Vandoorne: Chile boasts “one of the most tricky corners” in FE

Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne reckons the layout changes made to Santiago’s Park O’Higgins circuit have created “one of the most tricky corners” on the Formula E calendar.

Vandoorne: Chile boasts “one of the most tricky corners” in FE

The 1.42-mile venue in the Chilean capital underwent extensive revisions ahead of its second FE race, including the removal of a tight chicane along the long, sweeping left-handed Turn 8. This move follows the FIA and FE working together to eliminate the use such chicanes following a string of high-profile incidents during the 2018-19 campaign.

The flatout corner now leads into a blind 90-degree left-hander that features a change of surface from asphalt to concrete at the apex.

Vandoorne told Motorsport.com: “[For this year] we have the chicane removed, which will make it quite interesting. It’s going to be a super-long straight, super-high speed at the end, and [now] into one of the most tricky corners of the season.

“There’s a high lateral load [on the car], a lot of different Tarmac changes as well. It’s one of the most tricky ones, so qualifying – especially on the 250kW runs, the highest speed we get there – is a big challenge.”

Santiago ePrix track layout

Santiago ePrix track layout

Photo by: FIA Formula E

Attack mode

Attack mode

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images


Nissan e.dams driver and 2015-16 champion Sebastien Buemi added: “I like the fact that we got rid of the chicane. It wasn’t very nice, it was nearly impossible to overtake and was just an opportunity to create a red flag or something like this.

“[Turn 9] will be tough because you will arrive with a lot of speed and you need to slow down a lot. In terms of overtaking possibilities, I don’t think it’s going to be easy because if a guy closes the door you need to go on the outside – it’s is very difficult.”

The track’s opening sequence has also been altered, with Turns 1 and 2 swapping from an open double-apex right-hander to a near-90-degree left turn going into a long right-handed hairpin. Envision Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird – who passed two cars through those turns on route to victory last year – believes the layout changes at that spot will reduce the potential for overtaking.

“The new reformatted 1-2, I think it’s taken away an overtaking opportunity,” Bird told the pre-event press conference.“But the way that they’ve opened the final corner has maybe given a potential overtaking zone into the final hairpin.”

Read Also:

The asphalt section of the circuit between Turns 2 and 8 has also been re-laid after the surface broke up in the hot temperatures last year.

When asked by Motorsport.com if this measure was enough to prevent a repeat, Buemi said: “They changed the asphalt, so normally it should be better. [Last year] it was good until it fell apart. They made the asphalt a little late so they didn’t have time to dry it properly and I think that’s why it broke up.

“Hopefully it’s not going to happen this year. They did a resurface and apparently used a different type of asphalt, so we’ll see if it changes again and if it stays together a bit longer.”

Additional reporting by Alex Kalinauckas

shares
comments
Piquet-fronted Rio race could replace Santiago round
Previous article

Piquet-fronted Rio race could replace Santiago round

Next article

Mexico Formula E track to use more of F1 layout in 2020

Mexico Formula E track to use more of F1 layout in 2020
Load comments
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Prime

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Prime

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered.

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 7, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021