Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans put in a flawless performance in Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix to clinch his and Jaguar’s second Formula E triump.
After a nail-biting qualifying session, Andre Lotterer and Mitch Evans waited for the lights to go green from the first row. Coming into the first corner, Lotterer and Evans were side by side and were both adamant to grab the lead which then saw the German running off the track, handing the lead over to the New-Zealander. The former DS Teecheetah driver lost out a few positions as result of the excursion through the grass.
On the first lap, Jeorme D’Ambrosio had to dive into the pits to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for a technical infraction. However, it had proved to be only the first penalty of that sort as Neel Jani and Ma Qinghua have also been instructed to serve drive through penalties for technical infringements.
Just a couple of minutes into the race, Geox Dragon's Nico Mueller misjudged the entry into Turn 1, ploughing into the wall and ending his race. As a result, the safety car was deployed to give the marshals time to clear the track.
Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa also fell victim to the first corner as he clipped the wall at the tight Turn 1. The incident ended the Brazilian’s race as he had to park his car due to a suspension damage.
At the sharp end of the field, a fierce battle has evolved between Sam Bird and Sebastien Buemi with the Briton attacking the Swiss in a merciless fashion.
With 28 minutes left on the clock, pole-sitter Andre Lotterer picked up a damage on the front wing of his Porsche. The damage resulted in spectacular smoke which the German tried to ignore by carrying on running on the track. However, he had to come in to the box for a nose cone change.
In the meantime, Lucas di Grassi found himself in 8th position after starting the Mexico City E-Prix down from 17th. In front of the Brazilian, a group of five drivers have been battling hard which ended in a disaster. Antonio Felix da Costa tried to overtake Nick de Vries, but the Dutchman was reluctant to give up his position, pushing the Portuguese against the wall at the start-finish straight. Last year’s Formula 2 champion then also misjudged his braking into Turn 1, could not get his car stopped and crashed into the wall.
Approaching the last phase of the race, a big battle has evolved between Vergne and da Costa. The teammates changed place multiple times until the Portoguese could escape and catch Buemi.
If that hadn’t been enough, a last-minute drama changed the order at the sharp end of the field. While battling with da Costa, Bird went into the wall in the stadium section. The Briton could not continue and left his car at a dangerous place. As the proceeding found itself in the last phase, the race direction was in the a big dilemma. Since a safety car would have spoilt the party, the officials decided against a distraction of the race.
The last seconds saw the two best-placed drivers in the Championship Stoffel Vandoorne and Alexander Sims battle for the fifth place. Without any contact from behind, the Belgian made a misjudgement into Turn 3, clipping the wall and causing serious damage to his Mercedes.
While the field was battling it out hard, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans crossed the line trouble free, securing his first win in the season.