Pietro Fittipaldi converted his ninth pole position of the season into a fifth victory with a lights-to-flag triumph in the first race of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championships first ever visit to Mexico City on Saturday.
The Lotus driver will take over the lead of the championship standings as a result of the win, with Fittipaldi ending the race 3.227 seconds clear of Matevos Isaakyan, which drops the SMP Racing by AVF driver to second in the championship, albeit by just two points.
Isaakyan was made to work hard for his second place as, after falling to fourth at the start, he had to find his way passed the two Teo Martin Motorsport drivers, with the Russian first making his way ahead of Konstantin Tereschenko down the start and finish straight.
The move on Alex Palou for second was a little harder, with Isaakyan shadowing the Spaniard until a few laps from the end before finding a way ahead at the turn four-five-six complex, before closing the gap slightly on Fittipaldi until the chequered flag.
Palou held on for third and the rookie victory ahead of team-mate Tereschenko, while Alfonso Celis Jr was fifth for Fortec Motorsports after coming out of a battle of his own with Lotus’ Rene Binder, despite damage to his front wing caused when he tapped Isaakyan heading into turn one on the opening lap.
Yu Kanamaru had a quiet afternoon to finish seventh for RP Motorsport, while Diego Menchaca and Roy Nissany battled until the chequered flag, with the Mexican passing the Israeli driver on the final lap in what looked like an optimistic move that saw both drivers run off track.
The move is likely to be looked at by the stewards, but both drivers finished well clear of Giuseppe Cipriani, who ended up more than a minute off the race leader after just twenty-seven laps.
The safety car was needed before the end of lap one when Egor Orudzhev crashed into the barriers at turn one. The Russian appeared to have some kind of braking issue as he failed to slow down for the turn, just avoiding the cars ahead of him as they ran into the corner before ending up in the tyre wall on the outside of the track.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Race 1 Result
|2||6||Matevos Isaakyan||RUS||SMP Racing by AVF||+3.227s|
|3||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Teo Martin Motorsport||+5.912s|
|4||9||Konstantin Tereschenko||RUS||Teo Martin Motorsport||+8.253s|
|5||7||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||Fortec Motorsports||+10.437s|
|7||12||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||RP Motorsport||+24.577s|
|8||8||Diego Menchaca||MEX||Fortec Motorsports||+30.922s|
|9||11||Roy Nissany||ISR||RP Motorsport||+31.594s|
|10||15||Giuseppe Cipriani||ITA||Barone Rampante||+1:07.042s|
|RET||5||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||SMP Racing by AVF||Retired|