Action, drama, controversy. The first visit of the FIA Formula E to Mexico and to a permanent circuit, in a smaller version of the mythical Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, had everything and a bit more, with the second win in the season for Audi ABT driver Lucas di Grassi, eventually becoming the championship leader after this.
The Mexico ePrix started with everyone trying to hold place as they advanced through the tight first chicane. Lap 4 came and Sébastien Buemi found room in the main straight to overtake Daniel Abt and go to fourth place, with his goal being an approach to Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Nicolas Prost and Lucas di Grassi, which eventually Buemi did.
The four way train kept that way by a long time, much of that was due to the circuit itself not offer a good overtaking point, and while in this situation, Daniel Abt took the opportunity to be closer to the lead pack, especially with Buemi going a bit overboard and having some slides.
Close to the pitstop window, on lap 22, di Grassi finally finds a gap and overtakes Nicolas Prost as all five cars go to the pits immediately. D’Ambrosio gets out in front with di Grassi behind, and as it seemed that Buemi had problems in his comeback to the track, he was ahead of Prost. A lap later, di Grassi used his FanBoost to combat and pass D’Ambrosio with success and a bit of guts. The Dragon Racing driver tried to get it back going side by side, but failed to reach the Brazilian driver.
Later on, Buemi tried the same move on D’Ambrosio but got a blocking move before the first chicane, which led to the fury of the Swiss driver. He then found a gap in the second chicane but failed to pass. Buemi tried the third attack, but the same blocking move by D’Ambrosio led to a contact between the two drivers, although no serious damage was dealt to any of the cars. While their fight was intense, di Grassi was safe enough to open the gap.
From lap 30, Buemi settled a bit to avoid a catastrophe, which gave room to breathe to D’Ambrosio. The Renault e.DAMS driver ran to the outside of the main straight and passed the Belgian with a doubtful move as he cut through the first leg of the initial chicane. D’Ambrosio would have to get his position back to Buemi’s maneuver, but as Nico Prost, Daniel Abt and Loïc Duval came closer, D’Ambrosio went down to 7th, and then he made sure he would take the second place back by cutting the Peraltada chicane. In the middle of the storm, Prost got a drive-through penalty for unsafe release of the pits, seeing his pursuit to the leaders go away.
With a consolidated gap, di Grassi just cruised to the finish line to receive the checkered flag, while D’Ambrosio and Buemi crossed side by side, with the Dragon Racing driver getting second place.
Mexico ePrix – Results:
Now di Grassi takes the top spot in the drivers’ standings with the same two wins of Sébastien Buemi, but with 101 points against 95 of the Swiss driver. Sam Bird is third, seeing the leaders from the distance with his 58 points. Formula E now crosses the USA-Mexico border to race at the streets of Long Beach on April 2nd, the last ePrix before going to Europe.
IMAGES: ABT Formula E Team, FIA Formula E