Puebla E-Prix: Di Grassi leads Audi 1-2 after Porsche's Wehrlein disqualified

Pascal Wehrlein and Porsche were remarkably disqualified from their inaugural Formula E victories to hand Lucas di Grassi his third Mexico win over Audi team-mate Rene Rast.

Puebla E-Prix: Di Grassi leads Audi 1-2 after Porsche's Wehrlein disqualified

The German combo led comfortably from pole for the first Puebla E-Prix and crossed the line with a clear 3.6s margin but were soon sent to the bottom of the timing screens.

The reprimand was dealt for the team not declaring the tyres on Wehrlein’s car, which would deny both parties their first series wins – both having secured their second poles.

That in turn rewarded the excellent recovery drive of Lucas di Grassi to the top step of the podium as the Brazilian recorded his first and Audi’s first triumph since Berlin in 2019.

Rene Rast finished only 0.497s in arrears to record his first podium and the team its third 1-2 in Formula E ahead of its pending exit at the end of the term as Edoardo Mortara completed the podium.

Wehrlein had found clear air off the line when second-starting Oliver Rowland bogged down massively, while entering the race without radio communication, and dropped to 14th.

The Porsche driver then made an early bid for the costly attack mode joker lap but was able to limit the damage and return to the circuit up in third in a squabble with BMW Andretti.

Pascal Wehrlein, Tag Heuer Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Jake Dennis, BMW I Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21, Maximilian Guenther, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.21, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Pascal Wehrlein, Tag Heuer Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric, Jake Dennis, BMW I Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21, Maximilian Guenther, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.21, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

As Jean-Eric Vergne was forced into rapid avoiding action to miss the slow Nissan e.dams of Rowland on the dirty side of the grid, it allowed fifth-starting Maximilian Guenther to take third into Turn 1 behind team-mate Jake Dennis.

But the race was soon after put on ice when Nick Cassidy clattered the concrete wall on the exit of Turn 2 seemingly unaided.

That snapped his front-left suspension and brought out the safety car and at the restart Wehrlein made an early breakaway for clean air.

A second intervention was called for to recover the wrecked Jaguar Racing machine of Sam Bird who fell victim to the blind exit of attack mode that filters back into the racing line.

As he merged back on to track, Alex Lynn was left with nowhere to go and clattered across the front with his Mahindra Racing machine to pincer Bird against the wall.

Di Grassi had used the first-ever in-house developed Audi powertrain to good effect, passing Alexander Sims for sixth without the attack mode boost on the run into Turn 1.

A similar move on the Jaguar of Mitch Evans returned fifth and then he capitalised on the slowing Guenther, who was caught up in a battle with Venturi Racing’s Mortara at Turn 11.

With another precise move coming at Turn 1 on Mortara, di Grassi climbed up to second to eventually inherit his third victory in Mexico.

Despite Sims colliding with Vergne in a similar attack mode exit shunt to that endured by his team-mate Lynn, the Brit - stymied by a lack of practice running following a suspected battery glitch - earned fourth ahead of Dennis.

Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Alexander Sims, Mahindra Racing, M7Electro, Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Antonio Felix da Costa, DS Techee

Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Alexander Sims, Mahindra Racing, M7Electro, Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07, Antonio Felix da Costa, DS Techee

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Da Costa, meanwhile, recovered from 13th on the grid but a potential top-four spot went begging when he was delayed after an aborted attempted pass on Guenther in the closing stages.

Stoffel Vandoorne salvaged points from starting 21st in an eventual seventh as Evans ran to eighth ahead of the second Mercedes of Nyck de Vries, who fought back after he was spun around by Robin Frijns.

Lynn completed the top 10 ahead of NIO 333 driver Oliver Turvey and a late struggle on overheating tyres eventually relegated Guenther to 12th.

Formula E Puebla E-Prix race results

shares
comments

Related video

Formula E team bosses defend qualifying strategy after first group issues
Previous article

Formula E team bosses defend qualifying strategy after first group issues

Next article

Porsche explains Wehrlein Puebla E-Prix Formula E disqualification

Porsche explains Wehrlein Puebla E-Prix Formula E disqualification
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