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Mexico City Thursday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Thursday notebook from Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez…

Photo: Formula E

***Sam Bird will take a 10-place grid drop for Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix. Bird joins teammate Alex Lynn who will take the same penalty. The sanction has been handed out to both drivers for the same infraction of changing a gearbox after having already played their one designated joker.

***Some manufacturers have received their new Season Five cars today. BMW and DS Performance are known to have theirs already while Jaguar and Venturi will get their chassis on Friday and Monday, respectively. Construction of the cars will begin in earnest to ensure they are ready for the first group manufacturer test at Monteblanco later this month.

***DS Performance already has a Season Five show car which will be available for viewing at the DS World facility in Paris later this month. The French manufacturer will show off its test livery next Tuesday just after the official launch of the car on Tuesday morning in Geneva.

***The announcement of DS Performance’s new team partner is unlikely to be confirmed before the end of the season. It has been widely reported that it has an alliance already signed with Techeetah. Present partner Virgin Racing is poised to use an Audi powertrain in Season Five, as revealed by e-racing365 in January.

***Andretti Formula E has hired extra staff to work with BMW engineers at its Munich base as the team gets ready for the development phase of the new-look car. E-racing365 understands that Joel Eriksson could be in line to assist BMW drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Tom Blomqvist and Alexander Sims in testing the new car through the development period.

***The FIA is trying to standardize any helmets worn by pit crews in the mandatory pit stops. The EC2205 regulated helmet is expected to be mandated for the next round in Punta del Este. Snow-boarding style helmets were mainly used in the last round at Santiago which was the first race held without a minimum pit stop time.

***E-racing365 believes that there could also be an extension to the use of helmets in the pit lane for mechanics located there changing a nose cone or repairing cars during sessions.

***Edoardo Mortara believes that the slightly longer race this year (47 laps as opposed to 2017’s 45 laps) will benefit the Venturi VM200-FE cars. “We showed at Hong Kong that we are pretty good on energy management and I think generally we are better prepared for this race here than we were last time in Santiago,” he told e-racing365.

***The brand-new Jaguar I-PACE cars which were used in the video showing Mitch Evans and Tony Kanaan conducting acceleration and braking tests earlier this week were on display in the paddock today. E-racing365 was lucky enough to be the first media to be able to view the car, which will make its public debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next week.

***The Jaguar I-PACE, which will be used in the Jaguar I-PACE e-TROPHY from next season onwards, is understood to have attracted significant attention from several Formula E teams. Virgin Racing and Techeetah are believed by e-racing365 to be the most likely teams to possibly enter a car in the new series. Rahal Letterman Lanigan is currently the only team publicly confirmed to enter the series.

***M-Sport founder and owner Malcolm Wilson is set to be a guest of Jaguar in Mexico this weekend as he attends his first ever E-Prix.

***Formula E will donate all profits from its tickets sales to the #FuerzaMexico campaign. In addition, the championship has already donated 500,000 pesos which will contribute directly to the rehabilitation of the Olympic rowing and canoeing centers.

***All teams have been given special decals to apply to their cars this weekend in support of the relief fund to help the country after the severe earthquakes which have blighted the country in recent months.

***Former Audi DTM and LMP driver Alexandre Premat has been announced as the driver advisor to the stewards this weekend.

***Formula E has appointed a new Head of Digital Content. Oliver Emery is attending his first E-Prix this weekend in the role having previously worked for USP Content, Sunset +Vine and Crash Media Group.

***Carmen Jorda will attend the Mexico City E-Prix this weekend and could conduct some demonstration laps in a Formula E car. Jorda raced for three seasons in the GP3 Series between 2012-14 and also made sporadic outings in Indy Lights and the Renault Sport Trophy.

***E-racing365 understands that Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria will visit the race this Saturday. Longoria, who is pregnant with her first child, is married to Mexican businessman Jose-Antonio Baston.

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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