Race Recap: 2023 Mexico City E-Prix

As the first race of a new era for Formula E, the 2023 Mexico City E-Prix marked a journey into the unknown as Maserati MSG Racing embraced a new dawn for fully electric motorsport.


The 41-lap foray delivered intrigue and drama alike, and from the grandstands, an insatiable appetite for racing was cured by an action-filled afternoon.


The passion and energy from the Foro Sol only elevated the euphoric atmosphere, and the roar of the crowd echoed throughout the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.


While the E-Prix served up a series of challenges for Maserati MSG Racing, it’s the difficult days that facilitate the best opportunities for reflection and learning.


This is our race breakdown, Mexico City-style.


A Challenging Qualifying

Situated more than two kilometres above sea-level, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is unlike any other circuit on the Formula E calendar.


High ambient temperatures and thin air impact various aspects of performance, but decreased downforce and therefore, more tyre overheating, was defining during our qualifying.


From Groups A and B, Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Günther showed promise, yet changing grip levels ultimately kept the duel stages of the session just out of reach.


Starting from 16th and 17th, both drivers faced an uphill recovery, yet embraced the task at hand as soon as the race got underway.


A Competitive Start

By casting the disappointment of qualifying to one side, hopes for the race were high. Both Edo and Max were in strong spirits, and at the start, the only way was forwards.


Showcasing his feline-like reactions, Edo was immediately on the offensive on lap one and was charging alongside McLaren’s René Rast into the first corner.


The Swiss-Italian held the inside line, and Rast the out, but by continuing to run side-by-side, it was Edo who found the advantage by hanging it around the outside of Turn Three.


One position gained was positive progress and in the face of two Safety Car periods, Edo and Max settled into an energy saving rhythm to strike back in the mid- and late-stages of the race.


A Bitter Snap

Two early Safety Cars – caused by a collision for Robin Frijns and a technical failure for Sam Bird – triggered a stop-start routine in the early stages of Saturday’s race.


Every push was broken up by a cooldown period, and as such, finding a balance on tyre temperatures and therefore, grip, proved to be a challenge.


Pushing hard to make up more ground, and with spare energy at his disposal, this caught out Edo at the start of lap 17 when a sudden snap of oversteer at the apex of Turn One tipped him into a spin, into the wall and out of the race.


This incident left Max as our sole runner, but with the same evident pace, the young German embarked on a comeback drive for the ages.


The Comeback King

During the first stage of the race, Max had enjoyed his own battles in the field and when green flag running resumed, the 25-year-old found himself in 14th with both Attack Modes still remaining.


He activated his first deployment on lap 25 and his second before the final five laps to set out on an impressive dash to the chequered flag.


In a fraught end to the race, Max overtook Nico Müller, Oliver Rowland, and Rast to threaten for points and next, closed in on two-time Formula E champion Jean-Éric Vergne.


He vanquished the Frenchman in the final corner on the final lap to finish 11th, falling only 0.614 seconds short of reigning World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne who scored the final point.


A Weekend of Learning

The first race of a new era presents a window of opportunities, and from Mexico City, we took away invaluable information and insight that will only better our performance in the future.


With the Diriyah E-Prix approaching, we now reset and reflect with the intention of returning to the sharp end of the grid for the first double-header event of Season 9.