After taking first position early on, Jake Dennis dominated the Mexico City ePrix by a head and shoulders, the first round of the 2023 Formula E season. The Andretti driver edged out Pascal Wehrlein and Lucas di Grassi.
There was Jake Dennis and the others that Saturday in Mexico City. On the occasion of the first race of the 2023 season of the Formula E world championship and the “Gen3” era, the driver Andretti disgusted the competition. Beaten in the qualifying final by Lucas di Grassi after making a small mistake, the Briton took his troubles patiently at the start of the event, contested over a minimum of 36 laps and no longer according to a time limit as in the last seasons. A first event of the year which, however, had an eventful start. On the second lap, Sam Bird collided with Robin Frijns who then came into contact with Norman Nato. The Dutchman from the ABT team, suffering from a fractured wrist, had to give up just like the Frenchman, who finds a starting seat at Nissan. After four laps of neutralization, the restart was not lively but Sam Bird saw his Jaguar break down, forcing race management to once again bring out the safety car.
Dennis very quickly alone in the world
A second raise which did not see the positions change but Jake Dennis very quickly began to put pressure on Lucas di Grassi. The Mahindra driver ended up giving in on lap 12 and then saw the Briton take off and count no less than four seconds ahead five laps later. A mattress that was reduced to nothing when Edoardo Mortara lost control of his Maserati at the first corner. A type of error that was expected with new single-seaters with power that is very difficult to control and with new Hankook tires that are much harder than the previous ones. The three rounds of neutralization did not change the game, but the pilots began to use the “attack mode”, limited to four minutes in two uses, the duration of which is at the discretion of the pilots. Jake Dennis, meanwhile, resumed his march forward to be very quickly out of reach. In the fight for second place, Pascal Wehrlein first took advantage of Jake Hughes’ passage through the “attack mode” zone to dislodge him from third place.
Di Grassi defended like a lion
He then took advantage of the difficulties of Lucas di Grassi to gain an additional rank. The Brazilian, struggling with the charge of his battery, imposed a slower pace and closed all the doors to defend his third position during the five laps added to the race distance to compensate for neutralizations. Trapped, Jake Hughes ended up losing fourth place to a very incisive André Lotterer. Reigning world champion, Stoffel Vandoorne paid dearly for a missed qualifying session with a tenth place finish and only one small point brought back from Mexico. His DS Penske team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne could only do better than twelfth when Sacha Fenestraz foundered in the final laps, crossing the finish line in 15th place. The teams will now have two weeks to analyze this first race with this new equipment before the two events scheduled in the Saudi city of Dariya on January 27 and 28, with many drivers who will have revenge to take.
FORMULE E / ePRIX DE MEXICO
Final classification – 41 laps (107.630km) – Saturday January 14, 2023
1- Jake Dennis (GBR/Andretti) a 58’25”974
2- Pascal Wehrlein (ALL/Porsche) at 7”816
3- Lucas di Grassi (BRE/Mahindra) at 18”611
4- André Lotterer (GER / Andretti) at 18”161
5- Jake Hughes (GBR/McLaren) at 20”289
12- Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA / DS Penske) at 31”141
15- Sacha Fenestraz (FRA / Nissan) at 32”355