Race Report: Formula E - Sanya

Formula E Race Report Sanya.jpg

Round six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is compete - and the Sanya E-Prix was certainly full of action....

Not content with the on track ferocity shown last time out in Hong Kong, the Formula E field headed into round six for the Sanya E-Prix and stepped up the carnage to another gear, with passing, crashing, yellow and red flags aplenty before 2017/18 Champion Jean Eric Vergne finally crossed the line for a well deserved first victory of the season.

Jubilation for Vergne would mean heartbreak once again for Oli Rowland, the Englishman having performed faultlessly for much of the race as he continues to chase for his first Formula E victory, only for the DAMS driver to lose the race lead just prior to a red flag period caused following contact further down the field, a lead he would be unable to recover once the action restarted some 15 minutes later - giving a first win of the new season to the so far out of luck reigning champion in the striking gold liveried Techeetah machine.

Despite the obvious disappointment post race from Rowland, China would once again prove that the 2018/19 season could be a good one for the Nissan backed driver, and that first victory of the campaign can't be far away now.

Talking of victories, Vergne crossing the line in first place today would mark the sixth winner from six events for the series and the new Gen2 car, a remarkable result for the championship, and proof positive that any one of a number of drivers are capable of taking the silverware this season in Formula E.

Unfortunately, as has been the case for the last few E-Prix, the race wouldn't be without an unreasonable amount of contact throughout the field, with several drivers falling foul of content with each other or the barriers, none more high profile than early championship pace setter Alex Simms, the unfortunate BMW driver having been the reason for the late race red flag thanks to contact with first Andre Lotterer and then the circuit wall, blocking the track and once again earning himself an early bath when a strong result was on the cards.

The Lotterer / Simms crash wouldn't be the last of the race interrupting incidents either, with Sebastian Buemi and Robin Frjins coming together towards the end of the event and resulting in a bit of an anti-climax yellow flag finish, preventing any late race challenge from Rowland for the victory on an obviously slower Vergne up front.

With the top positions locked out, notable performers today would be a steadily improving Felipe Massa for Venturi, the Brazilian former Ferrari and Williams F1 driver having another solid result as he shadowed his more (Formula E) experienced team mate across the line in 11th, and the aforementioned Andre Lotterer, who despite his earlier contact managed to pull off a marginal late pass on Daniel Abt to secure a solid fourth place result.

Provisional Race Results:
  1. Jean-Eric Vergne - Techeetah 1:02'50.185
  2. Oliver Rowland - DAMS 1.762
  3. Antonio Felix da Costa - Andretti Autosport 3.268
  4. Andre Lotterer - Techeetah 4.631
  5. Daniel Abt
  6. Sébastien Buemi - DAMS 9.405
  7. Jérôme d'Ambrosio - Mahindra Racing 17.340
  8. Pascal Wehrlein - Mahindra Racing 18.367
  9. Mitch Evans - Jaguar Racing 20.646
  10. Edoardo Mortara - Venturi 22.208
  11. Felipe Massa - Venturi 27.739
  12. Oliver Turvey - NIO Formula E Team 31.453
  13. Tom Dillmann - NIO Formula E Team 32.654

DNF Robin Frijns - Virgin Racing 1 Lap
DNF Lucas di Grassi - Team Abt 2 Laps
DNF Nelson Piquet Jr. - Jaguar Racing 15 Laps
DNF Alexander Sims - Andretti Autosport 16 Laps
DNF Gary Paffett - HWA AG 23 Laps
DNF Jose Maria Lopez - Dragon Racing 26 Laps
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne - HWA AG 35 Laps
DNF Sam Bird - Virgin Racing 36 Laps
DNF Felipe Nasr - Dragon Racing 36 Laps

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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Reactions: Raffi_M

Lentoveloz

75RPM
Premium
Image director (TV) did not do a good job. Good or important moments of the race were lost. Another hypothesis: poorly positioned or insufficient cameras.
 

R1Joel

100RPM
The Sanya circuit was nice, much better than Hong Kong. Got to be honest, I enjoy watching FE more than I do F1 this season. It's exciting, any number of drivers are in with a shot of victory and the racing is close and tight.
 

Luca Antinori

250RPM
Premium
I am starting to like watching Formula E, however, I am not sure about few things. The attack mode was terrbile yesterday, it is a bit of nonsense at the moment. You can lose a couple of position at least and it doesn't seem you get anything in return.
I was waiting for Da Costa doing his last Attack Mode stint but he finished the race with only 1. I was sure he was going to be pensalized but he didn't. So I guess he did 2 mandatory attacks. Can anybody confirm it?
Also there are too many contacts, some of the drivers are hitting cars as a way to pass.
 

Mark Ratzenbacher

100RPM
Premium
As much as i like the FE as a series where advanced technology is used, as much i am critical towards it. Again this:
Also there are too many contacts, some of the drivers are hitting cars as a way to pass.
mostly due to the tracks being too narrow (damn those close walls) and i also blame the ever changing recuperation-settings (same car brakes at different brake-points every other lap).
There were some good inside-dive and outside-around overtakes, i can clearly see the drivers are top-notch, but then it was bumper-cars all around again leading to many DNF´s due to above mentioned reasons.
I keep watching it, but just out of interest and hope for the better. I had much more enthusiasm 4 years ago.
 

farjam

500RPM
Ok, it has to be said, yeas it's a nice competition and unpredictable but most of the unpredictability is because of too many collisions , too many ruined race, i mean deliberate ones, bumping is a new norm in FE, also braking using the car in front is another norm, there were almost 20 cases under investigation during the race , not cheesy infringement , almost all of them were collisions and only 4 of them were for start procedure and safety car procedure.
FE in this season more than previous seasons is just a wreck fest, even the piqet guy who calls massa an amateur! is one of the wreckfest masters!
there are people who keep saying "come one let em race" with their eyes closed, i think this statement is too much abused recently by younger audience and most of the time when it's about their favorite driver. people hear the big guys saying it about some side by side rubbing , soft pushing and being aggressive to a moderate degree , but then those people think it should be like it in any form of collisions , so any punishment for collisions is against the golden statement of "let them race" ****** :|
 
Without the ridiculous carchanges from previous seasons i thought let's give it a try and whatch the season and i must say thats much better. It feld it were 2 races in 1 race with that carchange but with all those yellow and red flags it's awfull. The red flags are killing the race, ofcourse i know it's safety first but if your car is 'broke' you can fix it during the red flag period. Yeah put on a new wing and there you go mate...let's go and do to the second sprintrace. In my opion those flags are killing the raceflow (enthusiasm) where you are in as a viewer.
 
Another race with more personel and marhals than spectators. They should make these races free to watch. Would be much better for the sponsors. 2 small grandstands is all i have seen. If i would be a sponsor i would say it's a waste of money.
 

Brice.S.

250RPM
Great for JEV !!! sad that "fanbbost" always goes to the same drivers, seems that only belgian, german and portugueses are interested in these votes (I votes eveyday for JEV since 3 years, but it's useless...)
@++
 

MarkR

500RPM
Premium
Formula E is good and watchable now and it's going to get much better.

the red mist certainly descended for a few drivers with the championship and various places on the line.

If they can keep the close and unpredictable racing as the formula develops they'll soon grow a decent audience.

Does it work as a race on Sunday sell on Monday halo? It does for me, I'm looking forward to owning my first fully electric daily driver sometime in the next 6-12 months.
 
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