Last year’s Mexico City ePrix was the defining moment in Lucas di Grassi’s championship winning season.
Starting down in fifteenth he lost his rear wing following a collision on the opening lap and was left at the back of the field having pitted to repair it.
He then stopped early for his second car but managed his energy superbly to scythe through the field and hold off Jean-Eric Vergne for the win, describing it as “No doubt my most amazing victory in Formula E.”
It was a masterful victory that showed a driver out performing his car to achieve an unlikely victory that would end up securing di Grassi his first title in the series.
Just eleven months on and we’re back in Mexico City, but the outlook couldn’t be any worse for the Brazilian.
His Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler car has been notoriously unreliable, meaning that instead of fighting for the championship he is now the only driver on the grid yet to score a point.
And things aren’t set to get any better this weekend, with Audi having to replace another inverter on his car resulting in a ten place grid penalty.
Although the team have said that they now know what the problem is (believed to be linked to the bumpy track surfaces on many of the street tracks used in Formula E), they are unable to carry out a fix until after Mexico thanks to FIA regulations.
It’s another bitter blow for di Grassi and puts an end to any hopes he had of retaining his title, that was, if they weren’t ruined already.
Audi’s lack of reliability has undoubtedly been the story of the season, and despite his calm exterior you imagine di Grassi is wondering how on earth there has been such a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in such a short space of time.
Team boss Allan McNish admitted they were experiencing a low point, but that they were determined to push on, saying “At the moment, we’re going through a tough time in our young Formula E history.
“But we are as determined as ever and will continue to push to the maximum with Daniel and Lucas in spite of the current challenges.”
Of course Audi have the capability to turn their season around, and when their predicted fix comes in they should return to the sharp end of the grid.
However in the meantime you can expect another race where Lucas di Grassi is nursing his car to the finish and thinking about what could have been this season.