A consistent season for ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team saw Laia Sanz and Carlos Sainz Snr. in the hunt for championship victory until the very end, when a difficult finale in Uruguay sealed third place for the duo in the standings.
The Spaniards also rounded out the top three in the drivers’ standings, confirming an impressive step forward from the team’s sixth place finish last season.
ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team went into the season finale in Punta del Este, Uruguay, with title hopes, but ambitions were cut short earlier than expected. Third place in Semi-Final 2 behind Genesys Andretti United Extreme E and NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team denied them the spot in the Final they needed to stay in the championship reckoning.
The first lap of Sanz’s Semi-Final stint saw the Spaniard roll her ODYSSEY 21, completing two spins, while fighting another car for second place. Not only did Sanz land it on all four wheels, but she pushed on, making it to the Switch Zone where Sainz Snr. took on the challenge of chasing down the leading duo.
Both Sanz and Sainz Snr. reported a power loss following the staggering roll., but a heroic effort saw the Spaniards finish just eight seconds short of a Final spot behind eventual second place finishers NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team.
Carlos Sainz, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, said: “It is a disappointment because we really wanted to get to the Final and fight for the Championship until the end. It’s such a blow, but in the end, we have to take the positives.
“Throughout the season we were consistent as a team. We were in every Final except this one – obviously the crash we had in Sardinia compromised us. What happened today is just bad luck. These things can happen in racing.
“I take the positives, like the tremendous evolution that Laia has done ever since she started racing in cars. Now we must prepare even better for next season and try again.”
Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, said: “I am sad about what happened. It is a shame. We had to finish first or second in the semi-final and we had to go for it. Unfortunately, while taking a corner through the inside line, the car rolled over. I had another car on my right, so there was nothing I could do.
“I feel bad for the team because we deserved better this year. Luck was not on our side in some key moments. Other teams also had to deal with some things, but they maybe didn’t compromise that much on the result. Anyway, we can be really proud of the work we have done this season and look towards the 2023 season feeling more confident than ever.”
Despite falling short of championship glory, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team has established itself as one of the major forces in the series. Second place in the season opener in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, marked a strong start to the season for the team as they led the first Final of the season until the closing stages.
Second place in Round 4 in Chile marks another of the team’s highlights of Season 2, as Sanz and Sainz Snr. stormed into four Finals out of five to become one of the most unwavering driver pairings on the grid.
ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team were hit with misfortune at the Sardinian double-header. A crash for Sainz Snr. in the NEOM Island X Prix I Final denied a chance of adding another podium to the tally, but the team recovered strongly in the second leg of the week to take an all too familiar spot on the start line of the Final.
Joan Orús, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team’s Team Principal, added: “It was an incredible Extreme E season, to be honest. We really enjoyed it and we fought from the very first race, where we lost the victory in the last corner, and we finished second.
“We could have won the Island X Prix in Sardinia, too. In Chile, we fought again for the win, and we finished on the podium.
“It’s tough to finish third in the Championship after a Semi-Final in which Laia sadly rolled over the car, but it was an incredible season, and we are really satisfied. The team is capable of winning in any circumstance and we can face the future convinced that we will be there.”
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