24-year old Jaime Alguersuari enjoyed the most successful race of his Virgin Racing career to date, as he finished in fifth place and earned the team ten points in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship.
The Spaniard, 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.
Alguersuari 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.
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing’s British driver, crashed on the second corner of the fourth lap after hitting a kerb which ended his race.
The only British team in the Championship, Virgin Racing end the third race of the FIA Formula E Championship in Punta del Este, Uruguay 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.
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing driver, said, “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. I have enjoyed this race weekend in Punta del Este a lot, from finishing first in practice to qualifying in fifth and then finishing the race in fifth, but we still have a long way to go. This was a race that we had a strong chance of winning as we had the pace to do so, but we are always learning about the car and this Series. 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, Virgin Racing driver said, “This was not a great weekend for me. Having experienced the track during the shakedown and
practice, I really enjoyed being out there and getting good pace on the straights and maintaining speed coming out of the tight corners and so 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.”
Alex Tai, Virgin Racing Team Principal, said, “As always the Virgin Racing team worked incredibly hard this weekend from the moment we touched down in this beautiful race location of Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Unfortunately, we could not get on the podium this week, but credit to Jaime Alguersuari for racing fantastically, defending well and driving a safe race to earn his best finish of the season so far in fifth, and add ten points to the Virgin Racing team total. We leave Uruguay in third in the Team Standings, and without a doubt we will be fighting to move back up the standings in Buenos Aires, Argentina in race four in January.”