Maximilian Guenther scored his maiden FIA Formula E victory on Saturday in Santiago after defeating Antonio Felix da Costa in a late battle at the Parque O’Higgins.

Starting second on the grid, Guenther spent the first half of the race trailing pole-sitter Mitch Evans of Jaguar, making a pass with 20 minutes to go while using his second Attack Mode.

A charge from 11th on the grid lifted Techeetah driver da Costa into contention for victory in the closing stages of the race, with the Portuguese racer forcing his way past Guenther at Turn 10 with two minutes left on the clock.

But Guenther did not drop back, instead maintaining enough energy to close up to da Costa once again before making a pass on the final lap of the race, pulling clear on the long run towards Turn 9.

Guenther crossed the line two seconds clear of da Costa to become the youngest race winner in Formula E history, as well as giving BMW back-to-back wins following Alexander Sims’s success in Diriyah last November.

Evans was left to settle for third, benefitting from a five-second time penalty for Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries, who slipped back to fifth as a result. Pascal Wehrlein faded from the early battle at the front to ultimately finish fourth for Mahindra.

Stoffel Vandoorne continued his streak of points to start the season in sixth for Mercedes ahead of Lucas di Grassi, who charged from the rear of the field to take seventh for Audi.

James Calado finished eighth for Jaguar ahead of Felipe Massa, who was fortunate to take ninth for Venturi after earlier contact with teammate Edoardo Mortara that left him in the wall. Sam Bird rounded out the points for Envision Virgin in 10th.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne’s torrid start to the season continued as he was forced to retire due to car damage. Vergne had been leading Techeetah teammate da Costa through the field before the left-front wheelguard broke, rubbing against the tyre and causing plumes of smoke to come off the car. Despite Vergne’s best efforts to break the damaged part off, he was ultimately forced to retire.

Incoming championship leader Alexander Sims was another retiree, parking up early on due to an issue, while the Porsche pair of Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani also failed to make it to the finish after clashes in the opening stages.

 

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