Jaime Alguersuari enjoyed the most successful race of his Virgin Racing career to date in Punta del Este, as he finished in fifth place and earned the team ten points in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship. His team mate Sam Bird crashed in the second corner of the fourth lap after hitting a kerb which ended his race.
Alguersuari, who started the day quickest in practice with a time of 1:15:930, went on to qualify in fifth position on the grid as he lined up alongside Oriol Servia, Lucas di Grassi, Michele Cerruti and Stephane Sarrazin in Group 4. The Spaniard lost his position early in the race after Nick Heidfeld used his FanBoost to overtake, but defended well as Lucas di Grassi put him under pressure looking to move ahead. As Alguersuari pitted, he returned to the track in tenth position, losing five places in the process of changing into his second car.
“I am happy to have earned myself and the Virgin Racing team points this weekend, and to keep the team in the top three of the Team Standings in the Championship after three races,” said Alguersuari. “I have enjoyed this race weekend in Punta del Este a lot and this was a race that we had a strong chance of winning as we had the pace to do so. Unfortunately I made a mistake in qualifying which cost me three tenths of a second and then during my car changeover, I lost twelve seconds. As a team, we will move on and go into Buenos Aires confident of adding even more points to our total.”
Sam Bird added: “This was not a great weekend for me. To crash in qualifying for a reason out of my control was disappointing. Starting from the back of the grid was always going to be difficult, but I admit I made a mistake entering the second corner of the fourth lap. I should have missed the corner, but I decided to take it, made the wrong decision and hit the kerb. I was disappointed to end my race so early on and not contribute to Virgin Racing’s points total. Of course, myself and my team expect to be back fighting for a podium place in Buenos Aires and we will work hard over Christmas to make sure we can do that.”
The only British team in the Championship is now ranked third in the Team Championship with 54 points.
The next race takes place on the 10th January 2015 when the Series remains in South America as the Virgin Racing team travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina.