2020 Santiago ePrix: BMW's Maximilian Günther scores maiden Formula E win in last-lap thriller

By Divyank Kushagra Bansal | on January 19, 2020

The 22-year-old Maximilian Günther fetched BMW i Andretti Motorsport win number two in race three of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E season, while also becoming the youngest race winner in Formula E history.

After an electrifying start to the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E season in November 2019 in Saudi Arabia, the bandwagon now reached the capital city of Santiago (Chile) to resume proceedings of the sixth Formula E season. The Parque O'Higgins circuit witnessed some top-notch action as 22-year old Max Günther started the Santiago ePrix from second and snatched his maiden Formula E victory from Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah) by overtaking the latter on the last lap. With this, he was also able to redeem himself for missing out on a maiden podium finish in Race 1 in Saudi Arabia (he was penalised for overtaking under the Safety Car that dropped him back to eleventh place).

Meanwhile, polesitter Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) had to settle for third place. Evans apparently claimed that he was battling with software issues throughout the weekend, due to which he was unable to optimise the power output of his car. 'From the start, we had software problems that we had to deal with - I'd never experienced them before. I over-consumed energy because I wasn't getting any information...it left me blind and getting no guidance...it was extremely difficult to manage the race today,' said Evans. 

After a gloomy start to the season, Pascal Wehrlein brought some cheer to the Mahindra Racing garage as he clinched a third-place start in Super Pole session and ultimately drove home a fourth-place finish, adding some valuable points to the kitty. His teammate Jerome d' Ambrosio, meanwhile, retired at a later stage in the race.

Mitch Evans was quick off the line and continued to lead for a good part of the race. Behind him, Wehrlein has edged past Günther to take second place. With 25 minutes left on the clock, Evans was still leading, while Günther had retaken his position from Wehrlein. Using his Attack Mode, Günther passed Evans on Lap 19 to become the race leader, on the approach to Turn 9. Behind the leading pair, DS Techeetah drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne were steadily climbing up their way from 10th and 11th on the grid. However, due to the damage Vergne had sustained in the early stages of the race, he was forced to retire, leaving his teammate da Costa alone to mount an attack on race leader Günther and Evans.

On Lap 34, da Costa managed to pass Evans and on Lap 37, da Costa had become the race leader with a dive move on Günther. While da Costa seemed all set to take the chequered flag, he was forced to reduce his pace on the final lap due to dropping charge levels, which allowed Günther to make his move on the approach to Turn 9 and claim race victory. Mercedes-Benz EQ driver Nyck de Vries had crossed the line in third (ahead of Evans and behind da Costa). However, he was soon handed a five-second penalty because of which he dropped back to fifth place. Consequently, Evans was bumped up to third and Pascal Wehrlein to fourth.

Apart from d'Ambrosio & Vergne, five other drivers - Neel Jani & Andre Lotterer (Porsche), Alexander Sims (BMW), Brendon Hartley (Geox Dragon) & Edoardo Mortara (Rokit Venturi) also suffered DNFs in the Santiago ePrix.

Read more:

2019 Diriyah E-Prix: Sam Bird & Alexander Sims register a win each

Tags: ABB FIA Formula E Formula E BMW i Andretti Motorsport Mahindra Racing

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