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Formula E Sao Paulo ePrix

Sao Paulo E-Prix "could go down to the last lap" due to slipstreaming nature

Formula E drivers believe this weekend’s inaugural Sao Paulo E-Prix will become a tactical slipstreaming battle that “could go down to the last lap” due to the Brazilian circuit’s layout.

A view of Sao Paulo

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

The championship will race for the first time in the country on Saturday on a similar layout which was previously used by IndyCar between 2010-2013.

A characteristic of the venue is the use of four notable straights around the 1.83-mile circuit, a feature that has not been common at other Formula E tracks due to the nature of the electric machines.

“The passing opportunities here should be a little bit better compared to other tracks, so I can’t imagine someone breaking away from the field. I think it will be a bit of a chess match,” said Jaguar driver Mitch Evans.

“We normally race on very tight, twisty tracks but this one, when you look at it on paper, it looks quite condensed [but] there’s a lot of long straights, which we have in Formula E, but not as much as we’re seeing here.

“The race here could be really exciting, it could go down to the last lap, last few corners, just because of the nature of the layout.”

Antonio Felix da Costa, winner last time out in Cape Town, reckons that drivers will try and avoid leading until as late as possible to save energy in the slipstream of their rivals.

“We’ll see how the race develops but obviously being behind someone you become much more efficient, so you have to be smart [in] the way you do it, like with the Attack Mode activations,” said the Porsche driver.

A view of the track, Sao Paulo

A view of the track, Sao Paulo

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

“I’ve won a few races on pure strategy, Marrakesh [2019-20] I gave up the lead on purpose, the last race was similar, but the problem is I think at the time I was maybe one of the only ones aware of this, and I think now everyone is aware of this.”

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Brazilian driver Lucas Di Grassi believes the championship “could have an amazing race” at the circuit, which was resurfaced only weeks ago to remove notable bumps.

“If we manage to get everything right, we can beat the other guys," said the Mahindra driver. “And, on this track, because of the characteristics I think the racing will be very tricky because of the slipstream, the strategy, the heat. We could have an amazing race here.”

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