Formula E: Evans dominates Mexico City E-Prix
"It feels great to achieve a second victory in Formula E"
Starting from second, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans emerged victorious after a flawless race in Mexico City. DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix Da Costa ended the race in second, while Sebastian Buemi of Nissan e.dams rounded off the podium in third.
Pulling away from pole position, TAG Heuer Porsche’s Andre Lotterer was forced wide through turn 1, eventually ending up in fifth after the first lap. Slipping ahead, Evans took the lead on the inside line.
From there, Evans led the remainder of the race and never faced a genuine challenge to his lead. This included managing a safety car restart that followed Geox Dragon’s Nico Müller crashing out at turn 1.
With the racing restarted, Evans pulled ahead with 35 minutes left on the clock. Under the new regulations for the 2019/20 season, all cars received a 5kW energy reduction after following the Safety Car for five minutes. Traveling wide through turn 1, Rokit Venturi Racing’s Felipe Massa clipped the wall, damaging his car and subsequently ending his race early.
Holding the lead, Evans extended the gap at the front as Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird overtook Buemi to move into second. With the battle for the podium ongoing, Lotterer continued to dropped down the order, he then touched the wall causing a front-right wheel cover failure. His bodywork then dropped on to the tyre as he rounded the final corner, which left a plume of smoke down the main straight. The German returned to the pits for new bodywork before eventually retiring from the race.
With 17 minutes left on the clock, Da Costa closed in on Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Nyck de Vries. Attempting to defend a move from Da Costa, de Vries clipped fellow Dutchman and Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns before skidding to a halt at the end of the straight. Reporting technical problems over the radio, the rookie was left stranded and had to retire from the race.
Da Costa and teammate - reigning driver champion - Jean-Eric Vergne, continued to close in on Buemi. The pair was instructed to change positions, which they eventually did. Da Costa manged to gain his position back shortly after using the additional power available during Attack Mode. He went on to minimise the gap to Buemi.
Having made his way up to fifth, Vergne remained behind his teammate Da Costa in fourth. Eventually breaking out of his long-held position, Da Costa climbed up into third past Buemi with his extra energy.
With five minutes left on the clock plus one lap to the finish, Evans continued to pull away with Bird and Da Costa following. With increased pressure, Bird misjudged turn
13, clipping the wall and ending his race along with any chance of a podium finish. Da Costa, now in second, stayed ahead as Buemi gained third, hoping to claim his first championship points of the season.
Running well ahead of the rest of the pack, Evans crossed the line trouble free, clinching his and Jaguar’s second victory in the series, the other two podium positions were taken by Da Costa and Buemi. Vergne finished in fourth, Sims was fifth and Di Grassi rounded out the top six.
Adrenaline still flowing after an exciting race, it is only a short wait for another episode of electric street racing with the Marrakesh E-Prix taking place on 29 February - round five of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing)
“It is very nice leaving here knowing that you managed to sort the issues from past races. We had a very good pace and it was a tight battle with Andre. It felt like deja vu from Rome! After overtaking him, I put my head down and tried to gain distance as everybody was quite aggressive in my mirrors. I had to keep them away and the car was working well. I only had to keep hitting the targets. I cannot wait to watch the replay back, as I have heard it was crazy behind me. It feels great to achieve a second victory in Formula E and doing so in Mexico surrounded by such a passionate crowd… it is the cherry on the cake.”
Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah)
“Going into the race we knew we had a great car. Today was more about energy management than temperatures and we handled it better than others. The car is extremely fast, but I need to work on my qualifying. Being able to get familiar with the car over one lap would make my life much easier during the race. Both me and JEV planned the race really well and we both came through the field. We played a bit of a team game out there, but our engineers knew what they were doing. I was quicker than him and he made it easy for me to overtake and chase Seb. So fair play to him! The team in Paris deserves a massive shout out for all the work they have done so far this season. We have a great team and they never stop working.”
Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams)
“I had a loose start and did not manage to make much progress in the opening lap, but I am happy with my race today. Andre was making it really difficult for me at the beginning, as he was completely flat out and I had to consume energy to keep him behind. I managed to overtake de Vries but I struggled halfway through the race. Today DS Techeetah were extremely fast, especially Antonio, and I did the best I could. The new track layout made it much easier without the chicanes and I really enjoyed it. Overall I am very happy to be back on the podium for the first time since the final race last season in New York.”
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