‘Just crazy’: How it felt to win the Mexico ePrix on the line

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 16: Race winner Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler celebrates on the podium at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on February 16, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by FIA ABB Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
Top three moments of the Mexico City ePrix
00:47 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: Editor’s note: At the previous race in Mexico City, Lucas di Grassi was involved in arguably the most exciting ePrix in the sport’s five seasons. Pascal Wehrlein led for the entire race but his battery’s charge hit 0% just meters from the finish line, allowing Di Grassi to pass him on the inside. In a column for CNN, the Brazilian driver gives us an insight into what it’s like for elite drivers on an intense weekend of racing.

CNN  — 

During the race I was preparing the attack in the last few laps, saving energy. Every lap I knew that I had to attack at one moment … so it was all about saving energy, saving energy, saving energy.

We don’t know the energy levels of everyone at any time. Just sometimes you have these numbers from TV.

So I knew from my engineer back at the garage that I had more energy than Pascal Wehrlein, and we also knew that I had more energy than the Nissans and so I was in a strong position.

But that still does not mean that you can overtake. You can defend quite easily in Mexico, so the situation was that I was putting pressure on Wehrlein during the last few laps to make sure he was also under pressure to use energy – and then in the last lap just run out of it.

So that was actually a perfectly executed strategy!

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 16: Lucas Di Grassi of Brazil and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler celebrates after winning the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix on February 16, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Lucas di Grassi relives thrilling Mexico ePrix
02:39 - Source: CNN

I didn’t know Wehrlein was going to be penalized [for cutting the chicane], but I knew that move was not correct from what we agreed on at the drivers’ briefing.

He’s saying that he didn’t gain position but he gained energy because if you have to stop and re-accelerate, you have to use a lot of energy to accelerate a car.

He just coasted straight, so he gained a lot of energy compared to me because I had to stop the car, do the chicane and accelerate again.

So it might have been the case if did that chicane, he does not finish the race.

READ: Lucas di Grassi wins Mexico E Prix as race leader’s battery dies on the line

READ: Pascal Wehrlein recalls his battery dying meters from the line

Winning emotions