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Di Grassi “couldn’t believe” epic last-lap Mexico City win

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Di Grassi “couldn’t believe” epic last-lap Mexico City win
By:
Feb 17, 2019, 3:19 AM

Audi's Lucas di Grassi says his dramatic last-gasp victory at the Mexico City E-Prix was the “best win” of his ABB FIA Formula E career.

Di Grassi hounded long-time race leader Pascal Wehrlein’s Mahindra on the final lap and pressured his rival into the heavy braking zone of Turn 1, before darting down the inside of Turn 3 and forcing the Mahindra driver to cut the corner.

While that move earned Wehrlein a post-race five-second penalty, the Mahindra driver stayed ahead of second-placed di Grassi on track.

But di Grassi's pressure eventually told when the Mahindra machine ran out of energy approaching the start/finish line and di Grassi squeezed past to win. The 2016/17 champion's late move ensured his ninth victory in FE.

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Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag

Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag
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Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag

Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag
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Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag

Lucas di Grassi and Pascal Wehrlein take the chequered flag
3/3

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Di Grassi said: “I have to say, [it was] probably the best Formula E race of my career today because it was a mixture of having the patience to save energy in the beginning. Then because it was difficult to overtake, I had to make the moves in the correct moment. 

“I managed to overtake [Nissan's Oliver] Rowland when he went into attack mode [on lap 35 of 45].”

Di Grassi added that he felt Wehrlein was “more than aggressive” in his late-race defending, adding: “I knew he was running out of energy. I was putting pressure on him, trying to overtake him all of the last five laps. 

“And then, in the chicane coming out of Turn 3, I could see every corner he left he was defending, closing the door, and was going to the outside. On the last lap I was behind him and pretended to go to the outside and he left a door, a door small enough to go down the inside between the wall and the kerb and I went there. 

“I went side-by-side with him and then he cut the chicane [at Turn 4]. Probably he would get a penalty anyway, but that was the move [that was key]. 

“After that he was closing the door [while in the lead], Antonio was coming behind so I had to look in the mirror and try to overtake him so it was a crazy last lap. 

“Then on the start/finish line I closed and at the last corner he was closing the door, I went side close to the wall and managed to win it. I couldn’t believe it!”

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