Lucas di Grassi scored his second Formula E win of the season in the inaugural Mexico ePrix today after a finely judged drive, taking the points lead in the process.
Di Grassi’s maximum points haul and title rival Sebastien Buemi’s third place finish means that the Brazilian now leads Buemi by six points.
Polesitter Jerome d’Ambrosio led for the first half of the race in his Dragon car, holding back a train of cars comprising Nicolas Prost, di Grassi, Buemi and Daniel Abt.
Buemi put a bold move on Abt into the first corner after the German ran wide at the final chicane, but that move aside the five remained as a breakaway bunch until just before the mandatory pit stops.
Di Grassi then put a surprise move on Prost to snatch second place on the in lap before the stops. It was a crucial move for the Brazilian and immediately after the car change he latched on to d’Ambrosio.
Using his Fanboost along the main straight, he pulled off another excellent move and pulled away impressively, eventually taking the chequered flag by 5.416 seconds.
D'Ambrosio vs. Buemi
Behind the Brazilian, there was a wild battle for second place as d’Ambrosio was forced to defend from a charging Buemi, who had leapfrogged Renault edams teammate Prost at the pit stops.
Buemi attempted several moves on the Belgian into the first chicane, but d’Ambrosio resisted as a furious Buemi gesticulated his displeasure at the defensive moves.
Contact was eventually made as Buemi rear-ended the Dragon car, damaging both his own and D’Ambrosio’s cars.
On lap 34, Buemi made an initially successful move at the tight first chicane, but having used the escape road in doing so he was forced to give the position back.
The attempt to do so caused chaos for the chasing Prost, Abt and Loic Duval. With Buemi slowing to give the position back, Prost was able to get close on d’Ambrosio and the two made slight contact.
The battle between d’Ambrosio and Buemi raged right until the flag, with Buemi getting a run from the final corner.
D’Ambrosio just held on by 0.106s and also picked up extra points for setting fastest lap. This though is likely to be taken away when the official results are issued, as it was set when he cut a chicane.
Abt was in line for a fourth place finish, but crashed with just two laps remaining. The German managed to finish eighth with a deranged front wing.
After Prost was penalised for an unsafe release from his pit stop, Duval came through to finish fourth and seal a fine day for Dragon Racing.
Prost managed to salvage points with fifth, finishing ahead of Robin Frijns who drove an excellent race in the Andretti Autosport car.
Sam Bird (DS Virgin) came home seventh ahead of the recovering Abt, Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra) and Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi).
|1||L. Di Grassi||Audi Abt||43 laps|
|2||J. D’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||+5.416|
|3||S. Buemi||Renault e.dams||+5.522|
|4||L. Duval||Dragon Racing||+16.774|
|5||N. Prost||Renault e.dams||+30.953|
|6||R. Frijns||Andretti Autosport||+33.893|
|7||S. Bird||DS Virgin Racing||+34.344|
|8||D. Abt||Audi Abt||+35.467|
|12||O. Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||+44.014|
|14||N. Piquet Jr||NEXTEV TCR||+47.767|
|15||S. de Silvestro||Andretti Autosport||+49.387|
|16||S. Duran||Team Aguri||+1:08.498|
|17||J. Vergne||DS Virgin||+ 1 lap|
|18||A. da Costa||Team Aguri||+ 11 laps|