Formula E brought its all-electric racers to the streets of the Chiléan capital in 2018, marking the first major race on the streets of Santiago since a non-championship Grand Prix at the end of 1950.
The event at Parque Forestal was promoted by Chiléan racing legend Eliseo Salazar.
After a switch of venues for the final two runnings saw the race move to Parque O'Higgins as a more suitable venue, before the race was dropped from the schedules.
The first running of the race was held on a 12-turn circuit in and around Parque Forestal which passed through three districts of the city - Santiago, Providencia and Recoleta - and also straddled the River Mapocho. Stretching for 1.53 miles, the lap began along Avenue Santa Maria before crossing the Mapocho. Once across the bridge, the course headed back along the river and into and around Plazza Baquedano, before cutting through Forestal Park to return to the start/finish line.
Construction of the track began on 22 January, twelve days before the race, and finished on 2 February. Concerns over stray dogs frequenting the Parque Forestal prompted the organisers to contract a local veterinary company to feed them in non-circuit areas, in an attempt to stop them straying onto the circuit during the race weekend.
The 37-lap race was won by Techeetah driver Jean-Éric Vergne after starting from pole position. Vergne's teammate André Lotterer finished second and e.Dams-Renault driver Sébastien Buemi came in third.
Controversy had surrounded the event from the outset, with the route of the track coming under criticism from residents of Barrio Lastarria, who argued that the event would damage existing roadside infrastructure and the natural scenery. This wasn't helped when, in the knock-down phase after the race, a truck collided with the Rebeca Matte Bello designed sculpture of Daedalus and Icarus that is mounted at the entrance to the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, moving it from its base and fracturing one of the statues's legs.This prompted race organisers to take responsibility for covering all expenses associated with the restoration of the sculpture.
As a result, city officials took the decision to move the race to Parque O'Higgins for the 2018-19 season event. The circuit was a 14 turn, 2.4-km-long track and used roads inside the O'Higgins Park, running around the Movistar Arena. Lucas Di Grassi won a tense race of attrition for Audi when the first event at the new location was held in 2019.
Political unrest in the country put Santiago's place on the 2019-20 calendar in doubt, however a stabilised situation in the capital has meant that the race was confirmed for January 18, 2020. A revised course around Parque O'Higgins was created, with the location and layout of the switchback hairpins modified, pit lane and the main straight swopping sides and a new Turn 1 and 2 complex being installed. The revisions also resulted in the elimination of the chicane along the backstretch, creating a fast sweeping blast to lead into the final turns.
The race was won by Maximilian Günther, driving for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, after starting from 2nd on the grid. He became the youngest ever Formula E race winner, with António Félix da Costa coming in second, while pole-sitter Mitch Evans finished the race third.
The race proved to be the swansong event as Santiago was absent from the coronavirus-restricted calendar the following year and has not been included in subsequent seasons.
This is a historic circuit which is no longer in operation.
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The Santiago Formula E circuit was located in Parque O'Higgins, Santiago, Chilé. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport is around 16 minutes' drive from the centre of the city on its western fringes.
You can get to Parque O'Higgins easily by public transport - the park is well geared up for visitors due to the presence of the Movistar Arena in its grounds. It has its own station on the Metro/Micro system on Autopista Central. Lines and routes that have stops nearby are: Metro - L2; Micro: Micro - 302, Micro - 506, Micro - 509, Micro - 510.
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