Mixed fortunes for DS Virgin Racing duo in Uruguay


DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird
FIA Formula E Championship 2015/16. Julius Baer Punta Del Este ePrix, Punta Del Este, Uruguay. Practice Session 2. Sam Bird (GBR), DS Virgin Racing DSV-01 Punta Del Este, Uruguay, South America. Saturday 19 December 2015 Photo: Adam Warner / LAT/FE ref: Digital Image _L5R1133

The Punta del Este ePrix turned out to be a race of mixed fortunes for the DS Virgin Racing duo of Jean-Eric Vergne and Sam Bird.

Vergne managed to fight his way back from a poor qualifying session, where he ended up at the back of the grid, to end up in seventh place.

The 25-year-old made a great start to the race and had made-up five positions by the end of the first stint. After the pit-stops the Frenchman received an extra 100KJ of power after winning the Fanboost and he used this to his advantage.

Vergne got the better of Stephane Sarrazin for ninth place before setting his sights on Nelson Piquet JR in the closing stages of the race.

The pair would clash during their battle with Piquet JR losing control of his car moments later and ending up in the barriers. Vergne would then catch and pass Daniel Abt on the final lap to secure a seventh place finish.

Vergne said: “I’m really pleased with my race and don’t think it could have gone much better after starting at the back of the grid. I drove hard and had a lot of fun with what was in front of me.

“It was a great effort from the team. I’d also like to say a special thank you to all the fans that helped me win Fanboost, which made a real difference during the race.”

Bird also made a strong start to the race and found himself second after the first corner after getting the better of Loic Duval.

Despite losing out to Sebastian Buemi before the pit-stops, Bird was looking good for a possible podium finish but his race was brought to a premature end just moments after switching to his second car.

The Brit stopped out on the track after suffering from a battery failure just as news came through that he would also have had the use of Fanboost.

Speaking about the race, Bird said: “In the first half of the race, things felt really good and it was going really well. We showed a good turn of pace and I think there’s lots of positive signs to suggest that we can be challenging again in Buenos Aires.

“Like in Malaysia, I must give a lot of credit to the team, who put in a huge amount of work to repair the car between free practice one and the race after I hit the wall.”

The results in Uruguay mean that Bird now sits fourth in the championship, four points behind third-place man Jerome D’Ambrosio, with Vergne moving up to 14th position on six points.

Team principal, Alex Tai added: “JEV drove a great race out there and we’re delighted that he’s got his first points for the team. We’ve shown good pace again this weekend and proved that we can be competing for big points.

“I must also thank the fans for the fantastic support that we’ve received here in Punta and say thank you to everyone that voted for our drivers in Fanboost.”