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The new Formula E season began at the Mexico City E-Prix.

Mexico City E-Prix: A dominant drive from Dennis and a thrilling battle for third

Jake Dennis clinched the first win of the Gen 3 era in an exciting race at Mexico City.

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Formula E is back! Jake Dennis clinched the first win of the season and there was a defensive masterclass from Lucas Di Grassi in the battle for third. 

Jake Dennis at the Mexico City E-Prix.
Jake Dennis secured the first win of the season at the Mexico City E-Prix. (Image Credit: Autosport)

It was a thrilling start to the Formula E season and an amazing debut for the Gen 3 cars. Jake Dennis finished first after a dominant drive, with Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein finishing second and polesitter Lucas Di Grassi completing the podium in third.

Race Start

Rookie Jake Hughes got off to a great start, moving close behind Dennis, who ultimately managed to keep ahold of P2. The drama began almost immediately. Cupra’s Robin Frijns made contact with Norman Nato, forcing the Dutch driver to retire immediately. After a trip to the pits, Nato retired from the race. It later turned out that Frijns had sustained a broken wrist during his crash; hopefully, the Dutch driver will have a speedy recovery and be well enough to drive in Round 2.

Green flags waved on lap six and the action got back underway, but there were reliability issues for Jaguar, as Sam Bird was forced to retire only moments after the restart due to a drive shaft failure.

 

Bird’s retirement caused the safety car to be deployed again on lap 7. The green flag was waved once more on lap 10. Cassidy and Vandoorne took their first attack mode, prompting other drivers to follow suit.

Dennis takes the lead

There was excitement on lap 12 as Jake Dennis took the lead from Lucas Di Grassi after a mistake from the Brazilian driver. Unfortunately for NIO, Dan Ticktum was served a drive-through penalty on lap 13 for power overuse. Meanwhile, Dennis’ lead over Di Grassi began to become a more comfortable one, as the Brit increased the gap between them.

Mortara into the barriers — and yet another safety car

Edoardo Mortara lost the rear and went into the barrier causing another safety car on lap 19. This definitely wasn’t what the team would have wanted on its first outing in Formula E under the Maserati name. Meanwhile, things got a bit scary for Lotterer for a moment as he was told by his team that his car “may shut down”.

The green flag was waved on lap 20 and the action got back underway. Dennis kept his lead, whilst Wehrlein began to close the gap to Hughes. There was some action between the two DS Penskes on lap 26, as defending champion Vandoorne tried to make a move on teammate Jean-Eric Vergne. Lotterer was catching up closely but went deep into turns five and six, causing him to fall back from Wehrlein. 

On lap 26, Wehrlein went ahead of Jake Hughes and into third as both the McLaren driver and Di Grassi took attack mode. The Porsche driver then moved up into second, overtaking Di Grassi on lap 29. 

Five laps added

Due to the time spent behind the safety car, five laps were added. With this, the battle for third began to heat up. Whilst Hughes was closing the gap to Di Grassi, Lotterer began to gain on Hughes, putting the rookie under pressure and forcing him to defend. Hughes initially held the position, whilst Di Grassi remained in third. Meanwhile, fellow McLaren driver Rene Rast picked up damage after contact with Oliver Rowland and was forced to retire.

We saw the battle for third become a four-way fight as Buemi closed the gap to Lotterer. Di Grassi went wide but did a great job to continue defending from Hughes. Meanwhile, Porsche’s Antonio Felix Da Costa began to creep up on Buemi, putting some pressure on the Envision driver. 

The action continued all the way into the final lap, where Lotterer was able to make a move on Hughes, overtaking the rookie to secure P4. Hughes finished in P5, with Buemi coming in at P6 and Da Costa just behind in P7. The top ten was completed by Mitch Evans in P8, Cassidy in P9 and defending champion Stoffel Vandoorne in P10.

Featured Image Credit: Motorsport.com

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