Porsche denied maiden victory in Formula E
A technical rule breach means disqualification in Mexico
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team arrived in Mexico at the weekend for rounds 8 and 9 of the 2021 championship. The Autodromo Miguel E. Abed, a 2.9-kilometre short course using part of the larger Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, was a new challenge for all the drivers, but Porsche, and Pascal Wehrlein in particular, looked imperious from the start.
The young German factory driver took pole position for Round 8 on Saturday and dominated the race from start to finish, his 99X Electric crossing the line more than three seconds ahead of Wehrlein’s nearest rival. However, both Wehrlein and his teammate André Lotterer were disqualified shortly after the race following a stewards’ decision regarding the formal declaration of the race tyres, which themselves were legal.
“It’s hard to find the right words for what happened today,” said Wehrlein. “After qualifying on pole, we deserved the first win and we did it too on this track. Ultimately, a mistake was made in the tyre registration, which wouldn’t have changed the performance. In my opinion, disqualification is a very tough penalty. But now we’re looking ahead and we’ll attack again tomorrow.”
And Porsche did indeed come back fighting on the Sunday, with Wehrlein once again on impressive form, qualifying on the front row for the second successive day with Lotterer back in 10th. Wehrlein would continue his positive weekend in the No. 99 all-electric Porsche, finishing second with Lotterer back in 17th. However, there was one final twist still to come in Mexico, with Wehrlein awarded a five second time penalty, which pushed him back down the order to fourth, reducing his points haul for the day from 18 to 12 for an overall total of 48. The final result now places him 12th in the Drivers’ Championship.
“We were really strong over the entire weekend. Compared to the last race we took a huge step forward. I’m very happy about that,” said Wehrlein after the race. “My relationship with the team gets better from race to race. I understand how to get even faster with the Porsche 99X Electric, and the team understands how I’d like the car to be. We can be proud of the progress that we’ve made together. First and second in qualifying, first and second in the race – without the disqualification and the time penalty we’d be on top of the championship right now. I look forward to the races in New York City.”
Rounds 10 and 11 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will take place in New York on 10 and 11 July.