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Modified Layout Planned for Mexico City E-Prix

Changes set to be made to the Mexico City E-Prix layout for next year’s race…

Photo: Formula E

Next year’s fifth running of the Mexico City E-Prix will feature an amended configuration of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

The race, which is scheduled to take place on Feb. 15, will see a different and slightly longer configuration of circuit than the existing 1.3-mile track.

Options for a longer Formula E layout at the track should be easily implemented as the facility operates with multiple configurations and features service roads that can be adapted for lengthening track configurations.

The track is located in the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City municipal park and features upgrades to the track which were completed in 2015 in readiness for the return of the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix.

Formula E first used the location in 2016 and initially utilized a bizarre first corner chicane which bypassed the long start/finish straight and looped through to the back straight via a modified service road.

This was reprofiled for 2017 with a conventional right-hand corner, which was widely praised by the drivers, including Sam Bird, who finished third in that year’s race.

“[At] some of the tracks we race on chicanes work OK but there are some where we just don’t need them and I think Mexico is one of these,” Bird told e-racing365.

“Certainly, I think it can flow more and with short circuits you just don’t need three chicanes or whatever so it is good that Formula E is looking into it.”

Two-time Mexico City E-Prix winner Lucas di Grassi has long since been opposed to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez layout.

The Brazilian wants to completely eradicate chicanes from the series as he feels that they contribute to unnecessary incidents, triggering race suspensions or neutralizations.

“I’ve been pushing to take out all chicanes in Formula E because it will increase speed, energy and overtaking,” di Grassi told e-racing365.

“It will also be less controversial for stewards’ decisions and better for everyone.”

Di Grassi references the bypassing of chicanes which have seen several controversial incidents, including in 2016 when Jerome d’Ambrosio cut the final chicane and last season when Pascal Wehrlein did the same while battling with di Grassi for the lead.

This year’s Mexico City race was affected by a red flag when Nelson Piquet Jr. collided with Jean-Eric Vergne on the run to the final chicane, while the Bern and Rome races also saw stoppages because of chicane-related incidents.

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 Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Chris

    October 13, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I agree with Di Grassi about removing as many of the chicanes as possible. And that includes the one they put in the middle of the straight at Valencia for testing.

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