Mitch Evans claimed a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday afternoon’s Mexico City E-Prix with a dominant performance while a series of hectic events unfolded behind him.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Evans put on one of the most commanding performances in ABB FIA Formula E Championship history from second on the grid, taking the lead off the line and remaining out front throughout.
He finished ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, who moved up through the field after a race-long battle with DS Techeetah Jean-Eric Vergne that included a number of confusing strategy calls.
Late-race drama also included Sam Bird crashing out from second, allowing da Costa to inherit the runner-up spot, and championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne running into the tire barrier on the penultimate lap.
Andre Lotterer started on pole after Porsche took top qualifying honors for the first time since joining Formula E but his race unfolded on the first lap.
Running side-by-side with Evans into the first corner, Lotterer was forced wide and immediately lost positions before further mistakes later in the first lap.
He recovered to third but later picked up front-right contact and ended up towing an advertising banner that ultimately caused the stewards to call him into the pits after generating clouds of smoke.
Da Costa and Vergne’s intra-team rivalry came to a head with a confusing array of perceived team orders and strategy calls after the two ran nose-to-tail for most of the race.
The Portuguese driver was clearly quicker than his teammate and eventually was allowed past in the final ten minutes. While he couldn’t close the gap to Evans, he soon inherited second position from Bird.
Bird then ended up driving straight into the tire barrier, and was called to park his car there for the remainder of the race, with local yellows flying at the exit of the stadium section.
Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Vandoorne headed to Mexico in the championship lead but a late-race mistake saw him run on the marbles and slide into the tire barrier side-on, ending his race prematurely.
Amongst other incidents earlier in the race was a lock-up for Nyck de Vries that sent him into the run-off area past Turn 1, after a battle with da Costa. The pair didn’t make any contact but Robin Frijns did unavoidably hit the back of de Vries when the Mercedes slowed.
The safety car was called for five minutes early on when Nico Mueller planted his GEOX Dragon car into the barriers.
As per the new regulations, 5 kWh of useable energy was removed from each car in order to keep up energy management strategies after intervention periods.
RESULTS: Mexico City E-Prix