#FormulaE Midseason review: Drivers, Part 2

As we count down the days until the Monaco ePrix, new writer Chloe Hewitt, continues her mid-season look back at how the Formula E drivers have performed so far:

Part 2: Nearly Men and Newcomers

7th Jerome D’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) – 42 points, best result fourth (Putrajaya and Miami)

It has been a steady campaign so far from the Belgian – who has regularly run in the top-10 without ever threatening the podium.

He kicked off the season with sixth place in Beijing and followed this up with a fourth place – from last on the grid after technical issues in qualifying – in Putrajaya.

The points kept on flowing in Punta Del Este with eighth place, but he faced technical issues throughout the Buenos Aires round and recorded his first retirement in the process.

He managed to bounce back with his and Dragon Racing’s best showing at the time in Miami, on cusp of a podium throughout but in the end just falling short.

D’Ambrosio was placed on the back foot during the Long Beach race after being hit by Nico Prost on lap 21 but managed to take the flag in sixth place.

8th Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti Autosport) – 32 points, best result second (Long Beach)

Having missed the first two rounds of Formula E being a Formula 1 driver for Toro Rosso at the time, the Frenchman has taken to the series quickly. He made an astounding debut, claiming pole position in Punta Del Este and running in second place during the race, challenging for the win, only for broken suspension to deny him late on.

He was part of the leading pack once again in Buenos Aires, mixing it in the fight for the podium before eventually coming home fifth.

Miami brought yet another pole position for the Frenchman which was converted into an early race lead, but issue with an overheating battery forced him to slow in the second half of the race and he was classified 18th.

Long Beach brought his best result so far with second place after starting from sixth.

9th Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin Racing) – 30 points, best result fourth (Punta Del Este and Buenos Aires)

It has been a tough campaign for the Spaniard so far; he has shown glimpses of pace but has struggled to put a strong weekend together for a variety of reasons.

After leaving Beijing without any points to his name, he got his championship properly underway in Putrajaya where he set the fastest lap of the race on his way to ninth.

His form further improved with back to back fourth places in Punta Del Este and Buenos Aires.

However, energy consumption issues hampered his progress in Miami, causing him to finish in 11th place and out of the points.

At Long Beach Alguersuari fell victim of the same crash that affected team-mate Bird and was forced to drop places. After completing one of his best car changeovers he entered the second stint of the ePrix in twelfth. Able to have a clean race, staying clear of incidents that troubled other drivers and with strong energy management, he had enough power in his second car to gain four places in the final laps to finally finish in eighth.

10th Bruno Senna (Mahindra Racing) – 28 points, best result fifth (Buenos Aires and Long Beach)

Senna has suffered a frustrating time so far in Formula E; broken suspension forced him out on the first lap in Beijing. He pulled off the first ever FanBoost-assisted overtake as he ran strongly in Putrajaya, only to crash out in the closing stages as he pushed on for the podium.

He finally got some points in Punta Del Este with fifth place, which he then followed up with a competitive run to finish fifth again in Buenos Aires.

Unfortunately, his suspension adversary struck again in Miami, forcing him out of the race early on.

In Long Beach, Senna made use of stopping one lap later than most of the frontrunners to climb from the lower reaches of the top 10 – the Brazilian initially had to fight with Nico Prost when he came out of the pits but the Frenchman’s race fell apart.

11th Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT) – 22 points, best result third (Miami)

Abt is another driver that has had a frustrating start to the season – which is clear from the disparity in points to his team mate – but his season finally came to life in Miami where a strategy gamble took him to within two laps of victory; but ultimately was rewarded with is first podium finish.

The German crossed the line third in the opening round but had consumed too much energy and was hit with a penalty that dropped him to 10th. Technical problems in Putrajaya forced him to pit early – this meant he led for a while during the pitstops but also that he was powerless to resist his more charged up rivals, causing him to be in 10th when he took the flag.

Points for fastest lap was all he came away with from Punta Del Este, with Buenos Aires being another “what could have been” race after spinning whilst attempting to overtake Prost.

Abt was one of the first frontrunners to pit in Long Beach, but his strategy did not pay off as he lost out on second place to Jean-Eric Vergne during the stops. He was then removed from the leading battle altogether when he was given a drive-through penalty for using too much power, dropping him out of points contention and finishing 15th overall.

12th Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport) – 18 points, best result second (Beijing)

Montagny was one of the stars in Beijing as he was pulling off a series of aggressive overtake to be in second position after the final corner collision.

This assertive form carried over to Malaysia and even intensified: banging wheels with a number of drivers, most notably Nick Heidfeld, in an erratic display.

Following this race Franck Montagny failed a drugs test, and was subsequently disqualified not only from his 15th place finish, but banned from all forms of racing for two years.

13th Karun Chandhok (Mahindra Racing) – 18 points, best result fourth (Beijing)

A solid start in Beijing saw Karun a strong top-10 runner throughout, going on to finish fourth; whilst another strong showing in Putrajaya resulted in him finishing fifth. However, since then things have not have gone so well for Chandhok and the Mahindra team.

Four consecutive non-points finishes followed. A thirteenth place finish in Punta Del Este, broken suspension sent him crashing into retirement in Buenos Aires, and in Miami the team was simply off the pace resulting in a 14th place finish. This was also evident in Long Beach where a relatively quiet race ended in a 12th place finish.

The team have a lot to do to get themselves back in the running for Monaco.

14th Scott Speed (Andretti Autosport) – 18 points, best result second (Miami)

Speed was another late comer to the series, making his debut at Miami – though he did test for Andretti during pre-season – but his stunning debut still came as a surprise given his lack of race experience.

After being blocked in two of his qualifying runs he felt 10th on the grid was unjust of his true pace and proved this in style in the race, battling his way up the order he was up to second on the penultimate lap and gave it everything to chase down Prost, who resisted the onslaught.

However, Long Beach brought vastly differing fortunes for the American, who brought about the first safety car period after he flew over the chicane and into the wall on lap 4 and ending his race.

Written by: Chloe Hewitt

(photo’s in this post courtesy of www.fiaformulae.com)

You can check out Part 1 of our Driver Midseason Reviews by clicking here!

And be sure to stay tuned to FormulaEDiary and our twitter for the third and final part.



One thought on “#FormulaE Midseason review: Drivers, Part 2

  1. Pingback: #FormulaE Midseason review: Drivers, Part 3 | Formula eDiary

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