The Mexico City ePrix turned out to be dramatic all round, but Sam Bird picked up more points for DS Virgin Racing.
After the challenges of a dusty track in free practice, Bird and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne both came top of their groups during qualifying and started in places six and 10, respectively. But, as the race kicked off, Vergne came head to head with Loic Duval of Dragon Racing as he tried to overtake him coming into the first chicane. Vergne was sent into an uncontrollable spin as the two cars clashed and he lost 11 places.
He continued with a damaged car to make it to the pitstop but a technical problem with his second car effectively brought his race to an end and he ended up a lap down on his competitors, unable to recover.
“Duval blocked me and I had nowhere to go, I was so far behind. I managed to make up those few places, the car was great today and I know for a fact as I was going as fast as I could in that respect,” Vergne said. “It was a different race for me after the problem in the pit-stop, when I left the pit-lane I was being lapped by the leaders. These things happen and I don’t intend to repeat what happened today. I am learning and I know I’m not having a great year but I envisage a long term relationship with DS Virgin Racing and I want to do better. One thing that did cheer up my day was the amazing atmosphere here – such brilliant fans and spectators.”
Bird’s day ended more successfully after starting in 10th place and gaining three places before crossing the finish line. He was moved up a place to finish sixth after winner Lucas Di Grassi was disqualified due to his car was found to be underweight.
DS Virgin Racing Formula E Mexico City 2016
“It was a tough drive and the points we gained are invaluable,” Bird said. “I know it perhaps wasn’t the ideal outcome overall for the team but we’re resilient and like Jev says, I believe we will only improve.”