Mexico City ePrix: Di Grassi claims last-gasp victory

Lucas di Grassi and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler have become the fourth driver-team pairing to win from four races of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Brazilian stunned the packed grandstands, snatching victory just a few feet from the finish line, as long-time leader Pascal Wehrlein slowed on the run to the line as he reached the limit of his energy reserves.

It was a frenetic final few minutes of the race, as both Nissan e.dams drivers Oliver Rowland and Sebastien Buemi, who had been running in second and fourth respectively, also slowed following a miscalculation on the number of laps that would be taken during the new-for-season-five timed race format.

The top order was shuffled even further in the final moments of the race, as Wehrlein was handed a five-second penalty for cutting the Turn 3/4 chicane, dropping him down to sixth and promoting Antonio Felix da Costa into second place for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, and Edoardo Mortara into the final podium position for the Venturi Formula E Team.

In another impressively consistent race performance, Jerome D’Ambrosio capitalised on the drama ahead, coming through from 19th on the grid to finish fourth, netting him 12 points and putting him to the top of the standings.

Even before the last-lap dramas, there was plenty of action throughout this fourth edition of the Mexico City E-Prix. This began with contact between the Panasonic Jaguar Racing car of Nelson Piquet Jr and the DS TECHEETAH car of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, with Piquet colliding with the rear right wheel of Vergne sending him heavily into the barriers and out of the race.

The red flags were thrown to recover the stricken Jaguar, before a safety car restart got the action back underway. The time lost under red flag conditions was re-added to the clock, maintaining the 45 minutes +1 Lap format of racing action and setting up the thrilling fight to the finish.

D’Ambrosio wasn’t the only one to surge through the field, as Mitch Evans, Sam Bird and Daniel Abt all came from the back of the grid to score points inside the top ten.

A full day of testing awaits the teams and drivers at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez tomorrow (18 February), before racing resumes for round five on the spectacular streets of Hong Kong on 9-10 March.