It’s a first double for the Tag Heuer Porsche team in Formula E. Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer atomized the competition at the wheel of two boosted electric single-seaters. Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix Da Costa still managed to place their DS Techeetah in 3rd and 4th position.
The day ended as it had started. While the two Porsche showed signs of dominance in trial, things were confirmed during qualifying. Both present in the final table (the eight fastest cars of the two initial groups), the drivers of the German team found themselves facing the two DS Techeetah from Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix Da Costabut also the Mercedes from Stoffel Vandoorne et du champion and titre Nyck de Vries. A sign that the German engine is working well, the Venturi from championship leader Edoardo Mortara, also powered by the star firm, also took part in the celebration. If we consider theEnvision Racing from Robin Frijnspowered by Audiit should then be noted that only DS Automobiles managed to scrap Mexico City with German manufacturers. Jaguar,Nissan or even BMW (under the Andretti hood) are behind.
Captivante pole position
The new qualifying format operates like a tennis tournament, with four quarters, two halves and a final. The first duel puts on track Andre Lotterer, who had announced the color by signing the morning the best time of the first free practice session, and the second time of FP2. Unsurprisingly, he executes his lap perfectly and sticks more than two tenths to Nyck de Vries. The second match opposes the two DS Techeetah. A fratricidal duel from which will emerge victorious Jean-Eric Vergne, for only 11 thousandths of a second. then rush off Edoardo Mortara and Robin Frijns, which will lock its wheels during braking and lose all chances of going to the semi-finals. Just behind, Stoffel Vandoorne comes out too wide from a fast bend, partly passes through the grass, and does not resist the lap time of Pascal Wehrlein. Note then that the two Porsche sent both Mercedes officials in the locker room.
The first semi-final opposes Lotter to Mortara. A little moment of doubt Porsche will allow the Venturituned like a metronome, to qualify for the final. Forgive and wehrlein are two thousandths in the first sector. JEV has superior control in the stadium, but it is still the German-Mauritian driver who wins. The final then pits Pascal Wehrlein against Edoardo Mortarabut the latter will spin, leaving the field open to his opponent. Wehrlein thus offers a third pole position for Porsche on Mexican soilafter that of André Lotterer in 2020 on the same circuit, and another for Wehrlein in Puebla in 2021.
A super controlled race
The start is clean and generates no collision in the first turns. The first yellow flag will be raised approximately five minutes after the start, whenAlexander Sims will come to immobilize his Mahindra along a low wall. Apart from this fact of racing, it’s a kind of little train that forms in the soft underbelly of the race, with changes in position mainly generated by the activation of Attack modes. In front, the leading men are a bit lively, but everyone is looking for the best energy strategy to adopt. The configuration of the places according to the performance and the constrained format of the race (45 minutes plus one lap) makes the teams hesitate between asking their drivers to cover either 39 or 40 laps. This is partly what explains this long round of observation at the start of the E-Prix, and it is also what passage from 39 to 40 laps which will set Jean-Eric Vergne back several places in the middle of the racewhen he seemed to be able to get back on the leading men.
But, 15 minutes from the finish, the race changes face. The two Porsches pick up the pace, and position themselves together nine seconds behind the peloton. The DS Techeetah try to react but it’s too late. A few minutes from the finish Lotterer, who saved a little energy by staying behind his teammate’s broadcaster, has the weapons to overtake. But his team will ask him to stay behind and ensure the double, rather than the show. Vergne, good third after a comeback in good standing, signed his first podium this season, just ahead of Da Costa, his teammate. Edoardo Mortara saves the furniture with a fifth place, and keeps the championship lead. On the Constructors’ side, Rokit Venturi Racing remains in the lead, despite Lucas Di Grassi’s missed points on Mexican soil.
Formula E is now eyeing Europe, with two races scheduled in Rome (Italy) on April 9 and 10.
Qualifications (according to new procedure of qualifications by duel for the first eight, weighted according to the original group for the following ones)
- P. Wehrlein (Tag Heuer Porsche) 1’07”100
- E. Mortara (Rokit Venturi Racing) 1’07 ” 373
- A Lotterer (Tag Heuer Porsche) 1’07”295
- J-E. Vergne (DS Techeetah) 1’07’’366, 5
- Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah) 1’07”358
- N. de Vries (Mercedes EQ) 1’07”067
- R. Frijns (Envision Racing) 1’07’’719
- S. Vandoorne (Mercedes EQ) 1’07’’719
- N. Cassidy (Envision Racing) 1’07’’904
- M. Günther (Nissan e.dams) 1’08’’087
- M. Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) 1’07’’914
- O. Askew (Avalanche Andretti) 1’08’’112
- A. Sims (Mahindra Racing) 1’07’’938,
- L. Di Grassi (Rokit Venturi Racing) 1’08 ” 129
- J. Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) 1’08’’042
- O. Rowland (Mahindra Racing) 1’08’’139
- S. Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) 1’08’’174
- S. Buemi (Nissan e.dams) 1’08”230
- A. Giovinazzi (Dragon Penske Autosport) 1’08”343
- S. Sette Câmara (Dragon Penske Autosport) 1’08”256
- D. Ticktum (NIO 333) 1’08’’561
- O. Turvey (NIO 333) 1’08”691
- Wehrlein, 40 turns in 47’20”404
- A. Lotterer at 0.302
- JE. Vergne at 9”051
- AF. From Costa to 9”975
- E. Mortara, at 18”356
- N. De Vries at 19’020
- R. Frijns at 20”232
- S. Buemi at 23”394
- M.Günther à 26’’497
- J. Dennis at 26”829
MT : N. de Vries and 1’09”877
- E. Mortara 43 Pts
- N. De Vries 38
- P. Wehrlein 30
- A. Lotterer 30
- Stoffel Vandoorne 28
- JE. Vergne 27
- J. Dennis 26
- L. Di Grassi 25
- R. Frijns 24
- AF. Da Costa 12
- S. Bird 12
- N. Cassidy 7
- S. Buemi 4
- O. Rowland 4
- M. Günther 2
- O. Askew 2
- M. Evans 1
- A. Sims 0
- S. Sette Chamber 0
- D.Ticktum 0
- O. Turvey 0
- A. Giovinazzi 0
- Rokit Venturi Racing 68
- Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team 66
- Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team 60
- DS Techeetah 39, 5
- Envision Racing 31
- Avalanche Andretti Formula E 28
- Jaguar TCS Racing 13
- Nissan e.dams 6
- Mahindra Racing 4
- Dragon Penske Autosport 0
- NIO 333 Formula E Team 0
Photo: FIA Formule E
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