STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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

Article Image

Lucas di Grassi pipped Pascal Wehrlein in a photo finish in arguably the most thrilling ePrix ever.

Posted: Mar 8, 2019 12:30 PM
Updated: Mar 8, 2019 12:30 PM

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!

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

I cannot even describe it ... it was was so dramatic. I had so much adrenaline! I really wanted to win that race so much that when I did it in the last few meters, I could not believe it myself!

When I crossed the line and realized I'd won, I could hear the crowd on the straight shouting. I was just super pumped and was shouting on the radio to thank the team.

And it was just crazy after, I had more adrenaline than usual. For example, you could dominate a race from the beginning, kind of expecting to win so the last like three laps you're building up to say: 'Okay, the race is under control, I'm going to win it, I'm going to win it.'

So if you dominate, you have a gap. But that moment I didn't know I was going to win it until like the last second, so the adrenaline was just ... a burst of emotions when I crossed the line.

I couldn't even celebrate that hard because we had testing the next day! Still I went for dinner with some friends and had a chilled night but I was super happy.

We had good fun at the dinner and the next day I had to wake up again at seven to go to testing.

But my family flew back from Brazil to our home in Monaco so now I have my small baby, who is seven months old, and my wife at home with me all the time -- I'm going to celebrate these little things.

Handling nerves

I don't get nervous at all. I think I sometimes get slightly excited about the race and if you're fighting for a championship of course you stay a little bit more tense, but that does not change my approach at all.

Trying to eat well is very important. In some countries, like in Mexico, it is quite tricky, so you try not to eat raw stuff, salad and sushi and fish, this type of stuff which it's easy to get a bad stomach from.

I don't have alcohol at all when we are at a race location! Normal breakfast I would have eggs with avocado and dinner probably a steak and potatoes, or pasta depending on what you feel like.

It's not really a very, very specific meal that I need to eat. During the race day we eat very light meals -- you cannot have a steak during lunch time during racing!

Normally I just have quinoa with vegetables and little bit of chicken.

Race preparations

For the flights when the time zone is more than five hours, we try to arrive Wednesday lunchtime, Wednesday morning, so three days before the race.

Wednesday is our chill out day, so we do some sightseeing to try and get used to the time zone, go to the gym and in the afternoon if you're tired try to sleep at the right time and wake up at the right time to get the cycle correct.

Then Thursday normally we have our PR activities during the day, so in the morning we shoot some videos for Audi, then in the afternoon we have a lot of interviews and some other PR to do.

Then Friday is the day that we go to the track and spend the whole day on the track, do the track walk. So pretty much technical stuff.

We have the meeting in the morning to decide what we will do for the whole weekend. So it's very structured technical analysis on Friday and then Saturday ... just like madness.

We wake up super early, six in the morning, and then ... I don't sleep very well during a race weekend but that has been normal in my career.

I sleep five, six hours a day and especially with the time zone it's even worse than that. Sometimes you have no sleep, but because you rested the whole week, it's not a problem to have one bad night of sleep.

Race day

On race day we wake up around 6:30. Free practice is at 7:30 or 8:00, so you have to arrive an hour before. In Mexico I left the hotel at six ... which is early!

After free practice you need the time to watch the data very closely, then you have practice 2 and then have qualifying.

For me this is probably the most tense moment of the day -- just before qualifying. Qualy is so important and it's so critical that you don't make any mistakes ... you basically have one lap.

If you miss or anything happens, yeah, your day is pretty much over! So that lap in qualifying is probably the most stressful, important moment of the day -- even more important than the race itself.

I try to not use my energy in stuff that you don't need to, you're just focused on stuff that matters. Saying hello to everybody and trying to make conversation, people often come up to you and want to talk during the race day -- but that's part of the game.

Sometimes you just try to hide yourself in a corner, stay within your zone, try to focus on what you need to do in the race.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
Rochester
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Storms a brewin'
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Will Memorial Day cause a coronavirus spike?

Image

Can you catch Covid-19 from mosquitos?

Image

125 Live Restaurant partnership

Image

Taps in City Park

Image

100 Most traveled days in MN have begun

Image

Parade in the park

Image

Field of Flags

Image

Pausing the pandemic to remember the fallen

Image

Memorial Day Dinner

Image

Salvation Army Dental Care Needs PPE

Community Events