Esteban Gutiérrez will make his Formula E debut in front of his home fans at this weekend’s Mexico City ePrix.
Techeetah confirmed earlier this month that the former-F1 driver will replace Ma Qing Hua for the rest of the season. Ma failed to make much of an impact in the series, failing to pick up any points over seven races. His best result came in London last year, when he finished eleventh.
Gutiérrez raced for Haas until he was replaced by Kevin Magnussen in November last year. The Mexican has had limited experience behind the wheel of the electric car, with his first drive at a demonstration event in Mexico City last week.
This will be the second ePrix to take place around the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome. The Formula E circuit is based around the oval track, but follows the grand prix layout within these confines. This includes a number of corners that wind through the baseball stadium and give fans in the grandstands a fantastic view of the cars.
Last year’s race proved to be a pivotal moment in deciding the drivers’ title. Race winner Lucas di Grassi was disqualified after his car was found to be underweight by the stewards (it’s thought that a leaky fire extinguisher was to blame). The dropped points could have given di Grassi a comfortable championship victory; instead, he lost out to Sébastien Buemi by just 2 points.
This handed victory to Jérôme d’Ambrosio of Dragon Racing, who will realistically struggle to match his performance based on the look of the Faraday Future car so far this season. Third and fourth went to Buemi and team-mate Nicolas Prost. Renault should feel more confident about bettering these positions this time around.
Elsewhere in the field, Jean-Éric Vergne will to push for another podium finish after finishing second in Buenos Aires. With the attention of the local media and the crowd on his team-mate, he may find this the ideal opportunity to strike. Behind Renault, there is still little to separate the chasing pack. The racetrack-like layout will advantage drivers who have struggled in the tighter street-layout courses. An exciting race is in prospect.
When to watch
Qualifying for the race starts at 12 noon local time (2pm Eastern / 7pm UK / 8pm CEST) followed by the race at 4pm local (6pm Eastern / 11pm UK / midnight CEST). A full qualifying and race report will be posted here after each session.
Image: Last year’s ePrix at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome © Formula E