Matt Brabham impresses in Uruguay Formula E

It was the second event in succession that Brabham had played the reserve driver role for Andretti Formula-E.

Matt Brabham showed maturity beyond his years in the third event of the FIA Formula E Championship to charge from the back of the grid to the edge of the top five on the streets of Punta del Este in Uruguay, however was unable to make the finish.

The 20-year-old was forced to start from rear of grid after an incident during the second qualifying group.

He methodically worked his way forward to the top 10 at the midpoint of the race, having been in the middle of a terrific dice with former F1 pilots Jarno Trulli and Stephane Sarrazin.

It was extremely disappointing not to get a result today through all of the hard work by the Andretti Formula-E team

Matt Brabham

Brabham - the youngest driver in Formula E - came within millimetres of collecting Sarrazin on lap 17, who crashed out by bouncing over the curbs in front of him. Sarrazin’s crash triggered a safety car that was perfectly timed for the compulsory car change.

Following the stops, Brabham was behind Trulli once more and on the edge of the top 10. A number of incidents in front brought the four car group headed by Trulli into the top five.

Running sixth, with those at the front of the race on the edge of battery power and a raft of penalties being handed out by stewards, anything was possible for Brabham.

There was so much sand on the circuit that when you got off line it was almost like a wet track and that's what happened when I went out.

Matt Brabham

With four laps remaining and shadowing Trulli’s every move, the back end on the Brabham machine got loose. Unfortunately as Matt was working to collect the car, one of the notorious curbs interjected, claiming the front left suspension, ending his race.

It had been a tumultuous day for Brabham and the Andretti Formula-E team. They were forced to prepare a new tub for Brabham after practice one (where he finished ninth) - through no fault of Matt’s, an errant bolt connecting the curbs to the racetrack scraped the wooden plank from the floor of the chassis.

The race was won by e.dams Renault driver, Sebastien Buemi.

It was the second event in succession that Brabham had played the reserve driver role for Andretti Formula-E.

The next event on the FIA’s only all-electric World Championship will be in Buenos Aires on January 10.

Behind the Spark

Matt Brabham: "It was extremely disappointing not to get a result today through all of the hard work by the Andretti Formula-E team, I'm heartbroken, but happy with he speed, the team and the promise we showed.

"Having to start from the rear was tough, but it was an exciting race and from where I was, it was so enjoyable for me to be racing against guys like Trulli and Sarrazin. Their experience shows through in where they can place the car and how they defend their position - which I managed to learn a lot from.

"Towards the back end of the race, we had more pace on-board than Trulli, who I think was power-saving. I was pushing hard and had a couple of chances.

"There was so much sand on the circuit that when you got off line it was almost like a wet track and that's what happened when I went out. The sand took away the grip and unfortunately, I got the curb and it damaged the suspension.

"I was very lucky in practice when the bolt scraped the tub, if it had've been any further out of the ground - it would have pierced the tub and got me. My team-mate, Jean-Eric (Vergne) also collected it as did a couple of other cars.

"Working with Jean-Eric was a great experience as well, he's a great guy. I learnt a lot from sharing a garage with him and observing his level of professionalism and approach to racing, I was also able to assist him with some of the information he needed about these Formula E cars.

"I think as a collective, we're showing a lot of potential and the Andretti Formula-E team has worked extremely hard to deliver a competitive race package. When it all comes together there's no doubt both cars can finish on the podium."

Matt Brabham

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About this article
Series Formula E
Event Punta del Este ePrix
Sub-event Saturday race
Track Streets of Punta del Este
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Stéphane Sarrazin , Sébastien Buemi , Matt Brabham
Teams Trulli
Article type Race report
Tags andretti formula-e