Mercedes prepare for the challenges ahead at energy-intensive Mexico City circuit

by Nathan Hine
Stoffel Vandoorne - Mercedes-Benz EQ - Mexico City Preview

Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne anticipates that the new track configuration at the Mexico City ePrix will mean a more energy-intensive race this year.

Vandoorne comes into this weekend’s Mexico City ePrix on the back of positive results in Ad Diriyah and Santiago and expects another exciting weekend ahead.

He said: “Mexico is one of the most beautiful venues on the racing calendar. That’s why I’m so happy to be going back there again, especially having just taken the lead in the championship. The fans are incredibly passionate and come along in droves every year. It’s always a very special feeling to drive through the stadium and soak up the atmosphere.

“By contrast with last year, we can expect a different track layout with more overtaking opportunities this time. I’m convinced that is going to make the race even more interesting, especially in terms of energy management. Hopefully, we can do a good job again and score as many points as possible.”

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team now head to the fourth round of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season second in the points table in their inaugural season in the all-electric single-seater racing series.

The 2020 Mexico City ePrix is only one of the permanent circuits that the series contests, using part of the infamous Autodromo Hermanez Rodriguez racetrack where Mercedes have had so much past success.

Ian James, Team Principal of Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team said: “We are all looking forward to racing in Mexico City. The passion and excitement of the local fans is unreal and it promises a phenomenal experience for everyone. The new track layout will provide a fresh challenge for all teams. We expect to see a very fast and close race. But as always, the right energy management strategy will play a significant role.”

“To finish with both cars in the points again, it will be crucial for us to adapt to the track as quickly as possible. As always, we need to focus on controlling the controllable.”

Mexico City has been a regular staple on the Formula E calendar since 2016, making this year’s event the fifth successive season of electric racing there.

After last season’s dramatic finish, additional changes have been made to help improve overtaking and excitment. This year the track is longer at 2.6 km in length; with eight turns to the left and eight to the right, providing a good mix of long straights and a tight stadium section for teams and drivers alike.

Mercedes’ second driver Nyck De Vries currently lies eleventh in the points table after a difficult start to his Formula E career. But after a strong fifth place in Santiago, the reigning Formula 2 champion is full of confidence before taking to the streets of Mexico City.

He said: “Several weeks have passed since Santiago, and I am eager to get back in the car in Mexico. Our debut season has been encouraging so far, but we realise that this championship is extremely competitive and that everyone is pretty much on the same level. This is especially true in qualifying, where we are obliged to compete in the most difficult groups again. At the same time, I’m still a rookie in this series and I’m learning step by step. That’s why it’s important not to be distracted and to set about the race weekend in the same way as we approached the first two of the current season.”

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