Round 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship was run in Mexico at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, which is also known from the Formula 1 races.
The Formula E version, however, is a shorter version of the track, but still utilizes the stadium section.
As mentioned previously today, it was already known that at least three drivers would start further down the field than usual (read more here). But even post qualifying, the position changes wasn’t over.
Felix Rosenqvist secured Pole Position by quite a margin, by having the fastest lap in the Super Pole. He was to be followed by another Felix, in the shape of Antonio Felix da Costa. His car was underweight however, but since it was also weighted after the normal qualifying and found okay, it was only his Super Pole time that he lost out on. So he would start the race in fourth. Instead it was Oliver Turvey being moved up to second behind Rosenqvist, and Sebastien Buemi in third.
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne would start the race in 6th, while Sam Bird was all the way back in 19th, after a total disastrous qualifying, and with his gearbox penalty on top of that.
Lucas di Grassi once again had a bad bad day. After setting the fastest lap in both practice sessions, he would have to go for 12th only in the qualifying – resulting in the dead last starting position. Since he couldn’t take all 10 positions on the grid, he would have to be in the pits for a further 5 seconds, during his car change.
Felix Rosenqvist took the start of the race, followed by Oliver Turvey and Sebastien Buemi. Daniel Abt managed to get past Antonio Felix da Costa on the very first lap.
Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi and Felix Rosenqvist were the three drivers who received the Fan Boost for the race.
There was drama at the end of Lap 14, when Rosenqvist suddenly stopped on the track. He was overtaken by everybody, before he got the car restarted. Devastating for the Swede, who appeared to be able to cruise to victory. But that sent Oliver Turvey into the lead of the race.
Daniel Abt made it into second on Lap 22, when Sebastien Buemi outbraked himself in Turn 1.
The same thing happened for Antonio Felix da Costa, and he lost several positions. But he was out of the fight for the podium anyway, only going backwards in the field.
When the car change happened, it really mixed up the race. Daniel Abt was almost 5 seconds faster swapping cars than Oliver Turvey, and thereby the German took the lead of the race. Jean-Eric Vergne had overtaken Buemi during the pitstop, but Buemi Fan Boost’ed his was past again, only a few laps later.
Nick Heidfeld got issues with his Mahindra racer too, so it was a really bad day for the Indian team, who was a close second in the Team Championship prior to the race.
Lucas di Grassi and Jose Maria Lopez made a contact with each other, in the braking zone for Turn 1, but both drivers were able to go on without any damage.
Nelson Piquet Jr stormed towards the front, thanks to having more power, due to swapping cars one lap later. His power saving in the first car had really paid off for him, having one extra lap of power compared to his competitors. With 10 laps to go, he had made his way into 4th, putting pressure on both Turvey and Buemi right ahead.
Sam Bird and Nico Prost made a contact with each other, when Bird tried to overtake the Frenchman. It was worse for Prost, who broke the steering on the Renault e.dams and had to drive back to the pits and retire.
Andre Lotterer received a drive-through penalty for hitting his mechanic, when he left the pits, during the mandatory car change. He thus lost out on a potential 7th position in the race, and dropped all the way back to 15th.
But nobody was able to catch Daniel Abt, who took his first Formula E career victory. He had passed the finishing line first earlier in the season, but lost that win due to a technical infringement. This time the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team can only hope that everything is as it should be.
Oliver Turvey finished second, claiming his first ever podium in Formula E, while Sebastien Buemi finished third.
The race gave quite a big shake-up in the Championship points wise, with Jean-Eric Vergne increasing his lead to 12 points, while neither Felix Rosenqvist nor Sam Bird scored any points in the race today. Sebastien Buemi in fourth place is just 9 points away from Bird, while Nelson Piquet Jr is further 7 behind.
Techeetah extended the lead in the Teams Championship too, leading with 9 points over Mahindra Racing. Panasonic Jaguar Racing has moved into third position, while DS Virgin Racing has dropped to fouth.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is back in only two weeks time, when the next round will be run in Punta del Este, Uruguay.