Hard work never stops: Tech forecast for Santiago E-Prix
Posted on: 01 February, 2018
Two wins from three races sees us head to Chile at the top of the standings in both the driver and team championships. Trust us when we say that we will not be resting on our laurels and will look to only build on our exciting start to the season. As we go into the Santiago E-Prix, we have our Chief Engineer Vinit Patel looking ahead to the race.
The first of the 2 new tracks for this year’s calendar, Santiago is quite a mix between the tight, winding, shorter Hong Kong street circuit, and the semi-permanent track in Marrakesh, and essentially completes the mix in terms of what the various kinds of Formula E street circuits are like.
Marrakesh lived up to my expectations in terms of performance. We saw Renault and Buemi back up there, and there is no doubt that they will work to maintain their resurgence. The Audis were quick, and Abt had a very strong second stint despite his penalty; unusually enough they’re facing reliability issues, but once those are in check, no doubt they’ll be strong. The Jaguars were very obviously in the thick of things and Nelson was very fast towards the end of the race. Needless to say, you can never discount the Virgin cars. One big surprise was Lopez coming back, jumping into the car and being completely on it right away. Marrakesh showed that there will really be no surprises in terms of a grid that has once again proven itself to be strong, tight, and very competitive.
The circuit itself is very demanding, with a long back straight, at the end of which we might actually see the fastest clocked speed of this year’s championship. With the seemingly wide highways, a tight hairpin, and medium to fast corners, a low downforce set up will be important, and the drivers will probably enjoy this tricky track layout because of the ample overtaking opportunities that it offers.
The weather forecast seems rather stable and predictable, wherein the temperature will still be in the high teens during FP1 and increasing through the day, which means we’ll definitely have a moving target to chase, unlike Marrakesh, where we expected the same, but the weather just stayed cold through the day. We’ve done a lot of homework and our last 3 visits to Buenos Aires have prepared us for the kind of weather to expect, and seeing that it’s going to be about 30 degrees Celsius, it’s up to us to be prepared with being able to exploit some things if it gets any cooler, or then play it safe should it get any warmer. Temperature as a factor is something that all the teams will be definitely on the lookout for.
The wide highways and roads seem like they’ll make for some good overtaking opportunities..
The wide highways and roads seem like they’ll make for some good overtaking opportunities with the surface itself being a large variable in terms of being something you definitely cannot prepare for. We’re going to be in a very busy area of the city that is usually traversed by a large amount of trucks, buses, cars, cycles and more. The surface has been re-laid in certain areas especially for the race, but in other places it’s going to be slippery concrete and this is something that’s impossible to measure until we get there, and only understand when we get onto the track for shakedown.
I’m immensely proud of the entire team, now having led the teams’ championship after both Hong Kong and Marrakesh, and very happy that Felix is currently on top in the drivers’ championship; he’s been a rising star since he came in to Formula E, and it’s good to see him there. That said, while we’re extremely proud of this, we’re even more charged up to maintain this form and build on it as we go ahead. We’ve been working harder than ever between races in order to not wait to get better, but to be able to incrementally get better with every race as we progress through the season!
You can catch us in action in the Santiago E-Prix on 3 February 2018 at 19:00 UTC.