Andretti attrition at Putrajaya

by Tom Errington

The Andretti Formula E team were unable to build upon their Beijing ePrix success in the latest round at the Malaysian Putrajaya ePrix.

The weekend started favourably for the team, with Charles Pic’s stand-in Matthew Brabham quickly adapting to the Renault-Spark on his way to a qualifying position of tenth.

It was not so successful for the more experienced Franck Montagny, who took thirteenth after Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok blocked the Frenchman’s potential fastest lap.

The ePrix in the afternoon proved to be a race of attrition as the combination of overtaking and tight, narrow corners of varying speeds provided a fair number of incidents, yellow flags and safety car deployments throughout the 31 lap race.

Both Brabham and Montagny endured an extremely tough race and suffered battle scars after spins, knocks and damage resulted in a P13 and P15 result at the flag respectively.

Montagny was able to replicate the strong aggressive driving he showed in Beijing, but had mixed results in Putrajaya with the same style.

“We had a good start to the race – from P13 we were up to P6 after a few laps,” said Montangy. “There was plenty of overtaking and I was very happy with the car, but then I had an incident with (Nelson) Piquet which broke my front wing. At that point we should have changed to the second car to finish the race, but we opted to pit and change the nose instead and this cost us a lot of time. We shall learn a great deal from this weekend and do much better next time.”

Brabham’s quick start in the race underlined his potential, and the benefit of his tests with the team at Donington Park earlier in the year, as he moved into top ten contention.

“Firstly, I am very grateful to be here and would like to thank Andretti Autosport; it has been a tremendous experience,” said Brabham. “The car was capable of being on the podium today and we had a great strategy, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the first lap which hurt us. I am disappointed as the team did such a great job, but I have learned so much and so in that sense it has been really wonderful.”

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