cars were in the top five, which is fantastic for us, and the race was another good show for Formula E and all the fans.”
Jean-Paul Driot, Senior Team Manager: “Obviously qualifying wasn’t ideal for us with Sebastien starting at the back of the grid and meant we had a huge challenge on our hands. But I think the strength of our team, the drivers and car shone through in this race and we are very happy with the end result. Clearly it was a bit of a shame that Nico lost a few positions during the race but he scored more points, which is important for the team.”
Renault e.dams return to the action in just over a month for the new-for-2016 Mexico City ePrix on March 12
- Sam Bird (DS Virgin Racing)
- Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams)
- Lucas di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport)
- Stéphane Sarrazin (Venturi)
- Nico Prost (Renualt e.dams)