Brazilian Lucas di Grassi claimed one of Formula E’s most dramatic victories, as he pipped Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein right at the chequered flag in Mexico City.
Germany’s Wehrlein lead the E-Prix from the start until the very last corner, but his car ran out of energy in the final seconds and to allow Brazilian Di Grassi to pass him just before the finish line, with the Mahindra man also receiving a five-second penalty for cutting a corner and eventually finishing sixth.
There was also unwanted late drama for the Nissan e.dams team, as Oliver Rowland and Sebastian Buemi ran out of energy, whilst sitting third and fourth respectively, and heading for the manufacturers’ first ever Formula E podium. That miscalculation allowed BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa and Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara to take podium finishes.
Di Grassi’s stunning win makes him Formula E’s fourth different race winner in four races, highlighting the series’ expanding reputation as one of the most unpredictable racing series in the world.
A chaotic race in Mexico City took just minutes to see its first major incident, with a huge collision between Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Piquet Jr and Techeetah’s Vergne leading to the race being stopped by a red flag. The Brazilian driver saw his front wheel touch the rear of Vergne’s Techeetah, which sent Piquet airborne over the Frenchman’s car. The incident forced the stewards to bring out the red flag, bringing all cars back to the pits for a lengthy delay before racing resumed behind the safety car.
Despite Wehrlein’s misfortune, the Mahindra Racing team did make their way to the top of both the teams’ and drivers’ championships thanks to an amazing result from Jerome d’Ambrosio. The Belgian put in a stunning performance to finish fourth after starting 19th on the grid, to lead the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Felipe Massa also managed to get his first Formula E points, finishing eighth having qualified in third.
Race winner Lucas di Grassi said:
“This was probably the best Formula E race of my career today because it was a mixture of having the patience to save energy in the beginning and then, because here it is difficult to overtake, I had to make the moves in the correct moment.”
“I managed to overtake Rowland when he went into Attack Mode and then with Wehrlein he was passive defending rather than aggressive. I knew he was running out of energy so I was putting pressure to overtake in the last five laps.”
“I pretended to go to the outside and he opened a small door – just enough for the car to fit between the wall and the car and I went there. I couldn’t believe it. My adrenaline is still super high. It was amazing.”