Mexico City Formula E: Di Grassi beats Wehrlein in thrilling finish

Lucas di Grassi stole victory at the finish line of ABB FIA Formula E's race at Mexico City as long-time race leader Pascal Wehrlein suddenly ran out of energy

Mexico City Formula E: Di Grassi beats Wehrlein in thrilling finish

In what turned into a thrilling finish to a disrupted race, di Grassi had been putting pressure on Wehrlein - attacking at the right-hand Turn 1 on the final lap as he tried to make a late-race energy advantage pay.

Wehrlein rebuffed him there, but when di Grassi attacked down the inside at the following Turn 3 - the track's main overtaking spot - Wehrlein stayed alongside and cut the following corner.

Di Grassi did not give up and caught up to Wehrlein by the final chicane, with the Mahindra driver again defending the inside.

But Wehrlein's energy ran out on the run to the line and di Grassi nipped towards the pitwall to take the win by half a car.

Antonio Felix da Costa finished third on the road but was promoted to second after Wehrlein was given a five-second post-race penalty for cutting Turn 4 on the final lap, which boosted Edoardo Mortara to third and dropped Wehrlein to sixth.

Wehrlein had led for most of the race ahead of Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland, who jumped from fourth to second at the race's first corner after Wehrlein had defended his lead from di Grassi off the line.

But before the race had settled down, it was suspended following a massive accident between Nelson Piquet Jr and Jean-Eric Vergne.

The pair were fighting over eighth on the run to the final chicane on lap three, with Vergne moving across to cover the inside for the right-hand Turn 14.

As they arrived at the corner, Piquet smashed over the back of Vergne's car and shot into the air, clipping the rear of Alexander Sims's car before hitting the wall on the outside of the track.

A full course yellow was initially called before the race was suspended and Wehrlein led the pack into the pitlane, where Vergne's team worked to fix the rear of his car.

At the safety car restart, following a 30-minute suspension, Wehrlein, Rowland and di Grassi gapped Sebastien Buemi and da Costa by taking using their first attack mode on the last of two safety car laps, with Buemi among a number of drivers activating the system immediately after leaving the pits.

For the next 28 laps of what would become a 45-lap race, Wehrlein sustained the pressure from behind, with Buemi and da Costa only catching the leaders late on.

Da Costa took his second attack mode on lap 32, with Buemi, di Grassi and Rowland doing likewise in succession on the following three laps.

When Rowland took his second activation, he went wide at the end of the attack mode zone and di Grassi nipped through at the exit of the stadium section to take second, with Rowland and Buemi clashing at the final chicane a few seconds later.

Di Grassi roared up to Wehrlein to set up the thrilling finale, but Rowland and Buemi ran out of energy with a lap still to run and dropped down to 20th and 21st in the final classification.

That promoted da Costa and Mortara, who had made it a six-way fight for the win late-on, and Jerome D'Ambrosio took fourth ahead of Andre Lotterer after a sensational rise through the chaos from 19th on the grid. That result put D'Ambrosio back into the championship lead.

Mitch Evans finished seventh for Jaguar and had a mid-race clash with Vergne, who ended up down in 13th after being spun around in the incident.

Felipe Massa scored his first FE points with eighth. He had qualified third but fell down the order having taken his second attack mode earlier than his rivals.

Sam Bird and Daniel Abt also made a brilliant rises from 22nd and 21st on the grid respectively to take the final points in ninth and 10th.

Sims ended up 14th after his car was also repaired under the red flag.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 45 1h13m15.422s
2 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW BMW 45 0.436s
3 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 45 0.745s
4 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra Mahindra 45 1.159s
5 Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah DS 45 1.785s
6 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Mahindra 45 5.210s
7 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 45 5.800s
8 Felipe Massa Venturi Venturi 45 8.084s
9 Sam Bird Virgin Audi 45 8.356s
10 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 45 8.438s
11 Robin Frijns Virgin Audi 45 9.044s
12 Oliver Turvey NIO NIO 45 11.252s
13 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS 45 19.153s
14 Alexander Sims BMW BMW 45 20.471s
15 Tom Dillmann NIO NIO 45 20.871s
16 Gary Paffett HWA Venturi 45 23.272s
17 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 45 41.542s
18 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Venturi 45 43.425s
19 Felipe Nasr Dragon Penske 45 1m56.160s
20 Oliver Rowland e.dams Nissan 44 Out of energy
21 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Nissan 44 Out of energy
- Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 2 Accident

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Jerome d'Ambrosio 53
2 Antonio Felix da Costa 46
3 Sam Bird 45
4 Lucas di Grassi 34
5 Pascal Wehrlein 30
6 Andre Lotterer 29
7 Robin Frijns 28
8 Jean-Eric Vergne 28
9 Mitch Evans 28
10 Edoardo Mortara 27
11 Daniel Abt 22
12 Alexander Sims 18
13 Sebastien Buemi 15
14 Oliver Rowland 6
15 Oliver Turvey 4
16 Felipe Massa 4
17 Jose Maria Lopez 2
18 Nelson Piquet Jr. 1
19 Maximilian Guenther 0
20 Tom Dillmann 0
21 Gary Paffett 0
22 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
23 Felipe Nasr 0


shares
comments
Mexico City Formula E: Mahindra's Pascal Wehrlein storms to pole
Previous article

Mexico City Formula E: Mahindra's Pascal Wehrlein storms to pole

Next article

Piquet and Vergne disagree over huge Mexico City Formula E crash

Piquet and Vergne disagree over huge Mexico City Formula E crash
Load comments
Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Plus

Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 6, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Plus

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-2022 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams Plus

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021