Mexico City threw up a far more encouraging E-Prix for DS TECHEETAH, with Jean-Eric Vergne able to follow up a double points-score in Diriyah with third place - the team's first trophy of Season 8 - while Antonio Felix da Costa recovered from a blank to follow the Frenchman home fourth.
The team rounded out the weekend as the best of the rest following Porsche's perfectly-executed race-day. The pair showed promise throughout practice and faced off in the Quarter-Finals - with Vergne narrowly getting the better of da Costa to make it through to the Semis.
Eventual race winner Pascal Wehrlein pipped him there and strode on to pole, but the DS' were able to make good on their qualifying performance to finish third and fourth - amid a real scrap up and down the top 10 with positions in flux and Porsche forcing an extra lap out of the pack.
Highlights: The Mexico City E-Prix Round 3
A good call
A strategy call from the team ensured they'd be best placed as the German outfit forced a 40th lap at the death. Vergne lost ground initially but made it back by the rest. Even if the Porsches strode away, the Frenchman was pleased to extend his scoring streak after eighth and sixth in Rounds 1 & 2, respectively.
"It was an interesting race," said Vergne, who was also contending with a stomach bug. "I got as high as second and I had more energy than Mortara. It was looking good for the win but the team asked me to change strategy and I lost a lot of positions all of a sudden. I was able to get them back by the end, but obviously not the Porsches - they did an amazing race.
"I'm happy with the podium - it was a tough weekend for me but I think we were the second best team in Mexico, which is a big improvement on Diriyah. We'll keep pushing as we need to score every race to come back in the championship."
'A race of two halves'
"It was a race of two halves," said Season 6 champion da Costa. "You saw a lot of guys going really fast then having to slow down in the end. The only guys on the right plan from the beginning were the Porsches. They showed they were very strong as they were able to keep the pace even going a lap longer.
"When everyone realised the race was going longer, everything got confused again and we were able to go forward and finish third and fourth as a team. For me, being behind JEV for a long time, I always had to look in my mirrors. I don't know how many fights or overtakes I had - I got passed a million times and it was a lot of action.
"We had a really bad start to the season arriving in Mexico with no points so my message to the team was that I wanted to get out of here with a good haul of points. We did that and with the month-and-a-half break to Rome, it gives us confidence and puts us in the right mood to keep working and understanding where we can do better. It went exactly as we planned, so I'm very pleased with it."
Published on 17th February 2022