Santiago ePrix: Sims looks to extend championship advantage
ABB Formula E returns for round two, race three of the 2019/20 season in Chile as BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Alexander Sims looks to extend his championship lead over the rest of the pack.
What Happened Last Time?
Season Six got underway with a double header in Saudi Arabia before Christmas and the wins were shared between Sims and Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing).
The first race of the year saw Bird become the only driver to have won in all six seasons of the sport as he produced a battling display to climb from fifth on the grid. Having set the fastest time in qualifying, Bird had been less lucky in the shootout as an error dropped him down the order - only Jerome d'Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) lapping slower.
Race two, despite seeing Sims win from pole, was a lot more of a chaotic affair. Overtakes under the safety car and a whole host of penalties for collisions and overuse of power made for a thrilling race.
The end result left Sims topping the standings with Stoffel Vandoorne - who scored a brace of third place finishes for the new Mercedes-Benz EQ team - second and Bird, after a race two retirement, sitting third.
What to expect in Santiago
The way that qualifying is formatted in ABB Formula E is designed to shake up the order. Split by championship order into four groups of six, those at the top of the table run first, giving them the least grippy, and in theory slowest, track. In turn, this gives those in the bottom order the best chance of qualifying well.
With the times all completed, the fastest six drivers of the 24 progress into super-pole - a one-lap shootout to determine the top-six places on the grid.
In Santiago, this should benefit season two champion Sebastian Buemi (Nissan e dams). Without a point and 20th in the standings, the 31-year-old Swiss is in prime position to benefit from his poor weekend in Saudi Arabia this time around.
The championship is working to remove some of the many tight chicanes that have featured prominently in early ePrix layouts and this is evident in Santiago, as a chicane which saw incident after incident in season-five has been removed.
One of the wider, more flowing layouts on the calendar, the main opportunity for passing comes at the three heaviest braking zones.
A strong slipstream and some Attack Mode will open the door into the turn one left hander. The move will need to still be an aggressive one however, as the track then turns into a 180 hairpin right.
The final two corners of the track are the other opportunities. Two tight hairpins, first right and then left, with only just enough space to get the cars turned, characterise the track and will almost certainly prove to be the best place to watch from.
Where can I watch?
UK viewers can follow the action from Santiago on the BBC Red Button, iPlayer and BBC Sport website. Practice sessions and qualifying can also be viewed live on YouTube but the ePrix itself is exclusive to the BBC. (All times are GMT)
Practice One - 11:00-11:45
Practice Two - 13:15-13:45
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