Lucas di Grassi took victory in front of a large and extreme passionate crowd at the inaugural Mexico ePrix on Saturday, before the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver was stripped of his win due to his first car being underweight. Jerome d’Ambrosio was therefore declared the winner of the FIA Formula E Championship Mexico ePrix.
At the start of the race, which was held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, D’Ambrosio led from Renault e.dams driver Nicolas Prost and remained in control for the first half of the race, despite never being more than a second ahead of Prost.
Behind the leading two at the start, di Grassi tucked himself neatly behind Prost’s rear wing, whilst their respective teammates Daniel Abt and Sebastien Buemi battled for fourth position just behind the second and third placed pair.
Just a lap before the first set of car swaps, di Grassi was able to get past Prost by overtaking him at the turn four chicane. In the pitlane, Buemi also jumped his teammate, remaining ahead of the Frenchman as they continued out on circuit.
In the first lap out of the pits, di Grassi was able to fly past d’Ambrosio as he used his FanBoost to get past the Dragon Racing driver on the run into the first corner. Buemi tried to replicate the move done by di Grassi but was not as successful when d’Ambrosio was able to block his many attempts at getting past.
After a few tries, and small amounts of contact, Buemi caused bigger contact in a later move that saw Buemi hitting d’Ambrosio in the rear of his car at turn 1. Fortunately, both drivers were able to continue with small amounts of damages to their cars as they continued to fight for second position.
With 14 laps remaining, the battle continued and after running out of room at the chicane, meaning he was forced to cut it, Buemi knew he needed to hand second place back. Unfortunately, Prost, Abt and Loic Duval were all now part of the battle for second. The ever growing train of cars continued their fight but it was d’Ambrosio who remained second ahead of his rivals whilst di Grassi led the race with a ten second lead.
At the flag, it was di Grassi who took victory, with d’Ambrosio and Buemi second and third respectively. Duval claimed fourth place in the second Dragon Racing car, which was helped by Prost receiving a drive-through penalty and Daniel Abt crashing on the penultimate lap of the race.
Prost finished fifth however, with Robin Frijns in sixth. Sam Bird was seventh, ahead of Abt who managed to recover to claim a few points. Abt finished ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin completed the point’s finishers.
After the race, Lucas di Grassi was in fact excluded from the Mexico ePrix handing the victory to Jerome D’Ambrosio. The Brazilian’s car was found to be 1.8kg under the 888kg minimum when his car was weighed at 886.2kg.
The Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport team have decided not to appeal against the decision.