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Drone chases Formula E car around circuit

Formula E made Mexico debut early March

All-electric series racing at Long Beach next

CNN  — 

Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit has witnessed some titanic tussles down the years, but nothing ever quite like this.

Pitting a drone against an electric racing car would have been inconceivable just a decade ago, but today it just seems like the natural thing to do.

So that’s just what FIA Formula E and Mahindra Racing did prior to the Mexico ePrix at the beginning of March.

With U.S. racer Scott Speed at the controls of a Renault car and Formula E driver Bruno Senna remotely controlling his own quadcopter, “The Chase” – as the exhibition was dubbed by organizers – offered a dramatic new perspective on electric racing cars.

As Speed tore off the start line, Senna was in hot pursuit, tracking him from on high down the home straight before following all the twists and turns as Speed – the last American to race full time in Formula One – darted around the new 30,000-seat stadium section.

“It was very cool to have such a spectacular circuit to ourselves with a drone and a racing car to play with,” Senna said in a statement.

“Scott Speed really got into the spirit of the game, trying to confuse me by spinning and switching direction in the stadium or slowing down and then accelerating as fast as he could.

“It was so much fun and the footage from the drone looks really great.”

During his stay in Mexico, which hosted round five of the 2015-2016 Formula E World Championship, Senna also took CNN Supercharged presenter Nicki Shields on a more conventional circuit tour ahead of the ePrix.

The track walk (see the video at the bottom of the page) was especially poignant for Senna as he visited the famous Peraltada corner – scene of a horrendous crash his uncle Ayrton Senna suffered during practice for the 1991 Mexico Grand Prix.

The late Brazilian clinched his third F1 world title that year, and the last before his tragic death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

“He was trying a different gear,” Senna explained about the 1991 crash.

“Instead of fifth gear, he tried sixth gear and he paid for it. Luckily there was no harm done – only for the car,” he added.

A quarter of a century on at the inaugural Mexico ePrix, Senna couldn’t quite emulate his late uncle, who finished third in the 1991 Grand Prix – the 32-year-old finished 10th behind eventual winner Jerome D’Ambrosio.

Senna and co. are back in action this weekend as Formula E heads to Long Beach, California for round six of the 11-race series.

Visit CNN’s motorsport page for more Formula E news

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Bruno Senna revisits scene of uncle's famous crash
02:55 - Source: CNN