Daniel Abt took his first Formula E career victory and the first for Audi as a works team in a hectic Mexico ePrix as pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist retired from the race and Jean-Eric Vergne extended his championship lead
Rosenqvist held the lead at the start from Turvey and looked comfortable out in front, with Turvey keeping in touch and showing solid pace. But towards the end of lap 14 the Mahindra driver crawled to a halt, and the field swept on by before Rosenqvist got his car going again, Turvey now leading the race a year on from breaking down in the same position last year. Rosenqvist kept going for a short while before stopping twice more, swapping cars and going two laps down before eventually retiring from the race. Mahindra’s day got worse later on as Rosenqvist’s teammate Nick Heidfeld also retired from the race.
The drama continued as Daniel Abt went from fourth to second, dispensing of Sebastien Buemi and taking second after Rosenqvist’s issues. He rapidly closed on Turvey heading into the pitstops, and the Audi team did a fantastic job in jumping the NIO car and putting Abt into the lead as they left the pits. From then on, Abt held a comfortable advantage until the end and was never threatened for the victory as he left Turvey in his wake. Despite that though the drama continued to unfold behind the German. Vergne had jumped Buemi in the pits to move up to third and started to chase down Turvey, but Buemi had other things on his mind.
Having been a fanboost winner, Buemi used it to good effect to sail past Vergne down the start/finish straight and take back third from the Techeetah and he then set his sights on the NIO car. Turvey though was resolute in his defense, which allowed the Jaguar of Nelson Piquet Jr to close up with much more useable energy than the others around him. Piquet had pit a lap later than the others, and climbed up to fourth but it did use up most of his energy and despite getting close to Buemi, he couldn’t threaten the podium properly.
Vergne came home in fifth to extend his championship lead to twelve points over Rosenqvist, who is on 69 to Vergne’s 81. A podium of course was possible for the Frenchman but a solid finish could pay dividends at seasons end. Mitch Evans was sixth and completed another good race for Jaguar who are enjoying a very solid year. Antonio Felix Da Costa come home a solid seventh after starting fourth, his pace not quite on the level of the front runners and Edorado Mortara had a great race, coming from tail end of the field and finishing in eighth. It was a big day as well for Lucas Di Grassi who finally scored the first points of his season with ninth, having started last, taken a five second penalty in the pits and spun overtaking Jose Maria Lopez. Maro Engel completed the top ten as Venturi took a double points finish.
Feature image credit: Audi Formula E Team Twitter
2018 Mexico City E-Prix Results (Courtesy FIA)
1 – Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 50:45:164s (25)
2 – Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E Team, +6.398s (18)
3 – Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +6.615s (15)
4 – Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +7.015s (12)
5 – Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, +7.546s (10)
6 – Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +9.050s (8)
7 – Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +17.157s (6)
8 – Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Formula E Team, +26.511 (4)
9 – Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +29.208s (3)
10 – Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, +29.515s (1)
11 – Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON, +30.418s
12 – Jose Maria Lopez, DRAGON, +31.859s
13 – Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH, +36.206s
14 – Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E Team, +38.336s
15 – Tom Blomqvist, Andretti Formula E, +38.592s
16 – Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E Team, +44.689s
17 – Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +44.982s
DNF – Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, 36 Laps
DNF – Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 34 Laps (3)
DNF – Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 27 Laps