Over three months had passed since Formula E’s last race in Marrakesh, but seemingly nobody has been able to find the magic that it will take to stop Sebastien Buemi.
The 28-year-old Swiss racing driver has won the opening three rounds of the 2016-2017 season. It is the first time in Formula E history a driver has won three in a row.
Additionally, Buemi has won four of the last six Formula E races to be held. The other two were won by his teammate Nico Prost and, to find the last time a non-Renault e.dams driver won a Formula E race, you have to go back to the Paris ePrix in April 2016.
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That race was won by ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas di Grassi, who has also had his fair share of success in Formula E. However, until this weekend, he had never taken pole for an ePrix.
Fortunately for the 32-year-old Brazilian, he was the one at the head of the field for the start of Saturday’s 37-lap event at the Puerto Madero Street Circuit.
Unfortunately for the 32-year-old Brazilian, that lead didn’t last long.
Jean-Eric Vergne took over the top spot in his TECHEETAH machine on Lap 3, while Buemi soon disposed of Di Grassi for second.
It only took until Lap 6 for Buemi to finally move himself up for the top spot, where he remained for the rest of the race.
Meanwhile, Di Grassi continued to drop back, losing spots to Oliver Turvey and Nico Prost. However, he gained the spot from Turvey back during the round of stops, although his team was investigated for an unsafe release. Following the race, the officials declared that there would be no further action taken.
Di Grassi was able to get back by Prost for third on track, rounding out the podium behind Buemi and Vergne.
Vergne had cut Buemi’s lead down from five to two seconds in the closing stint following the stops, but Buemi made it clear following the race that he was holding back.
“I had a great car, especially in the first stint,” explained Buemi. “Obviously we knew the battery management was going to be a problem, so I could have used more energy but I didn’t, just to make sure I had the battery under control.”
While Buemi’s competitors may struggle to beat him on track, they may have some saving grace coming up when the Formula E events clash with those of the FIA WEC, as Buemi will be prioritizing his sports car racing duties.
Meanwhile, home-crowd favorite Jose Maria Lopez salvaged a 10th place finish in his DS Virgin Racing machine after starting from the back of the field. Lopez had gone fastest in the first sector during his qualifying lap, but then made contact with the wall and was unable to set a competitive time.
Round 4 of the 2016-2017 Formula E season takes place on April 1 from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez circuit in Mexico City.
Unofficial race results:
1. Sebastien Buemi – Renault e.dams
2. Jean-Eric Vergne – TECHEETAH
3. Lucas di Grassi – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
4. Nico Prost – Renault e.dams
5. Nelson Piquet Jr. – NEXTEV NIO
6. Loic Duval – Faraday Future Dragon Racing
7. Daniel Abt – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
8. Jerome d’Ambrosio – Faraday Future Dragon Racing