Lucas di Grassi has won the Mexico City ePrix despite starting from 18th, making an extra pitstop to change his rear wing and swapping cars much earlier than his rivals. The Abt Audi Sports driver made the most of the safety cars and managed his energy all the way to the end.
“What an incredible change of fate, but actually that’s what Formula E represents, there are such ups and downs,” said di Grassi. “You can have a bad weekend or good weekend – the level of the drivers is so high. Somebody crashed into my back, broke the rear wing and there was a safety car. I managed to open a gap, keep on just using regen, just trying to be as energy efficient as possible, just focussing on my race as much as possible until the last corner and then just celebrated like crazy. For me it was one of the best races of my life, in terms of how I drove, how energy efficient I had to be, so I’m very pleased.”
Drama for Oliver Turvey who led the first part of the race but the NextEV rider came to an halt, causing a safety car. With still 28 laps to go, di Grassi pitted to change to his second car, a risky gamble but being at the back of the field because of an early stop to change his rear wing he didn’t have much choice.
After all the pitstops were completed, di Grassi came out on top in front of Jerome d’Ambrosio who also made an early stop. When d’Ambrosio’s teammate Loïc Duval stopped on track, the safety car came out and the margin in front was gone. The Belgian defended well against López, who also came under pressure of Jean-Eric Vergne. When López made a mistake, it was Vergne who managed to overtake.
But by then it was too late to catch di Grassi, who won the race with a two-second advantage over Vergne. Sam Bird was ranked third with Mitch Evans taking a solid fourth for Jaguar Racing. Nicolas Prost was just behind him but in front of López. Daniel Abt, who scored was devoted to the back of the grid due to a tyre regulation infringement, managed to take seventh in front of Adam Carroll, Nelson Piquet jr. and Esteban Gutierrez who made his debut.
— FIA Formula E (@FIAformulaE) April 2, 2017