Techeetah teammates Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer got pretty physical during the chaotic closing laps of the Santiago ePrix
After what had been a reasonably sedate race in Marrakesh three weeks ago, Formula E was back to its frantic best at the new circuit at Santiago in Chile.
Following some opening lap incidents, things settled down through the middle part of the race. This was the first race without a minimum pit stop time and thankfully things went pretty smoothly - well, unless your name is Lucas di Grassi, who suffered a car issue shortly after pitting and finishes the first third of the season with no points to his name - not great for the defending champion…
Although much of the race was pretty calm, things certainly spiced up in the last 10 laps or so. Jean-Eric Vergne had led most of the way, but teammate Andre Lotterer caught up and put pressure on, attempting a move at the end of the long back straight.
But if you thought that was close, it was nothing compared to what happened a few laps later when Lotterer misjudged his braking at the same corner.
Looks like Lotterer forgot the golden rule of being a racing driver - don’t hit your teammate! All of this also allowed Sebastien Buemi, Felix Rosenqvist, and Sam Bird to close in and make it a five-way battle for the lead.
But despite several more attempts over the closing laps the order stayed as it was until the end, proving that you don’t need overtaking for an exciting race. The 1-2 finish for Techeetah is also (incredibly) the first time a team has finished first and second in the history of Formula E. It also puts Vergne at the top of the drivers’ championship and Techeetah at the top of the teams’ standings - not bad for a customer squad!
Adding to the Formula E-ness was the fact that the entire paddock lost internet and TV pictures for a significant portion of the race, meaning that teams were blind to what was happening on the track; given the scrap between Vergne and Lotterer, that was probably a good thing for Techeetah!