Formula E Uruguay ePrix Race Discussion


No passing through my dirty air please
So with only a 3 week gap this time around the brand new Formula E show lands in the sunny climate of Punta del Este in Uruguay. Apparently Punta Del Este is nicknamed the Monte Carlo of the Americas and the backdrop for the race will be a glamorous harbour and glorious beaches which will be an improvement in the industrial look of the last two. The circuit itself is based around a circuit raced at here by touring cars which gives some hope that as racing has been done here before they might have perfected a lay out for good racing.


The track is a mixture of short straights and sharp turns with the surface changing considerably in different areas of the track. The track guide states that the track gets very narrow in places which I have to say is a worry for me as that indicates that it maybe isn't great for overtaking but I guess we'll see. I have to say though it is quite exciting to be somewhere like Uruguay that doesn't see a lot of top class motorsport. Another advantage for our British and European fans is that due to the time difference with Uruguay the 16:00 start of the race will put it on a perfect Saturday teatime start of 18:00. Does that mean we'll maybe get to see qualifying live this time round? Who knows.

As far as the racing is concerned I'm hoping we see more of the same as we did in Malaysia. We saw some very good racing as well as various errors which indicates to me that these cars are a difficult to drive and need full concentration from the drivers, which is exactly what you want in single seater racing. As you could throw a blanket over the field it is very hard to predict who will be out at the front on this one but its hard to rule out championship leaders Di Grassi and Bird who seem to have jumped on board with they style of this series quicker that the others. Di Grassi's Audi Abt team especially seem to have hit the ground running with both drivers bothering the front in both races. They were also the team that tried the cheeky early car change under the safety car which would have got them a great result had it just been a 3 or 4 laps later. The team I had expected to dominate with all its vast experience in single seater racing was E-DAMS but the appear to have conspired to throw away any advantage they had going into the season. They did however show us another tactic in Formula E to get a result with both their drivers stuck at the back conserving power until everyone pitted then wacking it up to 11 for a lap to steal track position. E-DAMS have to come good at somepoint so maybe their season will start here.

Amongst all this newness it was nice to see some familiarity in the last race. Nick Heidfeld is unlucky whatever Formula he is racing in, we saw Senna overtake Prost and we of course saw the return of the Trulli train. What was noticeable though was that the organisers of the series are listening and working out the kinks in the format. Gone was the ridiculously slow and pointless parade lap which has had an added effect of meaning the drivers are going into the first lap with cold brakes and tyres which led to a lot of action. The series has taken away the focus on the car change (we hardly saw any footage of it last race) as they realised it was confusing and a bit dull and gave more information on the tactics around it. We also saw the much controversial 'Fan Boost' take place which was actually quite exciting and had the unexpected result of making one driver hit the wall because he got too much wheel spin but another one resulted in an overtake. I don't think its the massive advantage we believed it was going to be but will be a useful tool for a driver who knows how to use it. From the first two races we've seen it has become clear that an E-Prix is something you have to keep watching to the end as the difference in tactics where the power saving is concerned mean it all comes to a head on the last few laps. Some will be out front trying to hold on with low power and some will be charging through with the power they saved. Both races have seen last lap crashes and I can't see that changing.

From a personal level I will be cheering on Sam Bird to make it two in a row as I would love to see him continue to show F1 it has missed out not having him on the grid. This is the first race in the F1 close season and the first race at a reasonable hour for the European viewer so I'll be very interested to see the viewing figures.

Will you be watching and who will you be cheering on?
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Is it not on a Saturday?

It looks like eDams are quickest, but have thus far failed to provide the required reliability. Moose and Son of Prof's pace from the back was excellent in Putarajaya.

I suspect that Heidfeld will look good if he manages to avoid the French, while there seems more to come from HRT (or Mahindra) as well.
Isn't it ironic that Nicolas Prost gets to drive for what was Droit Arnoux Motorsport (now Driot Associés Motor Sport ) given the animosity between Nicolas' dad and Rene Arnoux during their time in F1. Anyway, I might have to watch this one on the DVR again as it's pre-crimble visit time at the fat bloke house but the first two races have been quite entertaining so let's go again.
Will he be running long enough to use it though?

Bruno Senna appears to have a massive online following so I imagine he's a shoe in everytime.

Doesn't seem to be a lot of votes for Nelsinho though.....hmmmmm.
From the races we've seen in Formula E it seems very likely that if a driver pits early and a safety car comes out just after he's changed car that, due to everyone else pitting, they could end up a lap up on the entire field.

Now we know why Piquet Jr decided to join the sport.
Wasn't Abt forced into that early stop for a wing replacement? You imply that it was a canny strategy RasputinLives.

His car was still runnable but when the safety car came out they decided to take the risk of changing his car really early in the hope that the 72 seconds gained from a free pitstop would outweigh the lack of power for the rest of the race. So it was part neccesity part rolling the dice.

Done about 5 or 6 laps later and it would have worked a treat.
Salvador Durán will replace Katherine Legge for this race. Not sure if this is just a one off or a permanent change. Greenlantern101 you'll need to review your E-bet game odds.

Formula E does need a steady driver line up, this constant changing of drivers does make it seem a less professional series. Hopefully next season they can tighten up on this.
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