Putrajaya ePrix race report
It's been a disappointing weekend for the Andretti Formula E Team who come away from the Putrajaya ePrix, round two of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship, devoid of points after an encouraging start to the season in Beijing where a second place podium and a fourth place points finish put them top of the team leaderboard after round one.
The 2.5km long, 12-turn street circuit located in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya provided plenty of excitement and a host of incidents when the series took to the track after an eight week interlude in earnest today.
Matthew Brabham, who stepped in as reserve driver to replace the absent Charles Pic in the No. 28 Spark-Renault SRT_01E for this event, adapted quickly to the searing heat and unfamiliar circuit to qualify in an admirable P10 this morning.
We came to Malaysia with high hopes for good results, but despite having fast cars in the race today, we were unable to convert them in to points scoring positions.
No. 27 car driver Franck Montagny qualified in a disappointing P13 after being blocked on his flying lap which forced him to run wide and cut the chicane after setting blistering times during sectors one and two.
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 laps event.
Both Matty and Franck endured an extremely tough race and suffered battle scars after spins, knocks and damage resulted in a P13 and P15 result at the chequer respectively.
The Series moves next to Punta del Estes, Uruguay for Round 3 of competition on December 13.
Roger Griffiths, Team Principal, Andretti Formula-E Team
"We came to Malaysia with high hopes for good results, but despite having fast cars in the race today, we were unable to convert them in to points scoring positions. We will take time between now and the next race in Uruguay to review our results and look forward to something better.
On a positive note, however, we would like to sincerely thank the Malaysian government and city of Putrajaya for putting on a fantastic Formula E event and we look forward to returning here in a year's time."
Franck Montagny, No. 27 Spark-Renault SRT_01 E
• Starting grid (after penalties) P13
• Departs Malaysia ranked third in the driver standings
"We had a good start to the race - from P13 we were up to P6 after a few laps. 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."
Matthew Brabham, No. 28 Spark-Renault SRT_01 E
• The youngest driver in the field served also as the only American and Australian in Formula E competition
• The third-generation racer filled the seat of of Charles Pic as Pic fulfills Formula 1 obligations
• Started today's ePrix from the 9th position (after grid penalties)
"Firstly, I am very grateful to be here and would like to thank Andretti Autosport; it has been a tremendous experience. 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."
Andretti Formula E Team