Di Grassi snatches win from Wehrlein with frantic finish in Mexico City

Di Grassi snatches win from Wehrlein with frantic finish in Mexico City


Lucas di Grassi stole victory from under the nose of Pascal Wehrlein in a sensational sprint to the finish line on the final lap in Mexico City.

Wehrlein led the entirety of the E-Prix and was on course for his first-ever victory in Formula E. But he ran out of energy exiting the final corner and started to slow only metres from the chequered flag.

Meanwhile, there was a gaggle of cars in hot pursuit. His misfortune opened the door for di Grassi to snatch the win away. It was an unbelievable finish in front of the crowd of magnificent Mexican fans.

Wehrlein led away from Julius Baer pole position. He held station ahead of Oliver Rowland in the opening phase of the race. The Nissan e.dams driver made up two places with an audacious attempt up the inside of di Grassi and Felipe Massa into Turn 1.

However, the race soon stopped after only five minutes following a colossal coming together between Jean-Eric Vergne and Nelson Piquet Jr.

The pair were vying for position into the tight and twisty last sector. Piquet collided with the back of Vergne, sending the Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver into the barriers. He also collected Alexander Sims in the process.

With debris scattered over the track and Piquet’s car in pieces, race control stopped the proceedings. The cars returned to the pitlane and lined-up in formation while the marshals retrieved the wreckage.

The short delay gave the teams a headache with strategy and energy management calculations as the clock continued to count down

Race control added the time lost during the red flag period when the cars eventually returned to the track. That maintained the 45-minute (plus one lap) format and also set up a frantic finale.

As the drivers started another tour of the track with seconds to spare, all eyes were on the battery levels and the number of laps remaining. It quickly became apparent that some teams wouldn’t make it to the end. The reason was not taking into account the extra lap after the clock hits zero.

The Nissan e.dams duo of Rowland and Sebastien Buemi were running in second and fourth. But they were defenceless and agonizingly dropped to the back of the field. The beneficiaries of others misfortune were Antonio Felix da Costa and Edoardo Mortara – rounding-out the podium places.

Despite crossing the line in second, Wehrlein didn’t get to stand on the podium

He picked up a five-second penalty for cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage in close quarters with di Grassi.

Almost edging his way on to the podium, Jerome D’Ambrosio scythed up the order in a valiant effort to finish fourth and move back to the top of the standings.

With four different winners in as many races, the title fight is wide open and perfectly poised as Formula E arrives in Asia for the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix on March 10 – round five of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.