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Mexico City Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-race notebook from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez…

Photo: Formula E

***Jerome d’Ambrosio’s fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix ensured that he retook the points lead in the standings and now leads BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio Felix da Costa by seven points.

***Despite the disappointment of seeing Pascal Wehrlein slip from the lead to sixth position in the final meters of the race, Mahindra moved back into the lead of the teams’ standings. The Indian outfit now enjoys a ten-point advantage over Envision Virgin Racing.

***Da Costa took second position for BMW i Andretti despite damaged steering suffered early in the restarted race.

***“I had a duel with Sebastien Buemi relatively early on in the race, during which I touched his car slightly,” explained da Costa. “After that my steering was skewed, which naturally put me at something of a disadvantage.”

***Jean-Eric Vergne has slammed the race stewards for not issuing a penalty to Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans after the incident which dropped him down the field. The collision was investigated but no further action was taken after the race.

***“They didn’t give [Evans] a penalty and it was the same as the three drivers that overtook me under Full Course Yellow and they got no penalty, I just don’t understand it,” Vergne told e-racing365.

***DS Techeetah’s sporting manager Pedro de la Rosa likened the race-stopping incident between Vergne and Nelson Piquet Jr. to Fernando Alonso’s at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.

***“OK it was not as spectacular but it was similar because of the angles and clearly Nelson braked too late in my opinion so it reminded me of that type of incident,” de la Rosa told e-racing365.

***Race director Scot Elkins confirmed to e-racing365 that the red flag was deployed because of the severity of the incident suffered by Piquet and the large debris field around the final chicane.

***Piquet emerged unscathed from the accident while the team has been able to repair the Jaguar I-Type 3 in time for Sunday’s test, rather than building up a new tub.

***Third-place finisher Edoardo Mortara said he deliberately kept out of any trouble in the early stages to manage his energy targets for later in the race.

***“It was like Christmas happened on the last lap with two cars stopping and then a penalty [for Wehrlein],” said the Venturi driver. “It is getting better and better and I can see in the next races it will get better again because the guys are working very well.”

***Felipe Massa’s race was spoilt by a miscalculation by the team on his available energy for the restarted race.

***“Mistakes happen in motorsport, we are all capable of making them and I am very proud of the hard work my team have put into this weekend,” explained Massa.

***Jose Maria Lopez suffered a disastrous race, accruing several penalties. The GEOX Dragon driver had four separate penalties during the race, including a drive-through for exceeding the state-of-charge rule and a five-second penalty for cutting the pit lane entry line.

***Envision Virgin Racing sought a small amount of solace in Sam Bird’s two points for ninth position after a driveshaft failure in qualifying saw him start from the rear of the field.

***“I actually thought it would take a miracle to score points from this position, but we did just that,” said Bird. “We just kept pushing, in what was a crazy race, and got our reward.”

***HWA again failed to register a point in its fourth race as Stoffel Vandoorne’s day was compromized by a systems shutdown at the beginning of the race and then by a penalty for activating his Fanboost too early. Vandoorne took 19th position while teammate Gary Paffett claimed 16th after an uneventful run.

***Attendance figures at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez are believed to be in the region of 50,000, with many fans staying on for a spectacular post-race concert.

***Jaguar Brazil Racing posted a request to the stewards for a change of Caca Bueno’s I-PACE eTROPHY car prior to the support series’ qualifying session yesterday. The team suspected a problem with the car but the request was rejected after further investigations by the technical delegate and Jaguar’s chief engineer.

***Salvador Duran was handed a three-place grid penalty for his next I-PACE eTROPHY race after being deemed to have caused a collision. As he competed in Mexico City as a VIP driver, it’s unlikely he’ll race in the series again this season.

***Mahindra has secured the services of former Arden GP3 and Formula 2 engineer Cyril Blais. The engineer joined the team earlier this month but will commence work on Pascal Wehrlein’s Mahindra M5Electro from the Hong Kong E-Prix onwards.

***Former Mahindra commercial chief Jim Wright has begun a new role as group commercial director at Andretti Autosport. Wright will work on a range of Andretti programs including IndyCar and Rallycross and be based at its Banbury office.

***Wright will continue his role as secretariat at the Formula E Teams and Manufacturers Association (FETAMA) which has Jaguar team principal James Barclay as its chairman.

***Envision Energy founder and CEO Lei Zhang will attend next month’s Hong Kong E-Prix. It will be his first Formula E race since his company became the majority shareholder of Virgin Racing last year.

***McLaren Applied Technologies issued new battery management software for its units ahead of the weekend. The amendment was largely a fix to stop the minimum allowed coolant temperature changing significantly.

***Formula E has been nominated for a BT Sport industry award for the Cheetah vs Formula E car film that was shot just before the start of Season Four in 2017.

***The Techeetah team, as it was then known, worked together with Formula E on the ground-breaking film to highlight the endangered species.

***Well-known BMW, Skip Barber and Champcar marketing executive Jim Bowie visited the championship this weekend. “I’m here to explore marketing opportunities in the FE paddock,” Bowie told e-racing365. “It’s my first event and I’m really impressed with the attention to detail. Every touch point for every stakeholder has really been thought through. Really impressive.”

Photo: Formula E

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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