On the road to the 2020 Mexico City E-Prix

Photo: Virginia Guzmán

The fourth round of the 2019-2020 ABB FIA Formula E season is just around the corner. The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is ready to host the CBMM Mexico City E-Prix for the fifth time in a row. A new track layout with a very especial guest expect to deliver an exciting race like the one experienced last year.

What happened last year

Last year´s Mexico City E-Prix was an exciting one, from start to finish. In the third lap, Nelson Piquet Jr was looking to pass Jean-Eric Vergne, but there was not enough space, so the Brazilian ended up impacting the Frenchman from behind. The DS Techeetah driver managed to continue but the then Jaguar Racing driver ended up against the wall after flying through the air.

After the restart, Pascal Wehrlein was leading, with Oliver Rowland and Lucas Di Grassi following him from behind. The German was treading thoroughly, but in the last lap his battery dropped to 2%, as did the Brazilian. Wehrlein tried at all costs to stay ahead, and managing his battery. The Mahindra driver was just meters from the checkered flag when suddenly stopped at the side of the track, his battery had run out. Di Grassi, still with minimal battery, was able to cross the finish line and take the victory.

A new layout with a special guest

The track changed in some sectors for this edition. Now that there are two new teams, adding a grid of 24 cars for the sixth season, it is required to have certain length for security and regulations. For the reasons mentioned, the Mexico City E-Prix has a new layout, with hairpins that take part of the back sector of the oval.

The new turns, from 3 to 8, are located at the back of the oval, extending the circuit for the Mexico City E-Prix from 2,093 to 2.606 km. The new area has short turns where could not make overtaking easy, but turns 5 and 6 can be a good opportunity to make them, despite they are very short and closed.

The Foro Sol retains its usual layout, so we expect good battles and overtakes. Outside that area, the drivers will take turn 15 to take the oval to the the special guest. the Peraltada. There was a chicane there in the previous editions of the Mexico City E-Prix. This time the drivers will be able to take it full. It is an area where overtakes could be scarse, the drivers will take this area with caution, so they have to take advantage of the exit to try to overpass or fight at the last minute for the top of the podium.

Image: Courtesy of Formula E

Drivers Championship

After last race in Chile, the championship has become very tight among the top 10. Mercedes-Benz EQ´s driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, leads the championship with 38 points after finishing eight in Chile. In second place, just 3 points less than the Belgian, is Alexander Sims. The British lost the lead after retiring in Chile. Sam Bird closes the top 3 of the championship with 28 points. Maximilian Guenther, winner of the third round, is fourth with 25 points. The rest of the top 10 is completed by  Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Rowland, António Félix da Costa, Mitch Evans, André Lotterer and Edoardo Mortara.

Teams Championship

With Guenther´s win in Chile, BMW i Andretti arrives to the Mexico City E-Prix as líder with 60 points. Mercedes-Benz EQ is second, just four points under the American team. Envision Virgin also fell from the standings, stands third with 38 points. Fifth season champions, DS Techeetah, hasn´t had a good start of the season. They have 25 points, standing sixth.

What to follow close...

The Peraltada: This zone could be a good place to activate Attack Mode, giving a chance to attack at the exit that drives to the main straight. It could also be a good place to activate the Fanboost.

The Top 10 drivers championship: The championship is tight among the top 10, in this race anyone can approach the leadership. But it is still too early to fight for the championship.

Pascal Wehrlein: No doubt he´s the one to have to keep an eye on. Last year, the German had a great performance, seems the track suited him well. The Mexico City E-Prix could be a good chance for him to achieve a good result and advance in the championship after a complicated start of the season.

The Foro Sol: Another Attack Mode zone, as last year, will undoubtedly be the Foro Sol. It is a good chance to see intense battles and overtakes. Another good zone for Fanboost.

The battery: Last year Lucas Di Grassi took the Mexico City E-Prix win at the last moment after pascal Wehrlein ran out of battery very close to the finish line. Again it will be crucial to have a good battery management, which has a power of 200 kW and has to last 45 minutes plus one lap.

Written by: Virginia Guzmán
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