MEXICO CITY – Daniel Abt earned his first victory in the FIA Formula E Championship in Mexico City on Saturday afternoon.
After agonisingly being stripped of a win for a post-race technical infringement in Hong Kong, Abt finally earned a place at the top step of the podium on Saturday. The result in front of the Mexican fans also marks the first victory for Audi as a factory team.
Abt progressed through the field during the early phase of the race from fifth on the grid and took the lead during the pit-stop window. The German inherited one position after Julius Baer polesitter Felix Rosenqvist ground to a halt due to a technical glitch while leading the field on lap 15.
Abt stuck close behind the gearbox of Sebastien Buemi, but eased his way into second spot after the Renault e.dams driver ran wide at turn one shortly before the mandatory mid-race car swap.
As the cars peeled into their garages, Abt had closed the gap to leader Oliver Turvey and put himself in prime position to jump the NIO driver. Turvey – who looked set to win in Mexico City last year, but retired due to a technical fault – had his eyes set on the top step again. However, Abt was strapped in quicker than his nearest rival in the pits and comfortably jumped ahead of Turvey to move into first.
With a clear road ahead, Abt pulled away for his first Formula E victory.
“We came here knowing that we had a super-fast car and 12 points overall in the team,” said Abt. “In Formula E, anything can happen – you have to focus on every lap. The mechanics were very, very fast today – I don’t know how they were able to do that but it was key for the victory and I’m very thankful for them. We didn’t give up, we kept believing in it and today was just a fantastic day. But we’ve seen Formula E is unpredictable – we saw that with Felix – and we just need to keep doing our best. For now, I’m just very proud of the team and it’s been a great day.”
Buemi pressured Turvey for second all the way to the checkered flag but couldn’t find a way past. Nelson Piquet Jr. finished fourth for Panasonic Jaguar, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne in fifth.
Daniel Abt, Oliver Turvey, Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr., Jean-Eric Vergne, Mitch Evans, Antonio Felix da Costa, Edoardo Mortara, Lucas di Grassi, Alex Lynn, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Jose Maria Lopez, Andre Lotterer, Lucas Filippi, Tom Blomqvist, Maro Engel, Sam Bird, Nico Prost, Felix Rosenqvist, Nick Heidfeld.