FORMULA E: WEHRLEIN HEADS HOME PERFECT PORSCHE ONE-TWO IN MEXICO CITY
Pascal Wehrlein led home Andre Lotterer in an historic one-two for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team in the Mexico City E-Prix, with both driver and team sealing maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship victories.
Porsche executed the perfect race, with Wehrlein leading from Julius Baer Pole Position and fending off standings leader Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) early on. The pair did drop into the pack behind the Swiss-Italian and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) for a brief period but gained a mighty energy advantage on the rest while still matching the leaders’ pace.
Into the final 15 minutes, Wehrlein and Lotterer picked their moment and dispatched Vergne and then Mortara for the lead, and from there, the Stuttgart manufacturer dictated in both pace and energy management.
Come the chequered flag, Wehrlein and Lotterer had nine seconds in-hand on the rest and were able to soak in the adulations of the tens of thousands of fans packing the famous Foro Sol stadium as they toured to the finish line, more than making amends for the heartbreak in Puebla last season – the ultimate redemption story.
Vergne was able to bring the DS home third, with teammate da Costa battling to fourth after a number of skirmishes. Mortara did enough to retain the Drivers’ World Championship lead with fifth – the Venturi more marginal on energy than the Porsches and DS’ as the race wore on.
Reigning champion Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) scrapped to sixth, a second ahead of Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns.
Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) showed a stronger turn this time out to take eighth and points – just ahead of teammate Maximilian Guenther and Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti).
Mortara heads the Drivers’ standings by five points over de Vries, with Wehrlein jumping to third with that victory.Mortara moves to 43 points and heads the Drivers’ standings by five points over de Vries, with Wehrlein jumping to third following that victory. ROKiT Venturi Racing leads the Teams’ running on 68 points, with Mercedes-EQ two points back and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team now third.
As it happened…
Mortara looked to have the jump on polesitter Wehrlein but the Porsche man moved straight across to cover the inside line into Turn 1 to hold onto P1.
It was three wide as the roar of the Foro Sol stadium welcomed the pack through on Lap 1 with Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing), Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) and Guenther battling for eighth. At the same spot a lap later, Vandoorne’s teammate de Vries forced da Costa on the defensive to keep hold of fifth as the DS TECHEETAH driver clipped the wall.
Wehrlein led the pack after a cagey opening five minutes from Mortara, Lotterer, Vergne, da Costa, de Vries, Frijns, Cassidy, Vandoorne and Guenther. Lotterer was first to blink and take the initial of two ATTACK MODE power boosts on Lap 5 in a bid to outwit his teammate out front and Mortara in second – the Venturi man making the jump to activate a lap later.
The race leader covered the pair off on Lap 6 with his first 30kW boost but a poor run out of the stadium compromised him through the fast, sweeping Peraltada and down the start/finish straight. Mortara spied his chance and launched up the inside of the Porsche at Turn 1 for P1.
OUT OF NOWHERE @edomortara takes the lead of the Mexico City E-Prix! Full send activated ⚡️— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 12, 2022
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🇲🇽 2022 #MexicoCityEPrix | @VenturiFE pic.twitter.com/0ZbIoCG21t
Behind Mortara, it was now two by two with Wehrlein and Lotterer in the Porsches followed by Vergne and da Costa in the DS TECHEETAH cars. Envision Racing pair Frijns and Cassidy were next up and the Mercedes-EQ duo of Vandoorne and de Vries were line astern just behind them.
On Lap 11, Vergne cleared Lotterer with a patient move up the inside of the Porsche at Turn 9, having worked the opportunity at Turn 8. The Frenchman forced Lotterer into opening the door to his teammate, who obliged to take fourth and shuffle the Porsche to fifth. A lap later, Vergne dispatched the sister Porsche of Wehrlein to pinch second place.
Contact with Wehrlein as the Porsche jumped for ATTACK MODE number two shuffled da Costa to sixth on Lap 14, with Lotterer and Frijns bypassing the DS – bodywork hanging from the left front corner of the Portuguese’ car. Da Costa made amends a couple of laps later to retake fifth with a simple pass inside Frijns at Turn 1 but the battle wasn’t done there. Frijns made use of his second 30kW jolt to force his way by da Costa despite all-out defence from the Season 6 champion.
As the second round of ATTACK MODE boosts shook out, Mortara led Vergne – but only just, with the DS in better shape on usable energy remaining – the Porsches of Wehrlein and Lotterer in third and fourth two percent to the good. The top six were split by just 2.2 seconds heading into the final 15 minutes as Mortara started to conserve energy and back up the pack.
It's a @PorscheFormulaE 1-2 with 12 minutes + 1 lap to go as @PWehrlein RETURNS to the lead of the race, followed by @Andre_Lotterer 👏— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 12, 2022
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🇲🇽 2022 #MexicoCityEPrix pic.twitter.com/s6pNbbJRKT
On Lap 25 Wehrlein made his move, passing Vergne into Turn 2 with Lotterer following and Frijns picking his way by, too – the DS nudged back from second to fifth in two corners.
Just two laps later, the Porsches pulled the same move on leader Mortara to make it a one-two with 10 minutes plus one lap to go.
On Lap 31, Frijns got the move done on Mortara for third on the way into Foro Sol, though both were two percent down on energy compared to the DS’ behind. Frijns held on, though, with Vergne taking fourth from Mortara at the hairpin and da Costa following on Lap 35. The pair dispatched Frijns to take third and fourth respectively on the way into the stadium two laps later. Calculated stuff from the French outfit.
Mortara was able to outdo Frijns for fifth with a minute plus a lap to go, with the Envision marginal on energy but lost out into Turn 1 as the Dutchman fired one up the inside into Turn 1 – both just about getting it stopped.
The Porsches crossed the line with a second to go, making it an unanticipated additional lap plus another to come for many with usable energy looking tight.
Wehrlein and Lotterer coasted home as a pair to take in the adulations from the Foro Sol, and the chequered flag. Vergne brought his DS home third ahead of teammate da Costa, while Mortara held on to fifth ahead of de Vries. Frijns slipped to seventh on the last lap after an all-action encounter, with Buemi following in eighth. Guenther and Dennis rounded out the points-paying positions.
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