Formula E

Several Shock Surprises In Mexico City

Round 4 of Season 6 gave us several shock surprises with many DNF’s and tricky team orders. With the Championship and Constructors having a big switch, we must congratulate Mitch Evans on his first win of the season and becoming the 4th winner since the start.

Before the start of the race, we discovered that we were to have 3 uses of Attack Mode for 3 minutes each instead of the usual 2 lots of 4 minutes. As all the cars lined up, we saw Andre Lotterer in Pole Position, ready to fight for his first victory. Close behind we saw Evans and Nyck De Vries who would be doing all they could to steal the top spot from their rival.

As the lights turn green, we immediately saw Lotterer being sent off by Evans which pushed him back to 4th on the grid, seeing De Vries and Buemi move up to 2nd and 3rd. We heard over commentary that Lotterer had slight damage to his front wing but was able to continue on. Bad luck continued in Mexico City as De Vries was overtaken by Buemi and Lotterer then Sam Bird came flying round the outside to take 4th, pushing the Mercedes driver down to 5th. Robin Frijns also decided to join in the fun and managed to get passed De Vries, meaning the Dutchman fell down to 6th.

Our shock continued as Nico Muller was seen going straight into the barrier in a hard hit causing a Full Safety Car with 41 minutes and 20 seconds remaining. Muller also tried to take advantage of a struggling De Vries at Turn 1 but could not slow meaning a one way ticket to the barrier. The good news was that Muller exited the car unscathed but his race from there was over. Cars were given the notice to drive through the pit lane until the car was recovered and we went racing again at 35 minutes and 30 seconds remaining.

Bird, who was running comfortably in 4th, had a little look to overtake Lotterer but could not find a way passed. This did not stay the case for long as Bird made a phenomenal pass through the stadium section, just after the Attack Mode zone, to steal 3rd place. Things continued to take a turn for the worse for Lotterer. After losing 3rd to Bird, he was then overtaken by Frijns and De Vries to drop him back to 6th.

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We saw another retirement in Felipe Massa who was reported to have suspension damage after hitting the wall at Turn 3 and lost left bodywork. Oliver Rowland was the first to take Attack Mode with 33 minutes remaining. Bird was seen all over the back of Buemi and managed to take him around 5 minutes later to win 2nd place. Attack Mode was then used by multiple drivers with just 30 minutes of the race remaining.

Lotterer’s race was then essentially done and dusted as we saw major front wing damage and part of the advertising banner hanging from his car. Lotterer was ordered to come into the pits and we saw a nose change but Lotterer was later showed to be out of the race. With 27 minutes remaining, all of the top 10 had taken Attack Mode so it was anyone’s game as to who was getting ahead of who. The only person who had nothing to worry about was race leader, Evans, who had a comfortable lead of 2.5 seconds.

Another surprise during the race was the continuing kafuffle between the two DS Tcheetah drivers. Throughout the race, Jean-Eric Vergne had been ahead of Antonio Felix Da Costa but with 23 minutes remaining, they had switched places. Later on in the race, Vergne was given permission to pass Da Costa at Turn 1. After they switched places again, Da Costa was given the message they could race so with less that 10 minutes remaining, Da Costa overtook his teammate.

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Going back to halfway through the race, Da Costa activated his Fanboost to try and take De Vries. De Vries then immediately activated his Fanboost to defend but locked his front wheels. Unfortunately, his back wheels kept on moving and he could not stop as he went into the wall. Frijns became an innocent bystander as he went to take the corner, De Vries knocked into him, causing him to fall back to 10 position.

Another retirement came from Qinghua Ma as he went offline and hit the wall with 9 minutes and 30 seconds remaining. Alexander Sims then came out of nowhere and performed a fantastic overtake on Lucas Di Grassi for 7th position. Daniel Abt had been having a difficult weekend after a really big crash during practice and having to be airlifted to hospital but after being given the go ahead to race and starting down the back, Abt had another spin after the back snapped away from him. Luckily, things were going far better at the front of the pack where Da Costa got passed Buemi and Evans continued to run away with a dominant performance.

Bird had also been putting in a stellar job but with less than 4 minutes of the race left, he was found in the wall and dropped from 2nd to 7th. He managed to get going again but we saw Bird off again at Turn 13 and, very disappointingly, out of the race. Championship leader, Stoffel Vandoorne, had been racing steadily in 10th place but after many tussles with Di Grassi and the numerous retirements, Vandoorne found himself up to 5th. Sims and Vandoorne were fighting for that 5th position and to see who would be ahead in the championship out of the two. Suddenly, Vandoorne became another shocking victim of the Mexico E-Prix, as much like Lotterer, we saw him hit the wall to give him damage and part of the banner hanging from his car, thus ending his race.

Throughout the entire E-Prix, Evans was hardly challenged and took his first win of the 2019/2020 season! Evans becomes the fourth winner of Season 6 and is now the Championship leader. Da Costa comes home in 2nd and Buemi rounds up the podium with 3rd place and his first points of the season. Evans spoke to Formula E reporter Nicki Sheilds after the race, commending his Panasonic Jaguar Team, saying “the guys gave me such a good car” and showed his elation at the victory, telling us how it “feels really nice to get our first vic[tory] of the season”.

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What an insane race that Mexico City provided us and, as per usual, the championship has been shaken up with Evans in the lead and previous leader, Vandoorne, down to 5th. It is still anyone’s game and you will definitely have to stick around during Season 6 of Formula E. We find ourselves in Marrakesh on February 29th and you won’t want to miss a thing! Check back with Overtake Motorsport for all the latest news and race rundown.

Feature Image Credit: Jaguar Racing Twitter Page

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