SEASON 10 PREVIEW: Formula E heads to Mexico City for Round 1

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SEASON 10 PREVIEW: Formula E heads to Mexico City for Round 1

The 2023/24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is just days away from lights out, with Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez the venue for Round 1 of Season 10.

mexico tickets foro sol grandstand

Some 40,000 spectators are expected to pack the grandstands at the famed Foro Sol on Formula E's eighth visit to the historic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the circuit a favourite of fans and drivers alike. Mexico City always provides a real fiesta and the racing to match - it's undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season.

WATCH: How to watch Formula E's season-opening Hankook Mexico City E-Prix where you are

With GEN3 heading into a second campaign after what was a super close-run first outing of the season, given the glimpse we got back at pre-season testing in Valencia, all the signs are pointing towards Season 10 stepping things up a level further.

Teams have spent the autumn and winter fighting to extract vital tenths of-a-second from their cars but the real test will come in Mexico when the field of 22 world class drivers takes to the grid to show us all what they really have up their sleeves. 

TICKETS: Secure your seat at the Mexico City E-Prix

The new-look calendar, including a maiden trip to Japan and a long-awaited return to China, means there'll be fresh silverware to fight over. Whoever hits the top in 2023/24 will have earned it. After a typically fraught, ultra-competitive off-season, half the grid will have their eyes on the top prize and World Championship honours in Formula E's 10th campaign.

Ultra-competitive: Who's in the hunt in Season 10?

Last year saw the introduction of the GEN3 - the fastest, lightest and most sustainable electric race car yet which broke record after record during its inaugural outing in Season 9.

Across the grid in 2022/23, we saw outright speed records tumble, seven different winners, 11 drivers on the podium across 16 rounds, while a staggering 19 took their turn leading a lap. Formula E has always been ultra close-fought but GEN3's curtain-raiser proved there's more to come as the GEN3 evolution continues.

Jaguar vs Porsche, Envision vs Andretti: Right to the wire

In both the Teams’ and Drivers’ World Championships, the title fight went on to the finale in Season 9, with eventual wins for Jake Dennis (Andretti) and Envision Racing coming in London - unique in that both titles were won not only by different powertrains but by customer outfits - of Porsche and Jaguar, respectively. 

Andretti were, and still are, powered by Porsche for GEN3. Their 99X Electric led Dennis to two wins and a string of 11 podiums in Season 9, which was enough to see him crowned champion in front of his home support as he became the first Brit to win the title.

The factory TAG Heuer Porsche team could only manage fourth in the Drivers’ standings via Season 8 Mexico City winner Pascal Wehrlein, and fourth in the Teams’ running after a strong start last year. The German giants have title-winning machinery and will be laser-focussed on taking home the top prize for themselves this season.

Similarly, Envision are customers of Jaguar. Although both Jaguar-powered teams achieved four wins apiece in Season 9, it was Envision that came out on top. Nick Cassidy ran it close in the Drivers' race and key in the team's title win, having raced in every season of the series. Cassidy, though, has made the jump to the factory Jaguar TCS Racing team for Season 10, racing alongside Mitch Evans - a friend, long-time competitor and Kiwi compatriot. It’s rightly one of the most hyped driver line-ups ever seen in Formula E, and the British team will be desperate to end the year on top. Evans and Cassidy wound up first and second quickest in Valencia, too.

Season 10 driver line-ups

It's all-change ahead of the first race in Mexico City. The only teams to keep the same pairings they had in Season 9 are Porsche with Wehrlein and Season 6 champion Antonio Felix da Costa and DS PENSKE with Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne (three Formula E titles between them) and ERT Formula E who were formally NIO with Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara returning.

MEET THE GRID: Which drivers are racing in Formula E in 2023/24?

Cassidy looks to have settled in well at Jaguar, setting the second-quickest time at the Valencia test behind new teammate Evans. Robin Frijns, Cassidy's replacement at Envision and a double race-winner in Formula E, wound up seventh and will line up alongside Sebastien Buemi.

One of the biggest talking points heading into Mexico City is the return of Nyck de Vries. The Season 8 champ departed the all-electric championship for a spell in Formula 1, but is now making a return to the series he called home for so long. Since his time in Formula E, a lot has changed, including a whole new generation of car. He'll have it all to do alongside Edo Mortara, who moves from Maserati MSG Racing to the Anglo-Indian team which struggledto adapt to GEN3 in Season 9. Mortara did steer to a promising sixth in testing, though.

Maserati will once again field Maximilian Guenther with optimism abound after the team turned their form around in the second half of Season 9 at the hands of Guenther who won in Jakarta and took to the podium in Rome. Indian rookie Jehan Daruvala steps into the fold as Guenther's teammate.

Norman Nato managed to set a quicker time than Season 9 champion Dennis at the Valencia test in his first outing with Andretti, while Oliver Rowland also looking rapid for his return to Nissan, alongside Sacha Fenestraz.

Sam Bird’s time at NEOM McLaren is another story which will be followed closely, with the Brit ending pre-season testing 14th. He joins fellow Brit Jake Hughes, who impressed with two poles in his debut campaign.

Lucas di Grassi made an emotional return to the team with which he won the Season 3 title; the Brazilian joining up with Nico Mueller at ABT CUPRA. Di Grassi is Formula E's most successful driver on Mexican soil.

Dennis

Champ Jake Dennis expects 'toughest challenge yet'

Andretti’s Jake Dennis heads to Round 1 of a new campaign as the reigning champ for the first time in his Formula E career. After an incredible season of consistency, achieving 11 podiums across the 16 rounds of the calendar to set a new record, he’s now keen to get racing again after the summer break comes to a close.

“We've still got an incredibly strong powertrain,” the Brit continued. “I don't think there's too much development that can happen coming into this season. There's always tweaks here and there, but it's more probably fine tuning. 

“I would expect the likes of DS will definitely close the gap to us. It's also still going to be difficult to beat Jaguar TCS Racing and the other Porsche team. Just trying to do what we did last year is going to be extremely difficult with that many podiums and wins. It's never easy when the competition closes up."


Formula E returns to Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

This weekend Formula E makes a eighth visit to a circuit that’s been on the calendar since Season 2, save for a trip to Puebla in Season 7 – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The 19-turn, 2.630km circuit is a perfect mix of long, fast straights and a technical infield section that passes right through the legendary Foro Sol stadium – housing tens of thousands of fans. 

There's a new chicane this year on the back straight, while the ATTACK MODE activation zone is now on the outside of Turn 15 at the exit of the stadium section - more of a challenge this time around.

Lucas di Grassi (ABT CUPRA) has long been one to watch in Mexico. He won in Puebla in Season 7, but the Brazilian made it two trips to the top step in Mexico City itself in 2019/20, after his first win in front of the Foro Sol in 2016/17.

That Season 5 win went down in Formula E history. Then-rookie Pascal Wehrlein fought hard out-front and veteran di Grassi wouldn’t give him a moments peace. Heading into the final lap, almost 40,000 fans took in Formula E’s most dramatic race finish, with Wehrlein holding fast to the last, before running out of usable energy after the final turn – allowing di Grassi to slip by right as they crossed the line.

READ MORE: Mexico City's best moments

In Season 8, a weight was lifted at German giants TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team following its first ABB FIA Formula E World Championship victory in Mexico City.

Pascal Wehrlein led home a dominant Porsche one-two at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from teammate Andre Lotterer, with the team inflicting an extra lap on the field with just a couple of seconds remaining on the clock. Porsche's perfectly calculated strategy yielded double silverware and both Wehrlein and the outfit's breakthrough in electric motorsport. 

In more recent history, eventual Season 9 World Champion Jake Dennis got things off to the best possible start and laid down a marker at the off in the GEN3 era with victory by some eight seconds from Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein in Round 1.

The all-new tracks and race locations on Formula E's Season 10 calendar

A new season brings new additions to the Formula E calendar for next season.

Alongside old favourites like Mexico City, Berlin and Monaco, we'll race in three brand new locations in 2024, starting with a maiden trip to Japan as Tokyo plays host to Round 5 of the season on 30 March - marking the city's first World Championship motorsport event.

READ MORE: Circuit layout revealed for Tokyo's first World Championship motor race

Two weeks later, on 13 & 14 April, we'll head back to Europe for a double-header in Italy, but this time, at the new location of Misano on the Adriatic coast in another first for the series.

The third new locale in 2024 is a long-awaited return to China with a trip to the Shanghai International Circuit for another double-header race weekend, on 25 & 26 May.

SCHEDULE: Where, when and how to watch or stream the 2024 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix

The first track action of the year gets underway on Friday 12 January with Free Practice 1 at 16:25 local time, 22:25 UTC.

Then it's on to race day on Saturday 13 January as Free Practice 2 kicks off the day at 07:25, qualifying follows at 09:40 as the field of 22 drivers battle for the Julius Baer Pole Position to get the best start to the opening round of Season 10 when the lights go out at 14:00 local/20:00 UTC.

View the full schedule in your time zone and check the broadcaster listings or tap the Ways to Watch button above to find out where to watch all the racing action where you live.

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