Renault e.dams leave the first ever Mexico ePrix, the fifth round of the FIA Formula E Championship, with a podium for Nico Prost (left) and Sebastien Buemi (right), as well as fastest lap of the race.
The FIA’s first fully-electric single-seater series visited the Autodromo Hemanos Rodriguez this weekend for the fifth instalment of the 2015/16 campaign, where the Renault e.dams boys were immediately on the pace behind the wheel of the Renault Z.E.15.
Indeed, after topping Saturday’s two free practice sessions both Sebastien and Nico made it through to Superpole having qualified fastest during the group stages. Nico, who went out fourth in the single-lap shootout, posted the second-fastest time behind Dragon Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio before Sebastien took to the track. However, a mistake from the Swiss ace meant that he would begin the 43-lap contest fifth.
At lights out both Nico and Sebastien held their positions, despite the tight first chicane of the specially adapted Formula E layout. Only a few laps in, Sebastien made his move on Daniel Abt to claim fourth, while Nico maintained second behind D’Ambrosio and resisting pressure from ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas di Grassi. With this top-5 remaining close throughout the first half of the race, it was during the mandatory car swap that everything would change.
Whilst Sebastien exited the Renault e.dams garage first to claim P3 from his team-mate, an unsafe release for Nico saw him receive a drive-through penalty from Race Control, relegating him to fifth where he would eventually cross the line. Meanwhile, Sebastien locked horns with D’Ambrosio as the pair battled for second place, which allowed di Grassi to extend his gap at the front. But taking the fight right to the line, Sebastien claimed the third step of the podium only a tenth of a second behind the Belgian D’Ambrosio.
Following post-race investigations by the Stewards, di Grassi was disqualified from the results due to weight restrictions, promoting Sebastien to second place. In addition, a 15-second penalty added to Loic Duval’s result promotes Nico to third, as well as being awarded the fastest lap. Renault e.dams and Sebastien now maintain their lead in both the Teams’ and Drivers’ standings.