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Sebastien Buemi clinched e.dams-Renault’s first win of the season in the 2014 Formula E Julius Baer Punta del Este ePrix with Nelson Piquet Jr. and championship leader Lucas di Grassi completing the podium places.
Sun 14.12.14, 9:09AM
The Swiss driver fended off Jean-Eric Vergne in the final stages of the race as the Andretti driver pulled over to the side of the track on the penultimate lap.
Buemi said: “I knew he was going to use his FanBoost, clearly we took it a little bit too safe in the last few laps when he started to catch me because I was still trying to save energy. It’s a bit silly right now but that is what it is. Then at the restart I locked the rear wheels twice in the chicane so it was a bit on the edge. I knew he was going to be fast but I don’t know what happened to him in the end. I’m really happy with today’s result.”
Piquet jumped Vergne off the start line to lead into Turn 1 but dropped back as the Andretti driver deployed his FanBoost to re-take the position.
He said: “It was a great start, immediate reaction and the car handled very well. On the first lap I attacked the chicane a little bit too hard trying to build a gap and I think I damaged my front suspension. After that it was just trying to maintain really – that’s why we were so slow and holding up everybody. I was locking up going into the corners, the car was lifting a little bit – so it was really nerve wracking for many laps until we finally got the pitstop and then the car was back to normal and that’s why we had our speed at the end of the race.”
Buemi’s win moves the e.dams-Renault driver to second in the championship equal on points with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, who crashed out on lap three after locking up and launching over the kerbs. The two drivers are now 18 points adrift of Lucas di Grassi who picked up his third podium in succession.
Di Grassi said: “I had a very good start – I even managed to overtake Nico Prost, who was one row in front. But then I was squeezed by [Jaime] Alguersuari in the chicane and just managed not to touch the wall and then I’d lost the position to [Nicolas] Prost, Alguersuari and [Nick] Heidfeld. It was quite a bad first corner. After that I was just attacking Jaime for the whole first stint, but Jaime was very aggressive on closing and making us both lose time. Then after the safety car and pitstop, I came straight back behind Nelson after the drive-through [penalties] were done and I managed to close the gap. We proved again that we had the pace and another podium feels good.”
Jarno Trulli claimed his first points of the season with a fourth place finish ahead of Alguersuari and Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna. The Italian driver has endured a tough start in the opening races but believes the team is moving forwards.
He said: “It’s a reasonable result for us and good to get our first points for the team. I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot and avoiding the accident cost me time. The team is heading in the right direction though and the test tomorrow should help us take another step forward.”
There were mixed fortunes for the drivers making their Formula E debut with Andretti driver Jean-Eric Vergne clinching an impressive pole position and fighting for the lead of the race before pulling over with a suspension issue. Amlin Aguri racer and FanBoost winner Salvador Duran had a quiet race in 16th position.
The race was enjoyed by a sell-out crowd in Punta del Este with 10,000 fans filling the grandstands and many more cheering from nearby balconies. “It’s definitely a good circuit, maybe the best circuit so far in terms of speed – really high speed corners, fast chicanes,” said di Grassi. “We have to continue in this direction with these circuits – I think more speed and longer straights help for a better race.”
FIA Formula E Championship – Punta del Este ePrix (Rd 3) – Results:
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG F1 awarded by FIA in Doha
Thu 11.12.14, 11:11AM
The FIA’s star-studded annual Prize-Giving awards ceremony tonight culminated in the presentation of the FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Championship trophy to Lewis Hamilton, with the world championship’s Constructors’ trophy being awarded to the Briton’s Mercedes AMG F1 team at the glittering event in Doha, Qatar.
Hamilton’s second career title came at the end of an enthralling, season-long battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg. Team-mates in their junior karting career the racing aces resumed their rivalry at
Mercedes in 2013 and this year, with the championship’s most competitive car at their disposal the pair thrilled fans worldwide as they battled tooth and nail for the ultimate prize.
Rosberg drew first blood at the season-opening round in Australia but then Hamilton reeled of four victories in a row to lead the championship.
The momentum swung the other way in Monaco and Canada and from there until the championship’s traditional summer break the pair traded wins to leave Rosberg in charge of the standings.
A controversial collision at the Belgian Grand Prix increased the tension but the setback spurred 2008 champion Hamilton on and he rattled off five wins in a row to take a solid title lead.
Rosberg returned to the top step at the penultimate round in Brazil to set up a final round showdown in Abu Dhabi but though Rosberg once again dominated qualifying, as he had done for much of the year, Hamilton was always in control in the race and sealed his second title with a commanding 11th win of a season in which he also took seven pole positions and
2014 FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton said: “This has been an incredible season and definitely one of the toughest I’ve ever been part of. We had a phenomenal car, which allowed both Nico and I to battle hard throughout the year and it was incredibly close throughout. I’m really grateful to Mercedes for giving us that opportunity and of course to the team for working so hard. As I said when I won in Abu Dhabi, winning my first title was fantastic but this win was even more special and I hope it’s a sign of a lot more success to come with Mercedes.”
At the end of the 19-race campaign Hamilton and Rosberg had taken 16 wins, sealed 11 one-two finishes and scored a staggering 18 pole positions – a level of dominance not seen in the sport for almost three decades and attributable in large part to Mercedes’ W05 Hybrid car.
For the 2014 season the championship switched to technologically advanced and highly fuel efficient 1.6 litre, turbocharged, hybrid engines, a regulation change Mercedes’ High Performance Powertrains department exploited fully.
Beginning with a win for Nico Rosberg at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the team then recorded five straight one-two finishes.
The winning streak was briefly interrupted in Canada when technical issues affected both cars but the pair was back on top at the next round in Austria, with Rosberg victorious.
Further wins came in Britain and Germany and after the summer break the team was simply unstoppable, recording seven wins from the final eight races. The post-break haul included another five one-two finishes, meaning that team finished the season with 11 in total to break the record set by McLaren all the way back in 1988.
Mercedes AMG F1 Executive Director Toto Wolff said: “For Mercedes-Benz, 2014 has been a remarkable and historic season. Firstly, because it saw the introduction of F1’s new 1.6 litre turbocharged, hybrid power units, which were an enormously exciting challenge for all the team. But you can never go into a season expecting the kind of success we have managed to achieve. To have won 16 races, with 11 one-two finished and to have scored 18 pole positions has earned us a place in the history books and it is testimony to the hard work put in by everyone at the team. Both Lewis and Nico drove like champions throughout, with Nico winning the qualifying battle but Lewis prevailing in the races to become champion. We are hugely proud to have won the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz and the company's first Drivers’ title since the great Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955. [But back at base, we're already hard at work to make sure we can defend our title from Melbourne next year.]"