The 10th season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship got underway at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend, and with it came Jehan Daruvala’s E-Prix debut with Maserati MSG Racing. Asian Motorsport reviews all the action.

By Seb Tirado

Free Practice: A truncated FP1 on Friday afternoon saw a mix of drivers and powertrains at the top of the timing sheets, with 5 different teams in the Top 5. Jake Hughes of NEOM McLaren would ultimately set the fastest time of the session with a 1:14:364. At the other end of the classification, Jehan Daruvala would set a fastest time of 1:16:563, over half a second behind his teammate Maximilian Günther in 21st.

Daruvala exiting the Peraltada in FP2

FP2 on Saturday morning would see Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing go fastest in the session with a 1:13:606. Jehan Daruvala would finish in 19th, over 2 seconds faster than his FP1 time with a 1:14:499. Whilst again far behind his teammate, he was faster than the two cars of Edoardo Mortara and Nyck de Vries of his former team of Mahindra Racing.

Qualifying: The Group stages saw Robin Frijns go fastest in Group A for Envision Racing and Maximilian Günther in Group B for Maserati. Günther and Frijns would both up being eliminated in the Quarter Finals of the duels but still qualify 3rd and 7th on the grid respectively after grid penalties for Stoffel Vandoorne, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans were applied. In his qualifying debut, Jehan Daruvala was eliminated in Group A, finishing 9th in Group and qualifying 17th on the grid.

Lap 1, Turn 1 in Mexico City

E-Prix: The start of the race was a frenetic affair, with the top 3 of Wehrlein, Buemi and Günther leaping away whilst the other drivers further back fought for position. In one such fight, António Félix da Costa’s Porsche tangled with Nico Müller’s ABT Cupra in Turn 3, causing da Costa to retire from the race and subsequently be given a 3-place grid penalty. A few laps later, the only Full Course Yellow and Safety Car periods of the race would come when Frijns span his Envision in Turn 17, blocking half of the exit of the Foro Sol. From then on, the race calmed down substantially. Everyone took their Attack Modes without incident and made clean moves up and down the grid, such as Cassidy passing Günther for 3rd and Jean-Éric Vergne and Jake Dennis climbing numerous places.

After 37 laps, Wehrlein would take the chequered flag to win the E-Prix, with Buemi in 2nd and Cassidy in 3rd with an extra point for Fastest Lap. Jehan Daruvala would finish his maiden E-Prix in 16th, 23 seconds behind his teammate in 4th but crucially without incident and no doubt with good lessons learnt from the experience.

Current Drivers’ Championship Top 10:

  1. Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) – 28
  2. Sébastien Buemi (Envision) – 18
  3. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS) – 16
  4. Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG) – 12
  5. Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS) – 10
  6. Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske) – 8
  7. Jake Hughes (NEOM McLaren) – 6
  8. Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske) – 4
  9. Jake Dennis (Andretti) – 2
  10. Norman Nato (Andretti) – 1

Current Teams’ Championship Top 5:

  1. TAG Heuer Porsche – 28
  2. Jaguar TCS Racing – 26
  3. Envision Racing – 18
  4. Maserati MSG Racing – 12
  5. DS Penske – 12

Rounds 2 and 3 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take place on the streets of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on January 26th-27th.  

Image credits: Formula E

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