It was not an easy weekend in Santiago, but I tell you what, we got the best result we could possibly have hoped for after a really challenging time in practice and qualifying for us all at Mahindra.
I arrived in Chile straight from Daytona so you could say I was in good racing shape after finishing a 24-hour event!
Santiago is a cool place. I really enjoyed being there and the fans were super curious and enthusiastic. I think we have to call this first race in Santiago a success, so well done Formula E.
I have never seen so many spectators at a Formula E race. There was a lot of interest and this is from a country which doesn’t really have racing in its blood. I think there were a lot of potential young racers there, which is great.
On the Thursday before the race, Nick [Heidfeld] and I went to visit the Chilean Mahindra distributor, the Gildemeister Group.
It was a cool event and nice to meet all the people there and give them an insight into Formula E.
We had prepared for Santiago with some simulator work as you would expect but nothing could really prepare you for the actual circuit.
I think it could have been a bit better if it wasn’t so bumpy, as this made it very difficult to overtake off-line. But on the whole it was one hell of a challenge.
In practice we just went the wrong way on setup. We had to make a quick change on it before qualifying and there was an error made, which meant it was impossible to get anywhere near the optimum lap time.
The race was always going to be a tough challenge from being so far back on the grid.
However, we knew it was going to be crazy race with this track and the high temperatures, so I just tried to keep calm.
Honestly, my first stint was very average. I was lucky to get by some of the guys that crashed on the first lap and move up the order, but then I couldn’t pass [Oliver] Turvey.
I kept my cool and focused on ensuring I did a good in-lap, pit stop and out-lap.
The Mahindra team did a nice stop and I was pushing a lot in the second phase of the race and gained a lot of positions, emerging from the stops in fifth place.
I got into a rhythm in clean air. I had Sam [Bird] behind me and at this point we were running well. The energy efficiency was good and we quick, so it didn’t take much time to catch the leaders.
Then, when we got up to the back of the top three, and it was just crazy. All hell was breaking loose!
You had the Techeetah teammates Andre [Lotterer] and [Jean-Eric Vergne] locking up and running into each other.
Sebastien [Buemi] was not making it easy for me, like he did in Marrakesh. This time he was locking-up very aggressively. It was still fair, but he wasn’t leaving any gaps at all.
I felt that the more I was trying to pass him, the more Sam [Bird] was attacking from behind and at one point I just realised that I had come from 14th and I should take the points for fourth place and travel home happy.
I said to the guys afterwards that on days like this you can win a championship.
When you start back down in 14th then you don’t have much hope to score massive points, so we have to be very satisfied with this result and the way we all maximized everything.
Now we go to Mexico where last season we were in a decent position until the last lap when we got taken out.
We’ll be looking at righting that wrong this time, so watch out for Mahindra there!