FE: Guenther wins Santiago E-Prix for BMW with excellent last lap pass

Max Guenther has won the Santiago E-Prix for BMW after an exceptional last lap pass on Techeetah’s Antonio Felix Da Costa.

In the final 10 minutes of the race, Da Costa had a turn of pace when and passed Mitch Evans in second and rapidly closed on Gunther to take the lead in a very aggressive move at the first Turn 10.

But Gunther had much better battery temperature in the scorching Chilean heat and was able to calmly retake the lead on the final lap to take BMW’s second win of the season.

Gunther said on the cool down lap that it was “so cool to be side by side with him until the last corner.”

“It’s just amazing!”

Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20 leads Mitch Evans (NZL), Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-Type 4 © FIA Formula E

Nyck De Vries finished third for Mercedes on the road after passing Mitch Evans on the last lap but has a 5s penalty for a technical infraction along with Sebastien Buemi and Jerome D’Ambrosio. De Vries eventually finished fifth.

Jaguar looked like they had the race under control for the majority of the race with enormous confidence by taking their Attack Modes very early looking to hold track position for the rest of the race.

But Evans was passed by Guenther at half distance when he took his second Attack Mode who was then able to control the race at the front until he was closed on by Da Costa.

Mitch Evans (NZL), Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-Type 4 leads Pascal Wehrlein (DEU), Mahindra Racing, M6Electro and Maximilian Gunther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20 © FIA Formula E

Down the field the race was incredibly frenetic.

Pascal Wehrlein was close to the fight for the lead for the majority of the race but lost out when he took his second Attack Mode eventually coming home fourth after De Vries penalty.

Stoffel Vandoorne finished in sixth place with a tremendous drive from Lucas Di Grassi granting him seventh.

The Brazilian scythed through the field, showing his experience to keep out of trouble whilst a lot of others became hot headed.

James Calado showed similar mettle to finish in eighth place in his third FE race whilst staying out of trouble.

Venturi will surely be having words with their drivers after they squabbled throughout the race with Felipe Massa finishing ninth and Edoardo Mortara not being classified.

When they needed to be working together to keep their high starting positions, they fought over fourth and fifth place allowing the Techeetah duo to jump Massa and eventually both Mercedes got past as well.

Sam Bird rounded out the points after getting spun around due to a failed attempt at a pass by Nissan’s Oliver Rowland on Daniel Abt which concertinaed into the Brit dropping him to the back of the pack.

The incident ruined Rowland’s race who was already recovering from his qualifying crash when it tore off his front wing and forced him to pit. He eventually received a drive through penalty.

Rowland eventually finished 4 laps down.

Robin Frijns (NLD), Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE06, spins
Robin Frijns (NLD), Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE06, spins © FIA Formula E

Nico Muller and Oliver Turvey came home just outside the points with Muller staying out of trouble to climb the field whereas Turvey’s NIO reverted to type despite his phenomenal qualifying.

Sebastien Buemi slipped back throughout the race and eventually finished in 13th just ahead of Daniel Abt.

Abt received a drive through penalty after an aggressive move on Massa.

Robin Frijns sustained a puncture in the opening laps and finished a lap down along with Ma Qing Hua.

Jerome D’Ambrosio and Brendon Hartley were very late retirements close to the end of the race.

Jean-Eric Vergne ran as high as third but had damage on his front wing that came back to bite him by eventually coming loose and ripping off.

Vergne defended aggressively despite his car falling apart but eventually was forced to pit and retire.

Lotterer and Jani got involved in issues at the start of the race leading to the two of them not finishing.

Alexander Sims went into this race as the championship leader but retired after damage from early racing with Lotterer in the midfield leading to the only full course yellow of the race.

Following that busy race Stoffel Vandoorne is leading the championship with Sims still in second and Bird in third despite Sims retiring and Bird only scoring one point.

Guenther however has pushed himself right into the fight and Lucas Di Grassi and Oliver Rowland are in the fight as well.

Race Results

1 Max Gunther BMW i-Andretti Motorsport 40 Laps
2 Antonio Felix Da Costa DS Techeetah +2.087
3 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing +5.119
4 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing +7.050
5 Nyck De Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ +9.883
6 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ +11.237
7 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler +14.437
8 James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing +18.225
9 Felipe Massa Rokit Venturi Racing +20.430
10 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing +21.780
11 Nico Muller GEOX Dragon +23.786
12 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Racing +27.778
13 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams +43.257
14 Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler +47.198
15 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing +1 Lap
16 Ma Qing Hua NIO 333 Racing +1 Lap
17 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams +4 Laps
DNF Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing
DNF Brendon Hartley GEOX Dragon Racing
DNF Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah
DNF Edoardo Mortara Rokit Venturi Racing
DNF Andre Lotterer Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team
DNF Alexander Sims BMW i-Andretti Motorsport
DNF Neel Jani Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team