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The 5 Most Dramatic Moments at the Mexico City ePrix

Written by Jake O’Callaghan, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credits - FIA

Ever since its arrival onto the Formula E calendar in 2017, the Mexico City E Prix has witnessed several moments of drama, carnage, ecstasy, and more across seven races hosted in the country, six in Mexico City. As it gears up to host the first race of Formula E’s tenth season, relive some dramatic moments from races hosted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

  1. 2017: Carnage in the Foro Sol

Battling for fifth place with a few laps to go in the 2017 Mexico City ePrix, Nico Prost tried a move on Nick Heidfled into the Foro Sol, but there was not enough space, sending Heidfeld spinning on one of the narrowest sections of the track. 

Behind, a concertina effect occurred, as drivers slowed in an attempt to avoid the stationary Mahindra. Mitch Evans was the next car behind Heidfeld, and as he slammed on to the brakes in reaction to the crash, Felix Rosenqvist had no time to react. 

The Swede’s Mahindra slammed into the back of Evans’ Jaguar, which then rendered him a passenger in the crash, subsequently colliding with his teammate Heidfeld. 

Heidfeld and Evans’ cars were damaged, but both were able to continue, however Rosenqvist was forced to retire with terminal damage.

2. 2019: Piquet Goes Airborne

In the early stages of the 2019 Mexico City ePrix, Nelson Piquet and Jean-Éric Vergne were battling for 8th place. Entering the final chicane that split the famous Peraltada corner, Piquet moved to the inside to set up a move. 

Vergne moved to defend, but Piquet had already committed to the overtake. Piquet’s Jaguar slammed into the back of Vergne’s DS Techeetah, sending the Brazilian airborne, over the top of Vergne, his stricken car continuing through the runoff area, coming to rest just before the final corner. 

The yellow flags were initially flown, before Race Direction issued a red flag to suspend the race, to recover the stricken cars on the track. 

Both Mahindra cars collided in the 2017 race; Credits - Autosport

3. 2022: Energy Miscalculations

In the dying stages of the 2022 Mexico City ePrix, each team had calculated how many laps they believed would be left within the time limit. This saw teams like Mahindra and Jaguar gamble on one less lap than everyone else, believing they could push harder and use more energy, as the race would last a lap less than other teams expected. 

As it became evident when the leading Porsche duo of Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer crossed the line with one second left on the clock, that gamble did not pay off. 

Wehrlein and Lotterer celebrated a Porsche 1-2 in 2022; Image Credit: Formula E

The three drivers that took that gamble would have to suffer through one extra lap than expected, with little to no energy left. Mitch Evans dropped from 7th to 19th, Rowland from 8th to 16th, and Bird from 9th to 15th. The leading Porsche duo who had perfected their strategy won the race by an exceptional nine seconds, with Wehrlein winning, and Lotterer finishing close behind in second.

4. 2022: Mortara Finishes Qualifying in Style

Earlier that day, In the qualifying duels final between Rokit Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein, Mortara had built a sizeable lead over the final lap, leading Wehrlein by over a tenth of a second entering the final corner, the never-ending Peraltada corner. 

As Mortara turned through the corner, his car struggled on the edge of grip, the rear sliding the whole way through the 180-degree right hander.  As he exited the corner towards the finish line, he lost control of his car, spinning and crossing the finish line sideways. 

Image Credit: Formula E

All eyes darted to Wehrlein to see if Mortara had lost pole position. The ticker on the side to indicate the time difference grew smaller and smaller, and as Wehrlein crossed the line with his car pointing straight, it was confirmed that he had secured pole position. Mortara’s spin cost him too much time to Wehrlein.

5. 2019: Battle for the Win

The previous events on this list have been nothing short of dramatic, but none can hold a candle to the sheer drama and excitement that was the finish to the 2019 Mexico City ePrix. 

Once again it was Wehrlein at the centre of it all, having taken pole position driving for Mahindra, leading the race since lap one, but similarly to the 2022 race mentioned previously, energy miscalculations had plagued many teams in this race. 

The race had been interrupted by a red flag, and strategy was completely disrupted. As such, the race lasted one lap longer than some teams had expected. 

One of those teams was Mahindra. Wehrlein had been warned that energy management was paramount to finishing the race, and as he increased lift-and-coast to save energy, Audi’s Lucas Di Grassi, whose team had planned for an extra lap, closed in. 

Di Grassi had almost 2% more energy than Wehrlein, a huge margin in the world of Formula E. On the final lap, Di Grassi was trying everything to find a way past, and Wehrlein even had to cut a chicane to keep the charging Brazilian behind. 

One of Formula E's most dramatic finishes indeed; Image Credit - Formula E

However, the German driver could not hold him back forever, and as his Mahindra exited the final corner, he ran out of energy. Wehrlein’s car slowed just before the line, and Di Grassi, swerving to avoid the ailing Mahindra, crossed the finish line just a few meters ahead of Wehrlein. 

Di Grassi had beaten him by just two tenths of a second. Wehrlein later received a five-second penalty for cutting the chicane in his defense of the lead, but it did not take away from what was one of the most dramatic finishes in Formula E history.


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