15 Feb 19
On the eve of the fourth round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship here in Mexico City, things are starting to get heated - and we're not just talking about the track temperature.
After the scorcher in Santiago, Formula E's four champions were left standing by Mahindra's rookie driver Pascal Wehrlein, while Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird clinched the win for the Audi customer team, putting even more pressure on reigning champions Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler. So far, unpredictability has been the only certainty in the all-electric series and that looks set to continue as the madness of the 2019 CBMM Niobium Mexico City E-Prix unfolds on Saturday, February 16.
With just hours to go until all 22 Gen2 cars and drivers are unleashed on the 2.093km Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, here are the top storylines to look out for in the race.
"I'm not thinking about [the final in] New York at the moment - it's just too far away," says Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird calmly, just hours before the race in Mexico. "I just need to keep bringing in the points consistently." After the British driver won in Santiago, he became the only Formula E driver to have won a race in every season of the Championship but Bird's all-important Championship title remains a distant dream, despite having been a close contender on a number of occasions. With 43 points to his name three races in, Bird heads into the race in Mexico City as the cool-headed Championship leader. But with only two points separating him from Mahindra Racing's Jerome D'Ambrosio in second, will he manage to maintain his lead or will Mexico see the fourth different driver in four races take to the top step of the podium?
After Mahindra Racing's rookie driver Pascal Wehrlein stole the show in Santiago with a sensational second place finish, the Formula E newbie is intent on a "flat out, maximum attack" strategy for Mexico City. After starting Santiago in second, Wehrlein held his position throughout the race, determined to challenge for the top spot but was held back after the scorching temperatures hindered the performance of his car. "If I hadn't been limited by temperature in Santiago, I could have won the race," maintained the German-Mauritian driver. With lower temperatures here at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, could Wehrlein take the top spot in Mexico City?
Fans love the Mexico City circuit. Why? For the iconic Foro Sol. Nowhere else in the Formula E calendar can fans watch the chaos unfold in a front row seat of the stadium-like Foro Sol grandstand. In the words of BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Antonio Felix da Costa, "Mexico City's always been one of the best races for atmosphere, even since day one." This season, things get even spicier as ATTACK MODE is placed dead centre in the Foro Sol, meaning more overtakes, spins and saves. "I've heard the Foro Sol is going to be packed tomorrow, so really looking forward to driving out and seeing everyone there," added the BMW driver.