Britain’s Oliver Turvey recorded his first ever podium finish in Formula E, after shocking the grid by finishing second in the Mexico City E-Prix, as Daniel Abt became the first ever German race winner in the sport’s history.
The tens of thousands who packed the iconic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez grandstands were treated to an incident-packed race as both Abt and Turvey exorcised some demons to enjoy their best-ever results in ABB FIA Formula E.
Turvey qualified on pole at the Mexico E-Prix, only to fail to finish the race, while Abt won Race 2 of the season in Hong Kong only to have his victory stripped away due to a technical violation with his Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler car.
And Turvey – who previously studied engineering at Cambridge University – led a turnaround in form for both himself and his team NIO Formula E, who were sitting bottom of the team standings prior to the lights going green in Mexico.
The result moves Penrith-born Turvey up to ninth in the championship standings, with the season heading to its half way stage in Punta Del Este later this month.
In one of just two traditional track races on the Formula E calendar, the 20 drivers raced 47 laps of an adapted 2.093-kilometre circuit at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and contented with altitude of over 2,200 metres above sea level.
With all proceeds from the race being donated to post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Mexico City, and all teams sporting the hashtag #FuerzaMexico on their cars’ livery, there was a special atmosphere in the packed grandstands.
Both Rosenqvist and Turvey got off to excellent starts from the front row, while third-placed Antonio Felix da Costa quickly fell back to seventh place as both Nelson Piquet JR and Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne took advantage.
Abt began in fifth and quietly worked his way up the field until a mistake from Buemi allowed the young German to slip into second place and he quickly closed the gap between him and race-leader Turvey.
And at the pit stop Turvey was held up by Nico Prost which allowed Abt to come out in front and take the lead which the 25-year-old never relented.
Buemi used his FANBOOST to overtake Vergne on lap 28 to move back into third place and soon was closing down Turvey. The Swiss racer tried an audacious overtake on the penultimate lap but locked up, as did Turvey in a slightly panicked response, but that was the final test as the Englishman held on to second place.
Despite finishing off the podium, it was a good day for Vergne, who continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship, as both second placed Rosenqvist and third placed Sam Bird failed to score points. Sebastian Buemi also moves closer to contention, lying in fourth place and just nine points behind DS Virgin Racing’s Bird.
The race also ended on an unlucky run of results for di Grassi, as he raced brilliantly to move from 20th to 9th and secure his first points of the season. He also drove the fastest lap to gain an extra point and keep slim hopes of retaining his title alive.
But the day belonged to Abt, who’s victory has thrown the title race wide open ahead of the Punta del Este E-Prix in two weeks’ time.