Di Grassi victorious in Puebla E-Prix 1 after shock penalty for Wehrlein

Lucas di Grassi claimed the third victory in Mexico, leading Rene Rast to a spectacular Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1-2 after a shock penalty that saw Pascal Wehrlein and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team deny a first victory in the E- round. CBMM Niobium Puebla Award 8.

There was a pre-race grid drama with second-grid man Oliver Rowland experiencing a problem with his radio antennas forcing the Nissan e.dams driver to start the race without any communication with his engineer in the pits. The Briton immediately struggled to leave the line after a delayed start knocked him off the pitch.

It was a good start however, for Wehrlein, who dominated the entire race, as the action was non-stop behind the German with battles throughout the field. But in the end, that was not the case after a technical violation resulted in the disqualification of Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer from Porsche, as well as the Nissan e.dams pair from Oliver Rowland and Sébastien Buemi.

The penalty promoted di Grassi to victory with teammate Rast following the Brazilian across the line for a brace for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. Edoardo Mortara completed the podium for ROKiT Venturi Racing.

As it happened
A fierce and determined Wehrlein flew off the line to take the hole in Turn 1, Oliver Rowland lost positions after a stunted jump from the line.

Maximilian Guenther shot the mark, making a big jump from fifth position to dive inside his BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate Jake Dennis in the first corner, the pair exiting the corner in second and third respectively.

Nick Cassidy only made it halfway around, the Envison Virgin Racing driver collided with the wall on the outside of turn 8. The Mini Safety Car was deployed while the broken Virgin car was removed from the circuit.

As the safety car pulled into the pits, Wehrlein immediately took over the field with Guenther pushing hard and locking into Turn 1 while trying to stick to the rear diffuser of the lead Porsche.

With ATTACK MODE open, in the fourth round Wehrlein was the first of the leading group to make the jump into the Formula E edition of the “Joker Lane”, with the German coming back to third place and behind the BMWs.

But with those extra 35 kW, Wehrlein immediately passed Dennis’ BMW to take second place in the start / finish straight.

Making his way through the peloton from ninth place, di Grassi confidently passed Alexander Sims for sixth place in Turn 1. After just a handful of turns, the Mahindra Racing driver fell prey to another Audi. with Rast following his teammate.

Lap 7 saw Wehrlein regain the lead with Guenther taking his first ATTACK MODE of the race, the BMW driver joining in fifth but immediately taking advantage of his extra power to brake Di Grassi in Turn 11.

There was a drama between the championship top two in the 9th round, as Robin Frijns rushed into Turn 11 collecting Nyck de Vries. An untimely gesture that would earn the championship leader a penalty of 10 seconds.

With less than 25 minutes on the clock and 11 laps completed, Wehrlein took advantage of his comfortable three-second gap to grab his second and final ATTACK MODE, keeping his lead over Guenther.

Leaving the ATTACK MODE activation zone proved inconvenient, making the end of the day difficult for both Jean-Eric Vergne and Sam Bird. The Frenchman was stuck in the wall by Alexander Sims, then Bird was sandwiched between Alex Lynn and the wall outside Turn 8 – two racing incidents and the latter saw the Mini Safety Car come out.

With the safety car back on lap 18, Wehrlein supported the field but Guenther was able to stay with his compatriot as the Porsche driver made his jump.

Dennis passed his teammate Guenther at the start of the 20th lap. The German appeared to slow the field down to gain some breathing space to allow his BMW teammate to take his second ATTACK MODE.

As the field rallied behind the Guenther, the German took a defensive line on turn 1, with Edoardo Mortara behind braking sideways. The Italian-Swiss made a big stop in the ROKiT Venturi machine to take the corner.

BMW’s plan apparently backfired when Mortara overtook Guenther and sent him inside the German on Turn 11, with di Grassi also capitalizing and forcing his way back, pushing Guenther back. of two positions in one corner.

With just one minute on the clock, di Grassi took Mortara for the second, another confident move into Turn 1 with the Audi appearing to be planted in the Brazilian’s hands.

In a shock of events, just as Wehrlein took the checkered flag, the German and Porsche were penalized for a technical infraction, immediately propelling di Grassi to victory.

The ecstatic Brazilian crossed the finish line and cheered the radio as he claimed his third victory in Mexico, leading Rast for an Audi 1-2 with Mortara completing the podium.

About Victoria Rothstein

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