Di Grassi’s last gasp effort makes it three Mexican wins in a row for Audi

by Tom Cairns
Lucas di Grassi - Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler at the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler had a competitive weekend but would not have expected to win the 2019 Mexico E-Prix in the most improbable of circumstances.

Lucas di Grassi made it into Super Pole and qualified second behind pole-sitter Pascal Wehrlein. The Brazilian then dropped to third behind Oliver Rowland at the start of the race and remained there until the closing stages when the Brit ran wide whilst activating an Attack Mode, allowing the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season three winner to move back into P2.

Having conserved enough battery power to make it to the end of the race, di Grassi fought hard with race leader Wehrlein, forcing the German to run out of energy before the start-finish straight on the last lap to claim the ninth win of his Formula E career and elevating the Brazilian to fourth in the drivers’ championship.

“That was probably the best race of my Formula E career,” said di Grassi.

“Initially, it was all about staying cool and saving energy. At the end, it was about getting the overtaking maneuvers right, because it’s extremely difficult to pass on this track in Mexico City.

“I swept past Oliver Rowland when he fired up his Attack Mode. After that, Pascal Wehrlein defended his position very aggressively.

“Still, I managed to overtake him in a crazy final lap and score victory. My adrenaline level was extremely high and I could hardly believe that it worked. Thank you to everyone at Audi Sport who worked so hard to build such a great car.”

Lucas di Grassi & Pascal Wehrlein at the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix

Credit: Sam Bloxham/LAT Images

Team-mate Daniel Abt had an impressive drive after starting a disastrous twenty-first to make it inside the points in tenth to maintain his record of scoring in every race so far this season. That point leaves the German in eleventh with 22 points, 31 off the top.

Audi’s result means they stay in fifth in the teams’ standings but have closed the gap to their rivals above them. Team Principal Allan McNish presented how he felt during that nervy final lap when di Grassi snatched the win.

“Three straight wins for Audi in Mexico City is a great achievement,” McNish mentioned.

“It was a nerve-wracking race and we didn’t know how it would turn out until the very last second. The Audi e-tron FE05 was fantastic today – more efficient than any other car.

“This allowed Lucas (di Grassi) to snatch victory at the last moment. Such a close race is not good for my heart. Still, there will be huge celebrations tonight. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is back!”

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