Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans emerged victorious in the 2020 CBMM Niobium Mexico City E-Prix after a flawless drive from his second starting spot. Chasing Evans home was DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa, while Nissan e.dams’ Sebastian Buemi rounded off the podium in third.
There was hectic action right from the start:
Pulling away from pole, TAG Heuer Porsche’s Andre Lotterer was forced wide through Turn 1, slipping down the order to fourth and handing Evans the lead.
Nose to tail, the pack streamed through a crowded Foro Sol stadium at the end of the first lap. Sitting in sixth, Geox Dragon’s Nico Mueller misjudged the Turn 1 entry, ploughing into the wall and ending his race with fully 48 minutes left on the clock.
With the new-look BMW i8 safety car deployed, the pack followed in formation while Mueller’s car was recovered.
On the restart with 35 minutes left on the clock, Evans immediately pulled clear. Under the new regulations for the 2019/20 season, all cars received a 5kW energy reduction after following the safety car for five minutes.
Turn 1 soon claimed another victim when Rokit Venturi Racing’s Felipe Massa clipped the wall, damaging his car and ending his race early.
Holding a clear lead, Evans pressed on as Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird overtook early runner-up Buemi to move into second. While the battle for the podium raged, pole winner Lotterer slipped even further down the order with a damaged front wing. Eventually, the German was forced to stop in the pits for a replacement before eventually retiring from the race.
With 17 minutes left on the clock, Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Nyck de Vries failed to stop at the end of the start/finish straight, clipping Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns while skidding to a halt at the end of the straight. Reporting technical problems over the radio, the Dutchman was left stranded and became the fourth driver to retire from the race.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne Vergne trailed teammate Antonio da Costa in fourth but had less energy, the two DS Techeetah drivers battling over the radio with team management, which was unable to decide on a concrete strategy.
Leaving his teammate behind with his extra energy, Da Costa bulled into third past Buemi.
With five minutes left on the clock plus one lap to the finish, Evans continued to pull away with Bird and da Costa following. With the suddenly increased pressure from behind, Bird misjudged Turn 13, clipping the wall and ending his race along with any chance of a podium finish.
Da Costa, now in second, stayed ahead as Buemi moved up into third, hoping to claim his first championship points of the season.
Evans crossed the line trouble free, clinching his and Jaguar’s second victory in the series, followed home by da Costa and Buemi.
“It is very nice leaving here knowing that you managed to sort the issues from past races,” said Evans. “We had a very good pace and it was a tight battle with Andre. It felt like deja vu from Rome!
“After overtaking him, I put my head down and tried to gain distance as everybody was quite aggressive in my mirrors. I had to keep them away and the car was working well. I only had to keep hitting the targets. I cannot wait to watch the replay back, as I have heard it was crazy behind me. It feels great to achieve a second victory in Formula E and doing so in Mexico surrounded by such a passionate crowd… it is the cherry on the cake.”
After being discharged from hospital with a clean bill of health just hours before the race following Practice 1 accident, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Daniel Abt retired with just minutes left on the clock.