Jehan Daruvala completed his debut Formula E race in 16th place.
Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein converted pole position into victory at the 2024 Formula E season-opening Mexico City E-Prix. He beat out two Jaguar-powered cars to score his fifth Formula E win ahead of Envision’s Sebastien Buemi and Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy.
Wehrlein’s victory was under question for a few hours post-race since he and Andretti’s Jake Dennis were under investigation for a potential technical infraction. However, both drivers were cleared, with the stewards deciding that there would be “no further action”.
- Wehrlein wins, 1.162secs from Buemi
- Three Jaguar-powered cars in top five
Strong start for Porsche, Jaguar
Mexico has always been a strong venue for Porsche, with Porsche-powered cars winning the last three Mexico City E-Prix.
Wehrlein beat Buemi to pole position at the shortened version of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. After a clean getaway, he led majority of the race, only briefly losing the lead through Attack Mode and a spell under Full Course Yellow.
But he kept Buemi at arm’s length to take victory by just over a second. Cassidy completed the podium in what was his debut race with the factory Jaguar team. It’s still too early to determine a pecking order, but Jaguar has made a strong start with three out of four Jaguar-powered cars in the top five.
Daruvala completes first Formula E weekend
This was also Jehan Daruvala’s debut Formula E race. After a handful of years in Formula 2 and one season as Mahindra Racing’s reserve driver, Daruvala has moved to Formula E with Maserati. He’s the only rookie on the 2024 Formula E grid.
He finished the race in 16th place, while his teammate Max Gunther finished fourth. But Daruvala maintains it was a “positive experience” since his focus was on learning as much as possible given the limited track time.
“I’m very happy to have completed my first weekend in Formula E. Today was my first time in full race conditions, and it was a very positive experience,” said Daruvala. “My main goal was to have a clean race and to take the chequered flag so I could learn as much as possible. Using everything I’ve learned this weekend, I’ll be able to build on my performance and continue my progression in Diriyah.”
No points for Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is fielding an all-new driver line-up this season, with Edoardo Mortara joining former Formula E champion and F1 driver Nyck de Vries. Both drivers finished outside the points in Mexico – Mortara leading the way in P13 and de Vries in P15.
The team endured a difficult 2023 season, and the two-season homologation rule means it will have to field the same car in 2024, too. Although, it can make some software tweaks to find added performance.
Speaking with Autocar India earlier this year, Mahindra Racing CEO Frederic Bertrand shared that some sweeping changes have been made within the team to address weak points. But he’s also downplayed expectations for 2024. “We will shave to survive Season 10. We will progress [in seasons] 11 and 12, and we will progress after. It’s a long-term plan; it’s not a sprint race, it’s a marathon,” he said.
Up next is the Diriyah double-header on January 26 and 27. Hyderabad was slated to host the fourth round, but the race has been cancelled, with Formula E looking at pursuing action against the Government of Telangana for a “breach of contract”.
2024 Mexico City E-Prix results
|2024 Mexico City E-Prix results
|Nyck de Vries
|Lucas di Grassi
|Sergio Sette Camara
|Antonio Felix da Costa