Jaguar’s Mitch Evans takes a dominant victory, with an untroubled drive out front as chaos ensued behind, with championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne crashing out in the final minutes when running in fifth place.
Mexico City has provided yet another barnstorming race in Season Six of ABB Formula E, with Mitch Evans winning comfortably and Antonio Felix da Costa and Sebastien Buemi rounding out the podium positions.
The drama began right from the start, as Evans passed Andre Lotterer off the line into the lead, as the German struggled to keep hold of positions, slipping down to fourth early on. The Jaguar man in the lead quickly pulled out a 2 second gap out front as drivers diced for positions behind. The first incident of the race occurred after the first few laps, as Nico Müller’s impressive start came undone as he tried to pass Nyck de Vries on the outside and ran out of road, piercing the GEOX Dragon Racing car into the outside wall and out the race, bringing out the safety car.
Envision’s Sam Bird was quickly up to second place and set about chasing down Evans’ sizeable lead. Lotterer’s race soon went from bad to worse, as he was spotted dragging some advertising hoarding from the back of his car and had some serious damage on the front fenders, causing a small fire and lots of smoke. He was forced to retire after such a promising qualifying session and early race pace. The German marque is still pointless on their Formula E debut.
Meanwhile, we were seeing some fantastic comeback drives through the field from Lucas di Grassi, Alexander Sims, and Pascal Wehrlein, who all drove mature races to eventually score championship points.
One puzzling moment came from the two DS Techeetah drivers, with Jean-Eric Vergne and da Costa both fighting over who should lead the team’s charge, and thus actually losing time to Sebastien Buemi who was scampering off ahead. It’s clear that the team has a very fast car this season, and so far it’s the strategy that seems to be letting them down.
Mercedes’ de Vries was in another incident at turn one, however, after using his FanBoost to defend the charging da Costa and locking his brakes and slamming hard into the side of the innocent Robin Frijns, causing the Dutch driver to retire from a promising position. And things were about to go from bad to worse for Envision Virgin, as Sam Bird’s terrible luck continued after a fight with da Costa over second place, he was in the wall after racing hard with the Portuguese driver.
The drama wasn’t over, as championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne hit the wall in the final minutes going into turn three to cause huge front end damage and not score any points. The Belgian driver now drops from the championship lead to fourth. Not a good weekend for the Mercedes team.
Some notable drives came from Evans’ teammate James Calado, with the rookie scoring a ninth place finish and yet more points in his first single-seater season in many years. Pascal Wehrlein also put in a stirring comeback, gaining 14 places from 24th on the grid to score a hard-earned point for Mahindra Racing. But the comeback drive of the race was from championship contender Alexander Sims, with the Englishman coming back from a lowly 18th place grid spot, to taking fifth place and fastest lap. This keeps the BMW man in second place in the title race and single point behind new leader Evans.
But it was Mitch Evans that managed to ignore all the drama behind to claim a dominant victory and take the championship lead as we head to Marrakesh in two weeks’ time. Surely the Jaguar man is no longer a dark horse and a genuine title contender for Jean-Eric Vergne’s crown.
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Image Credit: FIA Formula E Media