By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
Three months after his first apparent victory was stripped away by a technical infringement in Hong Kong, Daniel Abt returned to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Mexico City.
Abt took over the lead after an excellent car swap from his Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team and drove off to claim Saturday’s Mexico City E-Prix, giving Audi their first win of Season 4 and earning his first series victory.
The German gained six seconds during the car swaps, taking advantage of the recently-removed minimum stop time to emerge clear of former leader Oliver Turvey on Lap 23 of 47. From there the race was for second as Abt pull away to a dominant victory. The fourth-year driver crossed the line 6.398 seconds clear of his closest competitor.
Turvey survived off a fierce challenge from Sebastien Buemi to snag second, earning his first-career Formula E podium in 29 series starts and capping off a strong weekend for NIO Formula E Team. Buemi followed to complete the podium in third, scoring his second-straight finish in the top three.
Nelson Piquet Jr. ended the day in fourth, with Jean-Eric Vergne rounding out the top five to maintain his points lead by 12 points over Felix Rosenqvist. Misfortune befell Rosenqvist, who led the opening 14 circuits from pole before stalling on-track with a shut-off issue that led him to retire after just 34 circuits.
Mitch Evans, Antonio Felix da Costa, Edoardo Mortara, Lucas di Grassi and Jose Maria Lopez rounded out the points. Di Grassi earned his first points of Season Four, tallying three markers after also claiming the Visa Fastest Lap award during the event.
Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost joined Rosenqvist in the garage area early. Heidfeld was forced to retire due to power issues in his Mahindra Racing machine, while Prost was sent to the garage as a result of suspension damage after a run-in with DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird.
The Formula E paddock will return to action on March 17, when the field heads to Uruguay for the CBMM Niobium Punta del Este E-Prix.