Mexico City E-Prix – It wasn’t the most dramatic race in Mexico, but Pascal Wehrlein led from pole to take a confident win however he is under investigation.
Pascal Wehrlein is something of a specialist when it comes to Formula E in Mexico, the German driver almost winning on his first visit, taking the chequered flag first but getting disqualified in 2021 when the event was held in Puebla, but then finally getting the victory on his third Mexico City event.
Race Results – 2024 Mexico City E-Prix
Due to their one place grid penalties, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans won’t start the year with an all-Jaguar second row, but instead start behind Maximilian Guenther who moves up to P3. Season 10’s only rookie, Maserati’s Jehan Daruvala, will be starting in P17.
The ABT team are celebrating their 100th Formula E race today, and will have Nico Mueller starting P12 with Lucas di Grassi in P19 after hitting the barrier in the group stages. ABT also announced today that they will not be continuing with Mahindra as their powertrain supplier beyond the end of this season.
There would only be 21 cars lining up to take the start however as ERT found a technical issue on Sergio Sette Camara’s car so the Brazilian would be watching the start from the garage rather than from P18.
As the lights went out to start the race, Wehrlein held the lead Buemi, Robin Frijns in P7 had a nightmare start, the Dutch driver was very slow off the grid and lost eight or nine positions on the run to T1, Envision confirmed later that he did have a technical issue. There was a brief Yellow Flag towards the end of the opening lap as Lucas di Grassi went into the barriers at T11. The ABT driver was able to get back out but he’d lost a good chunk of time to the rest of the pack.
Lap 3 saw the race down to only nineteen drivers as di Grassi retired to the pits, later reported that he had brake issues. The Brazilian’s teammate, Nico Mueller had contact with Antonio Felix da Costa which spun him into the barriers, Mueller was able to extract himself and continue but it was game over for the Porsche driver as he then stopped on track at T4, which brought out the Yellows again.
The first Attack Modes were activated around that time, Wehrlein briefly falling behind Buemi as he took his first two minute stint, the Porsche driver was back in the lead the following lap when Buemi took six of his eight minute boost.
The majority of drivers activated their Attack Modes over the next few laps, the top six remaining as was but on lap 9 Robin Frijns went into the wall at T17, the exit of the Foro Sol. The Full Course Yellow was activated before being upgraded to a full Safety Car as the stricken Envision was blocking most of the track at that narrow point.
The Safety Car returned to the pits at the end of lap 11 and Buemi led the pack at the restart but took his final two minutes of Attack which put Wehrlein back into P1, just after Porsche had told their driver they didn’t want to over consume energy so would prefer to remain in P2.
After twenty laps Wehrlein still led from Buemi while Cassidy had gotten ahead of Guenther to take P3. Evans remained in P5 while Jake Hughes had lost a position to Jean-Eric Vergne and his P7 made him the meat in a DS Penske sandwich.
The drivers bided their time over the next few laps, though by lap 25, Wehrlein had over two seconds of a gap to Buemi but the majority of the top fourteen cars had less than a second separating them.
As the drivers reached lap 30, Vergne was right on the rear of Evans but the Jaguar driver seemed to just be able to pull away enough on the straights to avoid a move being tried on him.
Due to the Safety Car earlier in the race there would be two laps added to the race, so it would be a 37 lap contest rather than a 35 lap one. With four laps to go, Wehrlein still had over a second and a half of a buffer to Buemi in P2. Cassidy and Guenther were similar gaps behind in P3 and P4 while there was much more empty track between them and Evans in P5.
The Jaguar driver was the cork in the bottle and had a big train of cars lined up behind him and looking to improve, though Evans was able to hold the hoard off to take P5.
While things looked to be go smoothly for Wehrlein on track, off track it might not be as both he and Dennis, in P9, would be investigated after the race for technical infractions.
Wehrlein would share the podium with last year’s Envision teammates, Buemi and Cassidy, while Guenther brought his Maserati home in P4. Vergne followed Evans home in P6 ahead of Hughes and Vandoorne. The two Andrettis took the final point positions Dennis ahead of Norman Nato.
In his post-race interview, Buemi said that he’d been told Wehrlein would be investigated and so decided he was happy to sit in P2 and then if he got something else afterwards then he wouldn’t complain. The point for fastest lap went to Cassidy, who set a 1:14.746.