Mitch Evans wins Mexico City Formula ePrix
After starting second, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans emerged victorious after a flawless race in Mexico City. Following Evans was DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa, while Nissan e.dams' Sebastian Buemi rounded off the podium in third. Here's how it all happened.
Pulling away in Pole, TAG Heuer Porsche's Andre Lotterer was forced wide through Turn 1, forcing him back down the order to fourth. Taking the lead, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans took the lead.
Nose to tail, the pack headed through a packed Foro Sol before completing a lap. Sitting in sixth, Geox Dragon's Nico Mueller misjudged the entry into Turn 1, plowing into the wall and ending his race with 48 minutes left on the clock. With the new-look BMW i8 Safety Car deployed, the pack followed in formation while Mueller's car was recovered.
With the race 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, which ended his race early.
For reigning champion and DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne, the Frenchman sat behind his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa in sixth and seventh, as the two DS cars held their place in the points. Behind Vergne, was Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi in eighth.
With 17 minutes left on the clock, Mercedes-Benz EQ's Nyck de Vires (in fifth) failed to stop at the end of the start/finish straight, clipping Envision Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns while skidding to a halt at the end of the straight. Reporting technical problems over the radio, the Dutchman was left stranded and became the fourth driver to retire from the race.
Having made his way up to fifth, Vergne remained behind his teammate Da Costa in fourth. With less energy than his counterpart, the two DS Techeetah drivers battled over the radio with the management back in the garage, unable to decide on a concrete strategy. 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 pressure on, Bird misjudged Turn 13, clipping the wall and ending his race and any chance of a podium finish. With Da Costa now in second, Buemi moved up into third, hoping to claim his first championship points of the season.
After being discharged from hospital with a clean bill of health just hours before the race following a collision in Practice 1, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Daniel Abt retired with just minutes left on the clock.
Running well ahead of the rest of the pack, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans crossed the line trouble free, clinching his and Jaguar's second victory in the series, followed by DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa and Nissan e.dams' Sebastian Buemi.
PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING
"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."
"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."
Andre Lotterer clinched TAG Heuer Porsche's debut Julius Baer Pole Position in Mexico City setting a 1:07.922s lap. The German driver will start ahead of Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans and Mercedes-Benz EQ rookie Nyck de Vries in third.
Despite setting the third fastest time in the Super Pole shootout, Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein will start the race at the back of the grid after a penalty is applied for changing the gearbox. After coming painfully close to winning his first race here in Mexico last year, before he was overtaken just meters from the finish, the young German driver will need to fight through the pack to gain any points here in the capital city.
Behind de Vries sits former champion Sebastian Buemi (Nissan e.dams), while Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird rounded off the Super Pole selection and will start the race fifth.
Just missing out on Super Pole was fellow Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns who starts the race sixth in Mexico. Behind Frijns sits Geox Dragon's Nico Mueller and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah), who looks to improve on his steady start to the season.
Right behind Vergne is his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa and Mercedes-Benz EQ Stoffel Vandoorne, with the championship leader rounding out the top 10. Rokit Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara will start in 11th.
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