Pascal Wehrlein converts pole to Round 1 win in Mexico City E-Prix

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Pascal Wehrlein converts pole to Round 1 win in Mexico City E-Prix

TAG Heuer Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein repeated the feat of two seasons prior, where he secured his and Porsche's first Formula E victory, as the German sealed another well-managed drive to the top step this time around in the opening round of Season 10 in Mexico City, leading home Envision Racing's Sebastien Buemi and Jaguar TCS Racing debutant Nick Cassidy.

Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein wins Round 1 the 2024 Mexico City E-Prix Formula E Season 10

Wehrlein is something of a Mexico master, having taken all four of his Formula E Julius Baer Pole Positions in the country, and the same can be said of Porsche powertrains - driving the winner in each of the last three Mexico City E-Prix.

The German, who was a title contender in GEN3's inaugural campaign, threw down the gauntlet with a controlled drive from lights out and pole to the chequered flag, only briefly losing the lead through ATTACK MODE and a spell under Full Course Yellow. He jumped off the line to a one-second lead come the end of the opening tour and managed things from there - holding Buemi at arms length, a couple of seconds back for the vast majority of the race.

RESULTS: The full 2024 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix classification

Envision Racing's Buemi followed the Porsche home to take second for the reigning Teams' World Champions, matching his Season 9 podium tally. Nick Cassidy, on debut in the factory Jaguar TCS Racing I-TYPE 6 after moving from Envision over the off-season, took third - making it by Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing) mid-way through the encounter. The latter took the chequered flag in fourth.

Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein wins Round 1 the 2024 Mexico City E-Prix Formula E Season 10 2

Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) seemed to be more on the back foot than the front. The Kiwi took the title fight to the wire in London in 2022/23 but out of the gate here, he was forced into a defensive drive to hold a charging Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) back - the Frenchman having clambered through the order from 10th on the grid to become only the second driver after Lucas di Grassi (ABT CUPRA) to surpass 1,000 points in Formula E in the process.

STANDINGS: How the Drivers' and Teams' World Championships look after Mexico City

NEOM McLaren's Jake Hughes followed Vergne home in seventh, with Season 8 champion Stoffel Vandoorne eighth at the conclusion. Brit Jake Dennis in the Andretti made up ground to an eventual ninth and points from 14th at the start, after an uncharacteristic error in qualifying saw his title defense set off on the wrong foot. Dennis' new teammate Norman Nato rounded out the top 10.

Mitch Evans holds off Jean-Eric Vergne in the 2024 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix, Formula E Season 10

All that leaves Wehrlein atop the Drivers' table at this early stage, with TAG Heuer Porsche heading the Teams' running.

Formula E returns in two weeks' time for a double-header of night races in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on 27 & 28 January.

As it happened...

Wehrlein managed to leap clear out front to a second advantage right away, with Robin Frijns falling all the way back through the pack from seventh on the grid to 15th, thanks to a technical issue, causing a knock-on melee in mid-pack and forcing the Dutchman into a hard charge to make up ground.

At the start of Lap 3, it was as you were in the top six with Wehrlein leading Buemi, Guenther, Cassidy, Evans and Hughes the top six. Meanwhile, contact between the sister TAG Heuer Porsche of Antonio Felix da Costa and Nico Mueller (ABT CUPRA) saw the end of the race with broken suspenion for the former and the latter in the wall and to 19th and last.

Mexico City Season 10 start (2)

Three of the top four, including the lead pair, jumped for their first of two mandatory 50kW ATTACK MODE boosts on Lap 4, with the rest of the top group joining them a lap later. When it all shook out, it was again pretty much as things had started out front.

Only Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing) in that top six had yet to activate, while Jake Dennis, recovering from 14th on the grid after an uncharecteristic qualifying error, had yet to use either of his two boosts as of Lap 7, moving up seven spots to seventh in the process.

On Lap 9, Robin Frijns - perhaps keen to make up for his slow start - found the wall, overcooking it on the exit of the Foro Sol and finding the wall in a big way, having just rounded Edo Mortara's Mahindra. A Full Course Yellow would be required for his car's removal from the circuit, and that's four DNFs in five for Frijns.

Frijns crash in Mexico City Round 1 Formula E 2024

In that mix, Wehrlein and Cassidy went for their second 50kW boosts, leaving Buemi in the lead. Of the top six, Buemi had two minutes still to use, as did Guenther in third, while Evans in fifth had six minutes in-hand. Dennis jumped too, leaving himself one more trip through the ATTACK MODE activation loop to use over the remaining two-thirds of the race - time to make further moves from eighth yet for the reigning champion.

On the restart, come Lap 12, Buemi yielded the lead to take his final ATTACK MODE - again leaving the top six as it had started, despite the intervening reshuffles. The radio calls went back and forth between both Buemi and his engineer and Wehrlein and the Porsche pits - the latter looking initially to stay behind the Swiss to conserve energy prior to that lead swap. Buemi's engineer busily tried to convince his driver that they could make it a "two-horse race" with the German out-front.

Come Lap 17 and the halfway stage, all of the top 10 had used their ATTACK MODE quota, meaning a straight fight to the finish. Cassidy quietly assembled a run on Guenther, passing the German for third with the Kiwi, on debut, setting about the top two. Jean-Eric Vergne, meanwhile, had made good ground, up four spots from 10th to sixth and began reeling in Mitch Evans' with 10 laps to go - the Jaguar driver seemingly more in defense mode than attack.

With the race reaching its climax, Wehrlein looked comfortable and capable of managing things from P1 - with Buemi being held back by some two seconds with eight laps to go plus two added laps for time lost to that Full Course Yellow.

And that's the way it stayed, Wehrlein able to comfortbly lead Buemi home, with Cassidy rounding in third position - the Kiwi will be pleased on his first outing for Jaguar, as he also took home the point for setting the fastest lap of the race.