Just Electric

Evans victorious as Sims takes championship lead

Mitch Evans dominated the Mexico E-Prix to secure his first win of the season as championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne hit the wall on the final laps.

A series of incidents, including an early safety car period and a close battle between Techeetah team-mates Antonio Felix Da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne, allowed Evans to build a gap of over six seconds to the rest of the field.

As he started the final lap of the race, fifth placed Vandoorne ran onto the marbles while battling with Alexander Sims. He lost control of the car and clipped the wall, taking advertising banners with him as he crawled away from the incident and dropped down the field.

Evans, who hadn’t been challenged since passing pole sitter Andre Lotterer on the opening lap, was told to slow, and Da Costa in second place closed the gap to 4.271s before the Jaguar driver took the chequered flag.

It was a smooth race for Evans. Starting second, he pulled alongside Lotterer off the line. Lotterer tried to squeeze him out at the first corner, but the Porsche driver was forced wide, dropping back to fifth as Evans took the lead.

Racing was briefly paused when Nico Muller ran straight into the wall after outbraking himself at turn one. The safety car was brought out, bringing Sebastien Buemi back onto Evans tail, but a strong restart for the race leader allowed him to pull again when the track turned green with 35 minutes remaining.

It was the last time Evans was challenge in the race.

Buemi came under pressure from Sam Bird, who managed to pass the Nissan driver after taking Attack Mode. Buemi tried to fight back, but soon found himself locked in a battle with Da Costa, allowing Bird to pull away.

After a series of back-and-forths with team-mate Vergne, who had let Da Costa past early in the race, the Portuguese racer closed onto the back of Bird. He pulled alongside Bird as the Virgin driver took attack mode, but the extra power allowed Bird to stay ahead.

It appeared the Virgin driver would have a clean run to the chequered flag when he ran into the wall with less than four minutes remaining. Bird was able to continue, but dropped back to seventh and soon found himself in the wall again, bringing an end to his race.

Da Costa inherited second, which he managed to retain to the chequered flag, with Buemi joining him on the podium as he took his first points of the season.

At the top of the championship standings, Sims moves ahead of Vandoorne, with a seven point advantage over the Mercedes driver. He took the chequered flag fifth, behind Vergne and just ahead of Lucas Di Grassi.

Oliver Rowland and Edoardo Mortara took seventh and eighth, with James Calado and Pascal Wehrlein rounding out the top 10.

There were a number of retirements throughout the race.

Andre Lotterer’s race went from bad to worse when he made contact with Nyck de Vries and ran into the wall. He managed to keep going but damage to his front wing popped his tyre. Smoke from the incident left those behind him completely blind and he was forced into the pits.

Felipe Massa, de Vries, and Ma Quinhua all came to a stop in separate incidents throughout the race, though each incident was covered with yellow flags.

After an accident in the opening free practice session sent him to hospital, Daniel Abt returned to the track for the race. He started from the penultimate row of the grid and made up a number of positions before coming into the pits and retiring six laps before the chequered flag.

Bethonie Waring

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