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Formula E Mexico City ePrix

Wehrlein: Porsche planned extra lap in Mexico City E-Prix

Mexico City E-Prix winner Pascal Wehrlein says he was asked by his Porsche Formula E team to pick up the pace, as the team had strategised around a 40-lap race.

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Andre Lotterer, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Audi e-tron FE07, Antonio Felix da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Wehrlein crossed the line for the 39th lap of the race with two seconds to spare before the timer elapsed, adding an extra lap on to the overall duration – which Porsche was able to cope with to secure a 1-2 finish to conclude its first FE victory in style.

This caused several drivers, who had been expecting the race to go one lap shorter, to run low on useable energy and drop out of the running for points.

Wehrlein says that, after passing Edoardo Mortara for the lead, his target was to go faster and take the race a lap further as Porsche had sacrificed positions in the early part of the race to stockpile useable energy.

“When I passed Edo, the target was to increase the pace so that we are able to stick to our 40-lap strategy,” said Wehrlein. “And, like you saw in the end, it was quite close – I mean, just by one or two seconds. 

“Yeah, we knew that we had more energy than the cars around, we had better pace. So I just got the call that everything is safe, and I should just focus on efficiency and try to make it to a 40-lap race.”

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, 1st position, celebrates on the podium

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, 1st position, celebrates on the podium

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

When asked if Porsche had considered slowing down to run down the timer and shorten the race, Wehrlein said that the team wanted to prove that it could win with its original strategy.

“No, we always targeted 40 laps,” he replied. “I mean, in the end, we were on the safe side, that was the most important thing.

“We were not in danger, but still wanted to show that we could make it to a 40-lap race.”

Team-mate Andre Lotterer agreed that Porsche had picked the right strategy and felt that it was worth the early-race pain to make up positions later on.

He said that the Mexico 1-2 underlines Porsche’s championship credentials for the 2021-22 season.

“I think we selected the right strategy from the beginning on,” said Lotterer. “That's why in the beginning we were a bit vulnerable, but we kept our head down and followed our targets - and then we saw what happened in the end.

“We are starting to put things together and yeah, today we showed that we mean serious business for the championship as well. 

"Everyone in the team can be very happy today; we maxed it out.”

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