Alex Lynn's victory on home soil in the Heineken® London E-Prix Round 13 ended a four-year, 40-race fight for a spot on the top step in Formula E, and sealed a long overdue return to the winners' circle for Mahindra Racing after two-and-a-half years.
Alex Lynn finally uncorked the Moet & Chandon in Formula E at the Heineken® London E-Prix Round 13, four years after lining up for his debut E-Prix on pole position in New York City - and just a stone's throw from his birthplace in Romford; that winners' champagne must have tasted doubly sweet.
The 27-year-old has spent time in and out of Formula E in those four years, though his pace, performance and dedication to earning a full-time drive has never been in doubt. Spells at DS Virgin Racing, as was, in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns amounted to around a season in a race seat.
A move to Jaguar Racing followed in 2018/19 before the Brit stepped into the fold at the Season 6 Berlin Finale, in place of Pascal Wehrlein at Mahindra Racing. Pace and points were rewarded by Team Principal Dilbagh Gill with a permanent seat alongside Alexander Sims followed for Formula E's first season as an FIA World Championship.
Race one in London saw Lynn lead his first laps in the championship, from Julius Baer Pole Position. He ultimately slid to third but silverware showed he'd be in the mix for race two. Overnight, Mahindra learned a thing or two and for Round 13, Lynn and the team put all the pieces together for an emotional and popular race win.
"It's really difficult to put into words to be honest," says Lynn. "After four years on and off in Formula E, always dreaming of one day maybe coming close to winning a race – it’s been a difficult one for me so to win is super special; it really is a dream come true. I’ve never felt anything like that. On Saturday, I led my first ever laps in the championship and on Sunday, managed to win - which is crazy.
"We did make a step forward. At every double-header we've done recently, actually, the Saturday has usually been quite painful in the race, and then we learn a lot overnight and improve the car. We're struggling to get it right first time. I think the Safety Car periods definitely helped with a tyre temperature.
The Brit navigated a frenetic encounter that had a bit of everything, and the decisive moment of the race took place with the pack released from a spell under the Safety Car on Lap 13. Down at the double hairpin, Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) made a move for the lead with a surprise lunge on Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) who had led away from Julius Baer Pole Position - taking both out of the race.
Lynn sliced by Nyck de Vries at the same turn shortly afterwards via a well-timed 35kW ATTACK MODE boost, with what would ultimately be the race-winning move given Lucas di Grassi's disqualification. De Vries' early dart for his second activation had not paid dividends, and the Mercedes-EQ would have to settle for second spot despite the Dutchman's searing pace.
"The race was good and I think we had better pace than Saturday," adds Lynn. "Nyck (de Vries) passed me fairly early on in the race, but I was okay with that, because I knew he was going to be really quick and start hassling everyone else.
"I thought my race was with some other people, then some other things opened up around the first Safety Car and a bit of chaos started. We took our second ATTACK MODE at the right time when there was a bit of a melee and I guess made the right call at the right time.
"The last two weekends I’ve been passed by a Mercedes when they’ve used FANBOOST so it feels nice the other way around. I was really surprised because the car had good pace.
"We had a strong car and just managed to pass Nyck in ATTACK MODE - that was enough, thankfully. He was very, very fast out there and we had to make it happen. I’ve a huge crew of guys and girls to thank and we’ll enjoy the moment."
Published on 26th July 2021