Sam Bird takes Santiago win
Round 3 of the 2018/2019 FIA ABB Formula E Championship in Santiago, Chile, was won by Great Britain’s Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin). German dri...
Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix saw Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) claim a last-gasp victory over Pascal Wehrlein. The Mahindra Racing driver was later relegated to sixth in the order, which allowed Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW Andretti i Motorsports) and Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Formula E Team) to take part in the podium festivities.
Pole-winner Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing) shook off pressure at lights-out from di Grassi and Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) to lead out of Turn 1 with the track temperature standing at 45°C.
The red flag was brandished on Lap 2, however, after a big smash involving Nelson Piquet Jr (Panasonic Jaguar Racing/Michelin), Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah/Michelin) and Alexander Sims (BMW Andretti i Motorsport).
Action resumed 25 minutes later, with Wehrlein still in front, chased by Rowland and di Grassi.
At the race’s halfway point, the top five were blanketed by less than three seconds, but the intense fighting proved costly in terms of energy consumption and the Nissan IM01s of Sébastien Buemi and Rowland were side-lined from third and fourth places with flat batteries.
On the final lap, Wehrlein was very low on energy and di Grassi succeeded in passing moments before the chequered flag, allowing the 2016/2017 champion to claim his ninth Formula E success and Audi/Michelin’s eleventh in the series.
Wehrlein was later given a five-lap penalty for missing the chicane on the final lap, which promoted da Costa and Mortara onto the podium. Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) and André Lotterer (DS Techeetah) rounded out the afternoon’s top five.
Round 5 of the 2018/2019 championship will take teams to Hong Kong on March 10.
Final positions – Mexico City E-Prix
1, Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler), 45 laps
2, Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW Andretti I Motorsports), +0.436s
3, Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Formula E Team), +0.745s
4, Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing), +1.159s
5, André Lotterer (DS Techeetah), +1.785s
6, Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing), +5.210s
7, Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing), +5.800s
8, Felipe Massa (Venturi Formula E Team), +8.084s
9, Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing), +8.356s
10, Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler), +8.438s