(Motorsport-Total.com) – Porsche Andretti’s customer team won the first race of the Gen3 era of Formula E on Saturday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Jake Dennis, who started second from the front row, took the lead after about a third of the race distance and didn’t give it up until the end. (PHOTOS: The 2023 Formula E season opener in Mexico City)
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Jake Dennis (Andretti Porsche) is the first winner of the 2023 Formula E World Championship
Dennis, a young man in the service of Michael Andretti’s team, finally drove confidently to victory at the premiere of the new generation of Formula E cars. After the race distance was extended from 36 to 41 laps, Dennis was the winner by 7.8 seconds over Porsche Works driver Pascal Wehrlein, who won last year’s E-Mexican Prix.
Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra) completed the opening podium of the 2023 season, starting from pole position. (Result: Formula E 2023 Opening in Mexico City)
Polsitter di Grassi led the first twelve laps. These featured two stages of vehicle safety due to harmless accidents. Dennis took over shortly after the second restart.
It wasn’t long before Edoardo Mortara (Maserati) spun at the start/finish straight for the next Safety Car stage. The reason: The Italo-Swiss car was stuck rear first in the track barrier, a TecPro barrier.
In the third period, Dennis confidently defended his lead and then gradually pulled away from Di Grassi. The Brazilian also failed to serve Mahindra to finish second. He lost that to Porsche driver Wehrlin, who started from P6.
While the first two places were covered, di Grassi had to fight hard for his place on the podium. Because Jake Hughes (McLaren), a newcomer to Formula E, put a lot of pressure on the experienced Brazilian on the laps, but could not overtake them – on the contrary. In the closing stages, Andretti’s teammate to race winner Dennis, Andre Lotterer, managed to overtake Hughes. Lotterer finished fourth, while Hughes finished fifth on his debut.
Sebastien Buemi (Envision), Antonio Felix da Costa (Porsche), Mitch Evans (Jaguar), Nick Cassidy (Envision) and last year’s champion Stoffel Vandoorne (DS-Penske) rounded out the top ten in the first race of the new season. Maximilian Gunther (Maserati) dropped the points with the P11.
Cancellation of Rene Rast and Co.
Apart from Günther’s Maserati teammate Edoardo Mortara, other drivers retired at the season opener. Sam Bird did not finish due to a technical defect in his Jaguar. McLaren driver Rene Rast had to retire shortly before the finish due to a technical issue.
For Robin Frijns (Abt Cobra), on the other hand, it was over on the first lap. The reason was the collision with Norman Natto, which in the end also meant the end of the Nissan driver. The cases with Bird and Frijns/Nato were the reasons for the first two of a total of three safety car stages.
The first championship leader in the 2023 Formula E World Championship is race winner Jake Dennis, who, in addition to 25 points for winning, also gets a bonus point for the fastest lap in the race. After the season opener, Dennis has eight more points than his two direct pursuers. Because Lucas di Grassi, who finished third, has 18 points, just like Pascal Wehrlein, having conceded three points from the start.
The 2023 Formula E calendar continues with the first double header of the season. The race will take place in Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) on January 27 and 28 (Friday and Saturday).