Formula E news - Puebla E-Prix preview: All to race for in both championships with Robin Frijns in narrow lead
The Puebla E-Prix is just around the corner and it is still all to race for in both championships. Robin Frijns is top of the leaderboard, but the lead is a narrow one ahead of another cracking race. Antonio Felix da Costa will be aiming to produce another big win after powering his way back into title contention with his victory in Monaco last time out.
Antonio Felix da Costa reacts after winning the ABB FIA Formula E Monaco E-Prix on May 08, 2021 in Monaco
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship makes its first ever visit to Puebla in Mexico for Rounds 8 and 9 of Season 7 live on Eurosport 2 from 21:30 BST on Saturday and Sunday June 19/20.
Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa roared back into title contention last time out in Monaco with a stunning race victory delivered via a last-lap overtake, but a clear favourite for the Championship has yet to appear as the season heads into its second half.
Here are your key talking points ahead of the CBMM Niobium Puebla E-Prix double-header.
Formula E is most famous for its unpredictability and this season has been no different with Da Costa’s victory in Monaco being the Championship’s sixth winner from four different teams in seven races this year.
Da Costa pips Evans on last lap to win Monaco E-Prix
This means that heading into the midway point of the season it is all to play for in the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship with wafer thin margins at the top in both sets of standings.
Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns sits top of the Drivers’ Championship, just five points ahead of Nyck de Vries of Mercedes-Benz EQ but with 29 points available on a race weekend any of the top-10 drivers could end Round 8 top of the Championship. Furthermore, any driver could actually finish the double header weekend top with two pole place victories.
It is similar story in the Teams’ Championship with Mercedes-Benz EQ two points clear of Jaguar Racing at the top. They also face a hungry chasing pack looking to produce a weekend like DS TECHEETAH last time out, whose 41 points saw them fly up the leader-board into third place and just seven points off the top.
Flying Frijns Finds Himself Front
Robin Frijns in action at the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s
Image credit: Getty Images
Dutchman Frijns has consistently been one of the coolest men in the series – rarely flustered come win or lose – and he is replicating a performance in the mould of Season 5 where he finished fourth.
Yet to win a race this season or last – although he did win twice in Paris and New York City in Season 5 – the 29-year-old snuck to the top of the standings after pipping Mitch Evans on the line for second place in Monaco.
Long playing second fiddle to Sam Bird at Envision Virgin Racing, the Englishman’s move to join Evans at Jaguar Racing this season has allowed Frijns to step out as the true no.1 at one of Formula E’s original privateer teams.
Whether he can maintain the title challenge is still to be seen – but with plenty of experience in a topsy-turvy series sometimes it is the coolest heads that prevail.
Mercedes-Benz Look to Halt Slide
Finishing Round 5 of their second season in Formula E, Merecedes-Benz EQ looked to be emulating the dominance of their counterparts in Formula 1 having two men on the podium as they wrapped up their third race victory.
But in the two races since, things have taken a turn. Suffering a multitude of issues in day two of the Valencia double-header, Stoffel Vandoorne retired while Nyck de Vries finished all the way back in 16th.
A hiccup turned into a gulp as both men were forced into retirement last time out in Monaco which resulted in early Championship leader De Vries losing his place at the top and the chasing teams closing the gap to the German manufacturer.
With four double headers to finish the season and so many points on offer each time, no team can afford a rough weekend and Ian James’ outfit must rediscover their early season form when the Championship arrived in Puebla.
Fans back as Puebla welcomes Formula E
Antonio Felix da Costa reacts after winning the ABB FIA Formula E Monaco E-Prix on May 08, 2021 in Monaco, Monaco
Image credit: Getty Images
Mexico has been a mainstay of the Formula E calendar since 2016, with the iconic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track in Mexico City hosting some spectacular electric races. But with the usual track currently a COVID-19 vaccination centre, the Championship has moved into new territory at the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed in Puebla.
Always one of the most popular locations with drivers due to the passionate local fanbase, an agreed pandemic protocol will also allow 10,000 spectators into the track each day.
The Championship has held a strong relationship with the country on and off track, investing more than €250k into projects to support children in Mexico as part of Formula E’s partnership with UNICEF to build a positive legacy in race cities across the globe.
The return of fans creates an extra special element to the upcoming weekend and no doubt, the paddock will be looking to put on a show for them.