Taking a risk paid off for Mitch Evans as the Jaguar driver secured victory in an action-packed Mexico E-Prix with a fearless overtake at the first corner.
Before a packed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, Evans overtook Andre Lotterer – who had secured a first pole for Porsche – after squeezing his car between the wall and Lotterer. He went on unchallenged to win the fourth race of the season.
In trying to defend his position, Lotterer was pushed out on to the grass and, consequently, to fifth. The Porsche driver failed to finish the race, smashing into the wall on the exit of Turn 3 with the corner of the car then catching fire.
“I’m happy to be at the front but I’m not going to get too excited yet,” Evans said afterwards.
“It’s nice to have don’t get me wrong, but it’s still way too early. Things can change pretty quick, so I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself.”
Evans, who managed a safety car restart that followed Nico Muller crashing at Turn 1, added: “I know how tight it is between the top 10 in the standings but, I’m sure, from one race to the next things are going to switch and change pretty frequently.”
DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa finished 4.271 seconds behind in second, while Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi came third as he took advantage of the rear of Nyck de Vries’ car snapping.
Sam Bird looked set for second but the Envision Virgin Racing driver crashed out with four minutes to go when under pressure from De Costa.
Evans leads the overall standings by a point. BMW iAndretti’s Alexander Sims moves to second, while De Costa is third.
Fourteen drivers failed to finish the race. Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne was one, hitting the wall at the exit of Turn 3, which meant he failed to score for the first time this season and drops to fourth in the championship.