Mexico City E-Prix
- Nelson Piquet Jr finishes in fourth place in Mexico City
- Mitch Evans flies from 12th to 6th
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s best points finish to date and move the team to third position in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship
- Nelson is now 5th and Mitch 7th in the driver’s standings
Mexico City - E-Prix in photos
Mexico City E-prix race report
Our day started at 9:00 am when we left our hotel in the beautiful Reforma Avenue in Mexico City on our way to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodrigue.
After a few minutes stuck in transit (very common in México city), we arrived just in time for the 2nd practice. It was a very sunny and hot day, so we looked for a spot that was both favorable for this situation and that had a good view of the race, we bought a snack and waited for the cars to appear. Finally, Mitch’s car appeared followed by Nelson’s, as the public started to arrive. At the end of the 2nd practice, Mitch had recorded the third fastest time, a promising sign of things to come. Unfortunately Piquet did not have quite the same luck as practice came to a close and the Foro Sol stadium reached almost half of its capacity.
More than 30 of our co-workers arrived from GKN Driveline Mexico as the qualification session began, bringing family and friends to cheer on the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team. Nelson put in a solid performance in qualification to earn P8 on the starting grid. Mitch looked extremely fast, but clocked a shock 14th place time due to technical difficulties slowing him down by almost 2 seconds.
The temperature reached 28° C before the driver’s parade, and the Foro Sol was very close to full capacity. All the drivers were received with applause and cheers from the enthusiastic public of Mexico, even a couple of Mexican waves were performed for the drivers. After the parade we headed down to the pit lane for a tour before the race. It was fantastic to see each team’s engineers working so hard in the garages to give their cars the best possible chance of winning – in Formula E every fraction of a second counts.
Finally we returned to our spots for the race, now with the Foro Sol at full capacity. The tension was palpable as the red lights counted down, and before we knew it they were off! Mitch shocked the crowds by moving up from the middle of the pack to 7th in little more than a few laps, and this on a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult. Nelson showed the consistency that we have come to expect from the former Formula E champion as he slowly chipped away at the drivers in front of him lap after lap.
The race leader, Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist, led the race for the first third of the race and looked like he may well hold on to his lead. As the half way mark approached, his car suddenly locked up and he ground to a halt, with all the cars overtaking him to move him from 1st to 20th. Nelson and Mitch piled on the pressure for the next few laps, with Mitch moving up to 5th and Nelson in 6th. Nelson managed his energy conservation extremely well, and pitted a lap later than almost everybody else. This gave him more power for the second half of the race. Nelson and Mitch swapped places allowing Nelson to press for the podium, showing great teamwork in the true spirit of GKN.
As the race drew to a close, Nelson maintained the pressure on the podium positions all the way to the finish line, finally crossing the line in 4th. Mitch came in 6th to round out a double points finish, moving Panasonic Jaguar Racing up to 3rd in the team standings. It’s fantastic to see the team consistently achieving strong double point finishes and really pressing for the top spots.
As the podium ceremony took place and a great day of racing in México City came to a close, we reflected that we can’t wait for next year for the great Formula E championship to return to Mexico – we will definitely be there!
Team Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Formula E Mexico City
For the third season running, Formula E returns to Mexico City to race on one of the highest racetracks in the world.
The race will take place at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, of Grand Prix and World Endurance Championship fame. Panasonic Jaguar Racing will be looking to build on their strong track record from last season, where Mitch achieved a solid fourth place finish here in Mexico.
The track is unique in that Foro sol, a baseball stadium, was built inside the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez after the Mexican Grand Prix was halted in 1992. The Formula E circuit will see the teams racing through Foro Sol, providing a unique atmosphere for the tens of thousands of fans inside.
About the circuit
The Mexico E-Prix takes place in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez which, at over 2200m above sea level, is one of the highest altitude race tracks in the world.
The circuit is named after two Mexican brothers, Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez, racing drivers who died in separate racing accidents in 1962 and 1971. The Formula E circuit is a modified version of the Formula 1 track, at roughly half the lap length. The famous Peraltada curve is preserved from the Formula 1 layout; an extremely fast banked corner leading into a long straight which facilitates some of the highest speeds in motorsport.
With 18 turns packed into little over 2km, Mexico will be a challenging technical circuit for all of the teams. Such a high number of turns, with three chicanes, means a lot of braking is required. This in turn affects the energy regeneration of the vehicles, a topic which will be on the minds of all the race engineers in Mexico. Despite this circuit’s challenges, it is a driver favorite due to its rich history and the incredible fan atmosphere as they race through the Foro Sol.
The championship races
In the Media
Connect with GKN ePowertrain on social media to keep up to date with news and events from across the ePowertrain division.