Hysteria in Hong Kong!: Mortara triumphant as Bird hit with penalty

Edoardo Mortara scooped Venturi’s first ever win in the team’s history at the Hong Kong ePrix this weekend. The Swiss driver benefited from a late post-race penalty imposed on Envision Racing’s Sam Bird who won the race, but was given a five second time penalty after contact with Andre Lotterer which forced the Techeetah driver out of the race.

Qualifying was blighted by the everchanging conditions of the Hong Kong climate, with Mahindra miscalculating the correct window in which to set a lap which left both Jerome D’Ambrosio and Pascal languishing at the bottom of the timing screens. Audi’s Lucas di Grassi was the first driver to make an impact, snatching P1 from under Sam Bird and Antonio Felix da Costa’s noses in the worsening weather.

Mortara showcased his experience on street circuits by claiming P1, followed closely by Lotterer who made a mistake in his final sector. Jean Eric Vergne’s misery continued as he repeated history by sliding over the final line backwards, but could only manage P6 and suffered cosmetic damage to his Techeetah. His lap was later cancelled due to the incident.

Times soon began to tumble as the session approached the halfway stage with Oliver Rowland and Felipe Massa slotting themselves into the top six. However, it was HWA that impressed in the storm with Stoffel Vandoorne taking provisional pole by over half a second from teammate Gary Paffett who managed to snatch his debut in superpole. They were joined in superpole by Rowland, Mortara, Lotterer and di Grassi.

Photo by Sam Bloxham/ LAT Images

The weather continued to wreck havoc on superpole as di Grassi set a time of 1.14.177, only to be displaced by Lotterer a few moments later by a difference of 1.3 seconds. Mortara thrived in the difficult conditions, claiming P1 with a time of 1.12.310, half a second up on Lotterer. However, after the session ended, he was hit with a three place grid penalty for ignoring red flag conditions and dropped out of contention. Times continued to tumble as the track conditions became more favourable with Rowland disposing of Mortara by two tenths of a second. The two HWAs remained and Paffett locked up into turn one, forcing him into P4 behind Lotterer, but Vandoorne impressed once again, claiming his first ever pole position for HWA with a 1.11.580.

Rowland wasted no time at the start of the race, snatching P1 away from Vandoorne in the opening lap who was then passed by Bird, dropping the HWA rookie down to P3. Mahindra’s terrible luck continued as Felipe Nasr tagged the wall into turn two, collecting both Wehrlein and D’Ambrosio along the way, sending both cars out of the race with suspension damage. The race was red flagged in order to collect all three cars stranded in a precarious position with Rowland still leading the race.

Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images

As the race got underway once more, most of the drivers armed themselves with their first attack mode as Lotterer pounced on Vandoorne immediately for P3. Out of turn one, Rowland slowed and dropped down the order, losing the lead at the expense of Bird. Lotterer began to press Bird for the top spot, finally forcing the Brit into a mistake to snatch the race lead away. However, Bird continued to fight back and kept the pressure on the German who began to struggle with energy consumption in the latter stages trying to keep Bird behind. Whilst one Techeetah dominated, reigning champion Vergne’s bad luck continued as he cut the chicane at turn one, earning a penalty.

Rowland continued to carve his way back through the field muscling his way past Daniel Abt for P9, whilst Alex Sims tagged the wall, forcing him out of the race. Bird continued to press Lotterer, and attempted a move into turn two, passing the German for a moment, before Lotterer reclaimed the lead. The battle at the front as Vandoorne’s car stopped on track, whilst Buemi was forced out of the race with damage.

As the race restarted with over ten minutes left on the clock, Bird continued to pile the pressure on Lotterer for the lead with Mortara holding di Grassi for P3 as Rowland’s hard work on climbing up the order was undone when he made contact with the wall, and stopped on track, bringing out a third safety car. With two minutes remaining, the race was restarted and the battle at the front came to a head as Bird made contact with the back of Lotterer’s car, causing a puncture which subsequently ended the German’s race. A subdued Bird claimed P1 but celebrations were muted after the announcement that there was an investigation of the incident between himself and Lotterer. After the race, Bird was handed a five second time penalty which dropped the Brit down to P6 and Mortara inherited the win, his and Venturi’s first win in the series. Di Grassi moved up to P2 and Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns inherited third.

Formula E will continue in Sanya on March 23rd.

IndyCar St Petersburg Report: Newgarden fends off Dixon to take first win at St Pete

Josef Newgarden took the first win of the 2019 season at St Petersburg, a win that marks his first around the demanding track and Penske’s first there since 2016. He held off a late challenge from defending champion Scott Dixon in what as an action-packed season opener.

After being shuffled back at the start, Newgarden didn’t come to the lead until the second round of pit stops, but there he out-foxed the rest of the leading group and emerged from the pits with a near five-second lead over Marco Andretti, who was doing a good job of holding up the rest of the field. With the help of Andretti once more in the closing stages of the race, Newgarden came under threat from Dixon with the lead dropping to as low as 1.2 seconds but, once Andretti was out of the picture, Newgarden rebuilt his lead to take the win.

Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar

Dixon was forced to settle for second-place having not led a single lap of the race. He managed to pass Will Power during the first Andretti hold up, taking second place and allowing him to have a chance at fighting Newgarden for the win. However, the lead Newgarden had built up was big enough to act as an effective buffer, even when Andretti came back into the mix. It wasn’t quite the perfect start to Dixon’s title defence, but it was good enough.

For a while, it looked like the other Chip Ganassi of Felix Rosenqvist would be going for the win, but he got caught out and dropped back by the second round of stops. Rosenqvist passed Newgarden going into Turn 1 on the first lap, putting him in second and in a position to fight Power for the lead. The Swede took the lead after the first restart and went onto lead 31 laps in his debut race, the most bar race winner Newgarden. He came home in a respectable fourth place and showed that he’s ready to take it to teammate Dixon this season.

After starting on pole, Power had to settle for a podium in third with his nemesis, like so many others, being the second stops and Andretti’s rather wide car. He couldn’t clear Andretti after the stops and was passed by Dixon who then disappeared up the road, meaning Power was unable to improve his position in the final stages of the race, but he was still happy with his result, given how badly St Pete has treated him over the past two years.

Alexander Rossi was another driver who was forced to settle for a position probably lower than he was hoping for, especially after he came so close to the victory last year. Like last year, a rookie got the better of him, though this time it was Rosenqvist and not Robert Wickens, meaning Rossi couldn’t do much better than fifth having led two laps during the pit stop sequences.

Wickens attended the race with his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team to support their drivers and celebrate his thirtieth birthday with his fellow drivers. Attending St Pete was one of Wickens’ many goals on his road to recovery after his enormous crash at Pocono last season, with the Canadian a welcome figure in the paddock once more.

Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar

On track, SPM didn’t have such a good weekend with James Hinchcliffe finishing in sixth after getting the better of Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in what was a race-long battle. On the other side of the garage, Marcus Ericsson didn’t even see the chequered flag with a water pressure issue cutting his IndyCar debut short. Their sort-of-teammate Jack Harvey finished tenth in the #60 Meyer Shank supported SPM entry, in his first of ten races this season.

Rosenqvist may have taken the title of top rookie but fellow rookies Colton Herta and Santino Ferrucci were not to be forgotten in the first race of the season, finishing eighth and ninth respectively. Herta’s the only Harding driver after they failed to get an engine lease for their second car and Ferrucci lost teammate Bourdais 11 laps into the race, meaning the two rookies had to go it solo, but still delivered more than respectable performances.

One recurring feature of the race was Honda engine failures, of which there were four with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato, Ericsson and Bourdais all suffering issues that led to their retirements. While Honda had four failures, their rival Chevrolet had none, meaning the former really needs to step up on the reliability side of things, otherwise the Chevy teams could be leaving them well behind.

That concludes the season opener at St Petersburg with IndyCar back in action on March 24 at the Circuit of the Americas.

Full Race Results:

  1. Josef Newgarden
  2. Scott Dixon
  3. Will Power
  4. Felix Rosenqvist (R)
  5. Alexander Rossi
  6. James Hinchcliffe
  7. Simon Pagenaud
  8. Colton Herta (R)
  9. Santino Ferrucci (R)
  10. Jack Harvey
  11. Spencer Pigot
  12. Graham Rahal
  13. Marco Andretti
  14. Zach Veach
  15. Tony Kanaan
  16. Max Chilton
  17. Charlie Kimball
  18. Ben Hanley (R)

DNF – Takuma Sato (gearbox), Marcus Ericsson (R) (water pressure), Ed Jones (collision), Matheus Leist (collision), Ryan Hunter-Reay (engine), Sebastien Bourdais (engine)

(Featured Image Credit: Karl Zemlin/IndyCar)

Madness in Mexico! Di Grassi clinches win in last minute thriller

Lucas di Grassi kickstarted Audi’s campaign to reclaim the constructor’s title by snatching victory in an action-packed Mexico City ePrix on Saturday. Despite leading for the majority of the race, there was heartache for Mahindra once more as rookie Pascal Wehrlein was literally pipped at the post after a sprint to the finish line.

Photo by Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

Antonio Felix da Costa took first blood in qualifying as his championship rivals struggled in the unfavourable early track conditions. Championship leader Sam Bird was forced out of qualifying early, stopping at the side of the track with mechanical issues before he had even set a lap. Virgin Racing’s nightmare continued as Robin Frijns was handed a three place grid penalty for blocking Jerome D’Ambrosio in the confusion. Wehrlein showcased his improving form, snatching P1 away from da Costa. The track conditions continued to improve, allowing stalwart di Grassi to join the fight. Massa also put in an impressive lap to claim his debut in superpole. However, it was Nissan rookie Oliver Rowland who took bragging rights, taking the coveted P1 slot from di Grassi and Wehrlein in the last few seconds, cementing his place in superpole alongside Sebastien Buemi, Massa and da Costa.

Superpole certainly showcased the rise of the rookies as Da Costa set the bar with a time of 59.819, a feat that Buemi could not challenge. Continuing on from his superb qualifying form in Santiago, di Grassi put in an impressive lap to snatch the top spot. It fell to the three rookies remaining to oust di Grassi from pole. Massa and Rowland both fell short, slotting into P3 and P4 respectively. Wehrlein, however, managed to continue his electric form and claimed the three points and Mahindra’s second pole at the circuit in the last two years.

Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images

Wehrlein started strongly from pole as Rowland managed to sneak into P2, leapfrogging Brazilian compatriots Massa and di Grassi in the opening stages. However, as the race heated up, Nelson Piquet tangled with Jean-Eric Vergne in a nasty accident which left the Jaguar driver in the wall at turn 13 and subsequently out of the race. BMW’s Alexander Sims suffered a repeat of Marrakesh as he was tagged by a out-of-control Piquet going into the final corner. Due to the damage, the race was immediately red flagged with just nine minutes on the clock. Whilst in the pits, Vergne and Sims were able to repair the damage caused by Piquet’s accident.

As the race got underway once more, everybody armed themselves with their attack mode, forcing di Grassi to pressure Rowland for P2. However, the Brazilian could not find a way past and had to settle for P3. Da Costa picked up damage as a result of his duel with Buemi for P4, forcing the Portuguese driver to back off from his attack. Vandoorne’s bad luck continued as he was given a penalty for using his fanboost too early, whilst Lopez was hit with a double penalty for overuse of energy and pitlane violations. Vergne too had another nightmare of a race as he was tagged by Mitch Evans in the stadium section, leaving the reigning champion in a lowly P17.

Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

It was in the latter stages that the race came alive as Rowland, despite occupying P2 for the majority of the race, misjudged the corner when under pressure from di Grassi and had to concede the podium spot to the Brazilian. His luck went from bad to worse as he made contact with teammate Buemi, and Nissan’s miscalculations on energy use left both drivers dropping down the order and out of the points. Di Grassi continued to press Wehrlein for the lead, forcing the rookie to fight against the attack instead of saving his energy. Di Grassi scooped victory at the last gasp overtaking a energy-depleted Wehrlein just before the finish line to score Audi’s first win of the season ahead of da Costa and Venturi’s Edo Mortara, both promoted by Nissan’s failure to finish.

Formula E will return in Hong Kong on 10th March.

Bird’s the Word!: Sam succeeds in Santiago

Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird finally got his championship campaign underway by claiming his first win this season in a penalty-prone Santiago ePrix yesterday. Despite the temperatures soaring and making the ePrix the hottest on record, Bird managed to remain cool and claim victory after poleman Sebastien Buemi crashed out on a degrading track, holding off Pascal Wehrlein’s late challenge to send the British team to the top of the constructor’s standings.

Lucas di Grassi was the first driver to make an impact at the top of the qualifying standings, only to be superseded by Buemi moments later. Techeetah and BMW failed to make an impact as the track conditions began to improve, leaving those in the first group out of the coveted superpole positions. However, it was Mahindra’s Wehrlein took first blood in the initial part of qualifying by snatching provisional pole, ahead of Buemi, di Grassi, Bird and Abt. Stoffel Vandoorne too claimed a small victory in the shape of HWA and his first appearance in superpole, slotting in P4.

Abt was the first to take to the track in superpole and his super clean lap enabled him to set the bar at 1.08.958. Vandoorne followed, however, his lap was overshadowed by the fact that HWA failed to get the Belgian out of the pits on time, rendering his lap void. Bird struggled in the climbing temperatures to slot into P3 before di Grassi showcased a master lap around the Santiago circuit to post a time of 1.08.290. Buemi and Wehrlein had no answer to the Brazilian, claiming P2 and P3 respectively. Despite the dominant display in qualifying, di Grassi had his pole revoked after a braking infringement on his cool-down lap which sent him to the back of the grid and promoted racing rival Buemi to pole position.

Andrew Ferraro/ LAT Images

Buemi started well, holding the lead ahead of Wehrlein and Abt, who was superseded by Bird moments into the race for P3. However, the soaring temperatures proved difficult for the new Gen 2 cars with Tom Dillmann grinding to a halt a few laps in, presumably due to battery issues. Buemi was the first of the leading pack to deploy his attack mode in an effort to pull away from a charging Bird. The midfield battle too continued to heat up as Oliver Rowland and Felipe Massa duelled for the last points paying position.

Current champion Jean-Eric Vergne had a race to forget. A lowly qualifying session had placed the Frenchman in the middle of the pack and a bizarre incident between himself, his teammate Andre Lotterer and Antonio Felix da Costa left him out of the race. Da Costa’s nightmare also continued after his tangle with teammate Alexander Sims in Marrakesh as his BMW surrendered to the climbing temperatures, forcing him to retire later in the race.

Joe Portlock / LAT Images

Maxi Gunther stopped on the track, forcing the race’s first full course yellow, whilst Lopez spun after contact with di Grassi. Vandoorne’s hopes of HWA’s first points crumbled as the Belgian slowed on track just after the attack mode area, having made contact with the wall. As the full course yellow period ended, Bird and Wehrlein continued to pressure Buemi and with eleven laps from the end, the Nissan driver made contact with the wall and subsequently lost the lead. He limped back to the pits with suspension damage preventing him from participating further. Bird inherited the lead and held off a chasing Wehrlein for the remainder of the race to claim his eighth career win and the first of the season for Envision Virgin Racing. Wehrlein claimed his first Formula E podium in only his second race, followed by Daniel Abt who was promoted to P3 after Sims was given a penalty for contact with Edo Mortara.

D’Ambrosio flies high whilst Da Costa and Sims tangle: Marrakesh ePrix report

With their two drivers occupying the two spots in the race, BMW i Andretti seemed set for another dominant victory in Marrakesh. Despite not taking pole, Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims swept through the field, taking advantage of Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne’s opening lap clash. However, seven minutes from the chequered flag, the two BMWs collided into one another, sending Da Costa out of the race and Sims limping out of the podium positions. Mahindra’s Jerome D’Ambrosio took advantage of the clash to claim his third win of Formula E, and his first that did not involve disqualification.

Da Costa took first blood in the first qualifying group with an impressive 1.17.950, narrowly beating out Vergne. Lotterer also looked set to challenge the BMW, but a mistake in turn 7 left him in a lowly P5. As track conditions improved, Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi snatched the top spot away, forcing his way comfortably into superpole. Audi looked competitive initially, but both drivers made crucial mistakes in the final sector, leaving them out of the top six spots.

In contrast, their customer team Virgin Racing continued with their impressive form throughout the weekend as Sam Bird claimed P1 and Robin Frijns edged into P6. However, there was further drama in the pitlane as the NIO of Tom Dillmann ended up clattering into both Virgin cars, causing damage to their diffusers. The final group did little to trouble Bird and Buemi, with the exception of Sims who scored his first superpole appearance to the expense of Pascal Wehrlein on his maiden race with Mahindra.

Vergne managed to post the fastest time of qualifying so far in superpole, his time of 1.17.535 was enough to dispatch Mitch Evans from the top spot. Da Costa ended up less than a tenth of a second behind Vergne, with his teammate Sims performing well to slot in behind the championship leader. However, it was Sam Bird who clinched the all-important top spot and the valuable three points to kickstart his season.

Credit: Alastair Staley / LAT Images

The chaos started early as Vergne collided with Bird at the start as the pair duelled for the lead. The contact sent Vergne’s Techeetah to the back of the grid, forcing the current champion to force his way back through the pack. In the fracas of the opening lap, Buemi dropped from third back to thirteenth, whilst Sims was able to pick up second place, just behind his teammate da Costa who had started sixth after a penalty for energy overuse. Lotterer, who was also suffering from a penalty that relegated him to the back, slowly climbed the ranks as did the Audi of di Grassi, but not before collecting Wehrlein and sending the German out of the race. HWA’s bad luck also continued as Paffett and Vandoorne both collided in the opening lap, sending the former out of the race with a puncture.

Da Costa soon dispatched of Sims before snatching the lead away from a struggling Bird on the tenth lap. Sims followed his teammate through and the pair began to pull away from the chasing Virgin cars and the lone Mahindra of D’Ambrosio who managed to bypass a sleeping di Grassi and Bird shortly afterwards. The Techeetah cars of Vergne and Lotterer too began to gain ground, with the pair occupying P8 and P9 with under twenty minutes left on the clock.

Credit: Sam Bloxham/ LAT Images

The lead that the two leading BMWs built up soon disappeared as many cars began to use up their mandatory attack modes, and on lap 25, Sims decided to attempt to snatch the lead away from his teammate. However, team principal Mark Preston could only look on in horror as the two banged wheels, colliding and sending Da Costa into the barriers, along with the chance of the team’s first ever 1-2. Sims climbed back into P4 as D’Ambrosio inherited the lead ahead of the Virgin cars of Frijns and Bird. Da Costa’s stricken car summoned the only safety car of the entire race. Like in Ad Diriyah, the drivers with one attack mode remaining seemed to be at an advantage, including the two Techeetahs of Vergne and Lotterer, and the lone BMW of Sims sitting behind the podium positions, who all hoped to use their last line of attack to climb the standings.

However, Da Costa’s car remained on the track as the clock ticked down and only one lap remained when the safety car period ended. Despite most of the cars running out of their attack mode whilst following the safety car, D’Ambrosio and Frijns engaged in a thrilling duel until the finish line with the Dutchman finishing only 0.143s behind D’Ambrosio, who continued in his excellent form, propelling him to the top of the championship. Bird finished in the final podium position, followed by Sims who managed to hold off the dual attack of Vergne and Lotterer.

Formula E returns to Santiago on January 26th.

Da Costa frustrates Vergne to claims BMW’s first win: Ad Diriyah ePrix report

In spite of the heavy rain that blighted the opening round of the new season of Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa finally ended BMW i Andretti’s trophy drought in the inaugural Ad Diriyah ePrix last weekend. After taking a dominant pole in the reduced qualifying session, he was relatively untroubled in the race and took advantage of a time penalty applied to Techeetah rival Jean-Eric Vergne to claim his second win in Formula E and the first for BMW as a full-works team.

Qualifying was a much reduced affair due to the worsening weather. The drivers were split into two groups as opposed to the usual four. NIO’s Tom Dillmann was first on track and bizarrely stayed out for twenty laps instead of the allocated three, giving him a drive through penalty mid-way through the race. As the clock ticked down, the drivers trickled out onto the track. Vergne and the Audi’s of di Grassi and Abt struggled in the tricky conditions whilst Da Costa jumped to the top of the timing screens with a 1.17.728.  The conditions did not improve for the second group which included ex F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne. The latter managed an impressive P5 in his maiden qualifying session. Andre Lotterer looked like he may trouble the Portuguese driver but was blighted by Maxi Gunther’s Dragon stopping on track and Felix Rosenqvist going off on the final corner. With a lack of superpole due to the delayed session, Da Costa clinched the pole ahead of Dillmann, Lopez and Buemi.

Alastair Staley / LAT Images

At least five drivers were sent to the back of the grid for various infractions, creating a mixed grid at the beginning of the race. Da Costa held the lead despite a pit-box malfunction as Buemi dispatched of Lopez at the start. Mortara seemed to echo the opening round of last season by slamming into the wall. He managed to limp back onto the track but the damage was already done. The Techeetahs showcased that despite the change in powertrain, they still remain as quick as ever with Vergne and Lotterer making their way up the field to pick off Lopez and slot themselves into P3 and P4.

Rosenqvist’s bad luck continued as he ended up finishing his final race with Mahindra on the sidelines, crashing with 30 minutes to go. Gary Paffett’s HWA also decided to give up at turn 10, effectively ending his race. Vergne on the other hand, made his way past a struggling Buemi to snatch P2 away and begin the pursuit of Da Costa.

It didn’t take long for Vergne to force his way past da Costa’s BMW, taking the lead around the outside of turn 18. Da Costa seemed to struggle against the battling Techeetahs with Lotterer soon on his gearbox, pushing for presumably a team 1-2. Lopez and Buemi duelled over P4, but they both fell victim to an opportunistic Jerome D’Ambrosio who had managed to gain ground during their battle.

Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

With Vergne in the lead and Lotterer advancing on da Costa, another Techeetah win seemed likely. However, their luck soon changed as both drivers were hit with drive-through penalties allowing da Costa to retake the lead. Emerging in fourth position, the reigning champion fought his way back through the field to trouble da Costa as the minutes ticked down.

Lopez sent himself out of the race after missing the attack mode activation zone twice. With eight minutes to go, the safety car was brought out. As the race restarted, many of the drivers activated their second mandatory attack mode in an attempt to climb up the standings. Vergne was able to dispatch D’Ambrosio whilst using up the last of his attack mode, whilst his teammate Lotterer snatched P5 from Buemi. Da Costa was able to hold on from a prowling Vergne with help from his fanboost to clinch the win, his first in over three seasons and his first with BMW i Andretti, ahead of Vergne and D’Ambrosio.

The second round of the Formula E season will return on January 12th in Marrakesh.

Audi fly high as Mahindra hit trouble: Mexico City ePrix Race Report

Mexico City hosted its third ePrix at the famous Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City last weekend.

After the surprises in the inaugural race last year featuring a sublime energy-saving drive from last year’s champion Lucas Di Grassi and a duel between Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Jean-Éric Vergne, it was set to be another thrilling event on the motorsport calendar.

Di Grassi, still without points at this stage, had the misfortune of ending up in group 1 of qualifying. However, this did not deter the current champion as he lit up the timing screens purple, sending his Audi into the top spot, followed by Maro Engel’s Venturi and D’Ambrosio’s Dragon.

Though, this elation did not last long as group 2 – a formidable line up of Felix Rosenqvist, Sébastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Nelson Piquet and championship leader Vergne took to the track.

Rosenqvist wasted no time on his flying lap, snatching away P1 before an insurgent Buemi bit back and took the top spot away from the Swede, with Piquet and Bird slotting themselves into superpole contention.

Within group 3, António Félix Da Costa had a stormer, putting his Andretti into third position, with last year’s polesitter Oliver Turvey also impressing, depriving Vergne of a shot of superpole.

Group 4 also held promise with the likes of dark horses such as Mitch Evans and Daniel Abt and the best track conditions. However, a series of messy laps left everyone in mid-table positions and out of the superpole positions, leaving Buemi, Rosenqvist, Da Costa, Turvey and Alex Lynn to fight for the pole.

Lynn set the bar in superpole initially despite a looming penalty, with a respectable time of a 1.02.014. Turvey followed, slotting in behind Lynn after a scrappy lap. Da Costa had another excellent run, managing to place himself on provisional pole, much to the delight of his Andretti team.

However, two men stood in the way of his first official pole, two men who excel in qualifying and in claiming pole positions. Rosenqvist went first and pulled out a stellar lap, shaving two tenths off Da Costa’s time. Buemi was the last man standing, the only one capable of toppling a dominant Mahindra. However, a lap ridden with mistakes left him adrift in a lowly fifth and Rosenqvist picked up the three points and the bragging rights for starting on pole, followed by Da Costa, Lynn, Turvey and Buemi.

Da Costa’s elation at being on the front row did not last, however. He was given a penalty before the start for a underweight car, dropping him back to fourth, whilst Lynn took his grid penalty from the previous race for mechanical alterations on his car.

The race started with relative calmness as Rosenqvist held P1 and began to pull away from the chasing Turvey. Evans made quick work of André Lotterer’s Techeetah for P8 and Vergne swept past Da Costa, eager to keep his championship lead strong. Struggling Audi looked better in this race – Di Grassi despite his position and a ten second time penalty looming carved his way through the field in the early stages as Abt hunted down Buemi for P3.

However, the curse of Mexico struck once again as Rosenqvist’s car slowed to a stop, putting the leader of the race dead last and allowing Turvey to take the lead. Rosenqvist was able to get his Mahindra going again before it stopped again and he crawled to the pits to take his other car. Mahindra’s bad luck continued as Nick Heidfeld’s car also suffered mechanical problems, stopping mid race.

Audi, however, seemed invigorated. Spurred on by their recent troubles, Abt jumped Turvey in the pits, leading the NIO driver to fight against a charging Vergne and Buemi. Buemi used his fanboost to get past Vergne, eager to capture his first win of this season as he proceeded to hunt down Turvey, but the British driver proved a harder nut to crack.

Evans give way to Piquet in order to utilise the Brazilian’s drive and lower energy consumption. Piquet was able to edge past Vergne as he fought to collect his first podium since the inaugural season in which he became champion.

Di Grassi claimed fastest lap whilst out of the points paying position and set about clawing through the field to capture P10 and capture his first points of the season. As Di Grassi closed in on P10, Buemi and Piquet gave chase to Turvey as Abt continued to pull away.

Piquet forced Turvey to lock up into turn one but failed to get past his ex-teammate. Di Grassi managed to clinch P9, his first points since his disastrous title defence began as Abt finally claimed his first win of Formula E, followed by an impressive Turvey and Buemi.

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