Puebla E-Prix: Wehrlein disqualified, di Grassi leads Audi 1-2

Lucas di Grassi won the Puebla E-Prix, leading home Rene Rast in an Audi 1-2, after Porsche's race dominator Pascal Wehrlein was disqualified for a technical infringement just as he crossed the finish line.

Wehrlein and Porsche were remarkably disqualified from their inaugural Formula E victories to hand di Grassi his third win in Mexico over Audi teammate Rast.

Wehrlein led comfortably from pole for the first-ever Puebla E-Prix and crossed the line with a clear 3.6s margin but was then sent to the bottom of the timing screens.

The reprimand was dealt for the team not declaring the tyres on Wehrlein’s car, which would deny both parties their first series wins – both having secured their second poles.

That in turn rewarded the excellent recovery drive of di Grassi to the top step of the podium as the Brazilian recorded his first and Audi’s first triumph since Berlin in 2019. 

Rast finished only 0.497s in arrears to record his first podium and the team its third 1-2 in Formula E ahead of its pending exit at the end of the term. Edoardo Mortara completed the podium for Venturi.

Wehrlein had found clear air off the line when Oliver Rowland bogged down massively from second on the grid, having entered the race without radio communication, and dropped to 14th. The Porsche driver then made an early bid for the attack mode joker lap but was able to limit the damage and return to the circuit up in third in a squabble with the BMW Andretti cars.

As Jean-Eric Vergne was forced into rapid avoiding action to miss the slow Nissan e.dams of Rowland on the dirty side of the grid, it allowed fifth-starting Maximilian Gunther to wrest third into Turn 1 behind teammate Jake Dennis.

But the race was soon after put on ice when Nick Cassidy clattered the concrete wall on the exit of Turn 2 seemingly unaided. That snapped his front-left suspension and brought out the safety car and at the restart Wehrlein made an early breakaway.

A second intervention was called for to recover the wrecked Jaguar Racing machine of Sam Bird, who fell victim to the blind exit of attack mode that filters back into the racing line. As he merged back on to track, Alex Lynn was left with nowhere to go and clattered across the front with his Mahindra Racing machine to pincer Bird against the wall. 

Di Grassi passed Alexander Sims for sixth without the attack mode boost on the run into Turn 1. A similar move on the Jaguar of Mitch Evans returned fifth and then he capitalised on the slowing Gunther, who was caught up in a battle with Mortara at Turn 11.

With another precise move coming at Turn 1 on Mortara, di Grassi climbed up to second to eventually inherit his third victory in Mexico. 

Despite Sims colliding with Vergne in a similar attack mode exit shunt to that endured by his teammate Lynn, the Brit – stymied by a lack of practice running following a suspected battery glitch – earned fourth ahead of Dennis. 

Da Costa, meanwhile, recovered from 13th on the grid but a potential top-four spot went begging when he was delayed after an aborted attempted pass on Gunther in the closing stages.

Stoffel Vandoorne salvaged points from starting 21st in an eventual seventh, as Evans ran to eighth ahead of the second Mercedes of Nyck de Vries, who fought back after he was spun around by Robin Frijns.

Lynn completed the top 10 ahead of NIO 333 driver Oliver Turvey and a late struggle on overheating tyres eventually relegated Gunther to 12th. 

Formula E Puebla E-Prix race results:

shares
comments

Related video

Buemi set for grid penalty to solve “fundamental” Nissan woes

Previous article

Buemi set for grid penalty to solve “fundamental” Nissan woes

Next article

Porsche explains Wehrlein Puebla Formula E disqualification

Porsche explains Wehrlein Puebla Formula E disqualification
Load comments
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Prime

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Prime

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Prime

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place.

Formula E
Jul 28, 2021
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Prime

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature.

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021