A tense and dramatic race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, saw DS Virgin Racing move up to 3rd position in the championship, after a podium finish for Sam Bird and 6th position for Jose Maria Lopez. This result is very encouraging for the team and proves the pace that the DSV-02 is capable of.
The day wasn’t without its ups and downs, as disappointing practice sessions left the team struggling for grip moving into qualifying. However, set up changes and great performances from both drivers meant Jose Maria Lopez started in 2nd position on the grid and Sam Bird in 5th.
A chaotic start to the Mexico City ePrix saw an early crash on lap 2 which resulted in Prost, Sarrazin and Di Grassi in the pits for nose and wing repairs. Both DS Virgin Racing drivers managed to avoid the chaos and maintained their positions at P2 and P5 with a safety car for the next 2 laps.
Jose Maria Lopez was able to pass a slowing Oliver Turvey and took the lead before the safety car was deployed to move his striken car off the track. Pechito was looking strong and was pulling away from the field for several laps.
An early car change from Di Grassi and D’Ambrosio during the safety car period meant that following all pit stops Lopez and the chasing pack were leapfrogged, but Jose Maria Lopez had more than 20% more energy than both drivers ahead of him.
Sam Bird was also looking strong in 5th place and it looked as though a 1 and 2 finish could have been possible as D’Ambrosio was struggling for energy in 2nd place. After fighting with D’Ambrosio for a number of laps, Lopez tried to overtake on the outside of turn one, but lost the rear of the car in the dust causing him to spin off track losing a number of places.
A drawn out battle with Sam and Vergne saw their cars coming very close at times. With D’Ambrosio losing more energy, Sam moved into 3rd position on lap 44 with an excellent pass on the outside of turn 2 securing his podium finish. Shortly after, a collision in the stadium section involving multiple cars meant that Lopez finished the race in 6th place.
José María López: “The team gave me an excellent car today. Throughout the first half of the race I was faster than those behind me and didn’t have a problem keeping the gap. For the first time this season I knew I had the pace to win. I felt I needed to overtake D’Ambrosio at that time but maybe it was the wrong place. This will take some time to pass but the positive is we proved as a team today with Sam, we have the pace to win races”.