Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis produced an utterly dominant drive to climb from second to the race win in the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix opening round of the ABB Formula E World Championship. Dennis led home Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein and Mahindra Racing’s Lucas di Grassi in the first race of Formula E’s Gen3 era.
The Andretti driver made what would be the race-winning move on lap 12, when the Briton took advantage of an opening left by di Grassi.
From there, Dennis stretched his legs, and through three safety car periods, he was able to run away with the race lead — eventually heading home Wehrlein by a comfortable 7s margin. Wehrlein produced a storming drive himself. Last year’s winner here clearly enjoys the afternoon sun in Mexico City, and pulled out an eventual 11-second margin on third-placed di Grassi, having clambered up from sixth on the grid.
The two Porsche-powered cars looked pretty much peerless — a good sign for the legendary Stuttgart manufacturer right from the off in Gen3, who finished up with four 99X Electrics in the top seven.
Di Grassi had taken pole but found himself on the defensive from the two-thirds point of the race. He was a percent or so shy on usable energy compared to those immediately around him and it took all the Brazilian’s guile to see off the attentions of NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes over the closing stages. Eventually, though, the rookie would be pre-occupied with Lotterer looming in his mirrors, relieving the pressure on di Grassi. Lotterer, who moved to the Porsche-powered Andretti team over the off-season, spied his chance and threw it up the inside of Hughes’ McLaren at the hairpin on the final lap.
Fifth was no great disappointment for Hughes on his debut; the rookie more than impressing ever since he jumped into the seat of his McLaren back at testing in Valencia. He headed home a resurgent Sebastien Buemi — the Swiss having moved from Nissan to Envision Racing over the winter.
Antonio Felix da Costa added to Porsche’s tally with seventh spot on the day, fighting his way up throught the points-paying positions with a late dose of Attack Mode power boost. Mitch Evans quietly strode to points and eighth for Jaguar TCS Racing, Nick Cassidy made it two Envision Racing machines in the points with ninth, while reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne could only steer his DS Penskevto a single point from 14th on the grid.
For good measure, Dennis took the fastest lap, too. The result means Andretti now have their names on the first winners’ trophy in both Gen2 and the Gen3 eras of Formula E.
The all-electric series is back in two weeks with a doubleheader — a pair of night races in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27-28.