Formula E Season 10 Round 1 Mexico City E-Prix: Wehrlein Takes A Commanding Win after Securing Pole

Pascal Wehrlein secured the victory after starting on pole position for the first round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to kickstart his championship challenge earlier on.

The electric series, in its tenth year got off to an explosive start, with the opening taking place in Mexico, a venue that has been used since the series infancy. Before the action even started, there was already some pre-race drama as Sergio Sette Camara’s ERT was withdrawn from competition due to a technical issue. And the drama didn’t stop there. Stoffel Vandoorne, Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy all received a one place grid penalty due to not following red flag procedures in FP1.

After the drama, Formula E went green for the first time this year. It was a clean start for everyone through the first few corners with Dennis making his way up the grid after his disaster in qualifying. Di Grassi was the first victim in Mexico. Due to a brake issue, he hit the barrier and stopped on track, he managed to limp back to the pits and retire from the race.

Lucas di Grassi, ABT CUPRA Formula E Team, M9Electro Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

Da Costa and Mueller had an incident a few laps later which resulted in the Porsche driver retiring from the race as he ended up in the wall after an ambitious move on the Abt driver. The incident was investigated after the race  and Da Costa received a three place grid penalty for the next race. Everyone seemed to settle into the race, until more drama reared up, but this time from the steward’s room.  Race control stated that three drivers were under investigation: the Andretti pair of Jake Dennis and Norman Nato and more critically, race leader Pascal Wehrlein. There was no further investigation for Nato but Wehrlein and Dennis were investigated after the race but both also received no further investigation from the stewards.

Pascal Wehrlein, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

The returning Envision Racing driver of Robin Frijns crashed at turn thirteen, just at the exit of the stadium arena. This resulted in a full course yellow and the safety car made it’s first appearance this season.  Frijns managed to walk away on his own accord. It then emerged that Frijns had an issue with his car before the race so this could have been a factor in his crash.  Before the race was declared green again, man of the drivers had attack mode remaining, including Buemi who was currently sitting in P2. Behind him, Guenther, Evans, Hughes, Dennis, Bird, Fenestraz, De Vries and Daruvala all had one attack mode remaining . The Season 7 champion Nyck De Vries had fallen down the pack at this point and was holding up Ticktum, Daruvala and Mueller, whilst current champion Dennis had a relatively quiet race.

The highlight in the latter stages was certainly the battle between Jean-Eric Vergne and Mitch Evans. They were having a fight of their own, as the Jaguar driver had to hold off the constant attacks from the two time world champion. It was first blood to Evans as he managed to pull a consistent gap of five tenths as energy conservation began to bite. Ticktum also struggled, falling back dramatically due to his overspending of energy earlier on in the race. Two additional laps were added to the end of the race due to the safety car earlier for the Frijns shunt. However, these did not stop Wehrlein as he held onto the lead and claimed victory in the Mexico City E-Prix for the second time. Envision Racing’s Sebastian Buemi finished P2, with championship contender Nick Cassidy taking the final podium. Maximilian Guenther finished P4 with Mitch Evans just holding off Jean-Eric Vergne for P5, Jake Hughes took P7 ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in P8, current world champion Jake Dennis had to settle for P9 whilst Norman Nato rounded out the top ten.

Formula E returns in a few weeks with a double header in Diriyah!

©2017 The Pitcrewonline