Di Grassi reclaims FE points lead with Mexico ePrix win

©Formula E media site

Lucas di Grassi wins the Mexico ePrix with a bold Fan Boost-aided overtaking move on Jérome D’Ambrosio, re-taking the Formula E championship from Sébastien Buemi.

Pole sitter D’Ambrosio comfortably held off fellow front row starter Nicolas Prost at the start and led into the first corner, with most of the field cleanly through the opening chicane.

Despite topping both free practice sessions, championship leader Buemi had only lined up fifth due to a small mistake in qualifying. The Swiss ace quickly moved up to P4, muscling his way past Daniel Abt on the outside of Turn one.

The top five then ran nose to tail for most of the first half of the race, with D’Ambrosio controlling the pace and allowing all cars to save valuable energy. There was no shortage of action though, as Buemi started increasing pressure on title rival Di Grassi, who went off several times as a result.

The Brazilian soon managed to find some breathing space when he relieved Prost of P2 after a late lunge in the second chicane. The Frenchman quickly dropped another place as Renault e.dams team-mate Buemi leapfrogged him during the pit stop/car swap sequence.

Still leading at the midway point, D’Ambrosio soon saw Di Grassi closing in on him. As one of the three FanBoost winners, the ABT Schaeffler driver used the extra power at hand to slingshot past the Dragon Racing car on the main straight and brilliantly made a move stick into the first chicane.

If Di Grassi then cruised to the chequered flag, D’Ambrosio and Buemi became embroiled in a titanic scrap over second place. Despite being quicker, the Swiss careered into the back of the Belgian on the main straight and forced the pair to cut the following corner.

Buemi would hunt down D’Ambrosio all the way to the finish line but would have to settle for P3, a bittersweet result considering the pace of his Renault e.dams package this weekend.

Team-mate Prost looked locked in at fourth only to receive a late drive through penalty for unsafe release during the pit stops. This promoted Loic Duval to P4 in the second Dragon Racing car with Prost eventually dropping to fifth.

Sixth came Andretti’s Robin Frijns, who headed Buenos Aires ePrix winner Sam Bird. After running in fifth place for nearly the entire race, Abt clipped the wall in the closing stages and slipped down all the way to eighth. Nick Heidfeld secured ninth for Mahindra, while Stéphane Sarrazin scored the final point on offer in 10th.

With his second win of the season after Putrajaya, Di Grassi now holds a six-point advantage over Buemi in the Drivers’ standings while Bird is a distant third.

Round six of the 2015/2016 Formula E season – the Long Beach ePrix – will take place in California on Saturday 2 April.

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