Jerome D'Ambrosio wins FIA Formula E Prix in Mexico City, Lucas di Grassi Excluded. Image courtesy of FIA Formula E.

This Man Did Not Win the Formula E Prix in Mexico City. See Who Did

After ruling that ABT’s Lucas di Grassi’s vehicle weight was 1.8kg lighter during a post race check, Jerome D’Ambrosio was named the winner of the 2016 Mexico City FIA Formula E Prix. Sebastian Buemi moved into second place, with Nico Prost finishing third.

This is Jerome D’Ambrosio, the actual winner of the Mexico City E Prix.

Post-race each car should weigh as little as 888kg, according to FIA Formula E rules.  DiGrassis Abt Schaffler car weighed in at just 886kg and change.  di Grassi’s exclusion means he now trails Buemi by 22 points after 5 races.

The unique layout of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – part traditional race track, part street circuit – made overtaking tricky, but not impossible. But with an additional 100kJ of energy that di Grassi received through FanBoost, he was able to slipstream Jerome D’Ambrosio and take the lead into the tight first corner.  di Grassi then drove his car hard to expand the lead.

The battle for second was fierce. Erstwhile points leader Buemi was recovering from a mistake in qualifying, which left him fifth on the grid rather than the pole position his pace in practice had suggested. He passed di Grassi’s Abt Schaeffler team-mate Daniel Abt early on, and made up a further place in the pitstops when he leap-frogged his Renault e.dams team-mate Nico Prost.

On a number of occasions Buemi was able to get in the slipstream of the Dragon Racing car, but each time D’Ambrosio defended robustly. On one occasion there was even contact as Buemi tagged the back of the Belgian at 200kph as they disputed position. Finally, he did manage to get ahead, but had to cut the first chicane in the process.

As Buemi backed off to allow D’Ambrosio to re-pass, it allowed Prost, Abt and the second Dragon of Loic Duval to get into the fight. Eventually, the previous order was restored, but by now di Grassi was almost 10 seconds up the road. The fight for second went all the way to the flag and a photo-finish, with D’Ambrosio crossing the line just ahead.

The exclusionary ruling took place well after the podium ceremony.  So far there have been no official comments from members of Abt Racing, or FIA Formula E.

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Sebastian James

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