Mixed race for Mexican duo in home Grand Prix (VIDEO)

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Neither Sergio Perez nor Esteban Gutierrez enjoyed the Mexican Grand Prix they would have preferred, but still managed to excite their home crowd at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Perez spent most of his race stuck behind the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, and with the top-end advantage of the cars in front of him, Perez was unable to get by.

The Sahara Force India driver eventually ended in 10th place, to keep his streak of consecutive points finishes alive to eight races and counting since the German Grand Prix in July.

“We knew before race, if there was one car we didn’t want to be fighting with, for position, it was a Williams,” Perez told NBCSN after the race. “We struggled a lot behind them. It was difficult to get them. We just spent the whole race behind. Nothing I could do to get them.”

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 30:  Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India waves to the crowd on the drivers parade before the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 30: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India waves to the crowd on the drivers parade before the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Gutierrez’ race was less fruitful, starting 17th and finishing 19th on a weekend where Haas F1 Team struggled for performance from the off.

Gutierrez made it up to 12th early following a battle with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, and after surviving once Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson had collided. But despite switching late from mediums to softs, he was unable to make up ground to the finish.

“It was a difficult race. We had to take care a lot of the brakes. Braked almost 200m before. It wasn’t ideal,” Gutierrez told NBCSN.

But on the whole, Gutierrez was still pleased to take part in his first of what he hopes will be several home races.

“It was a very special, emotional moment in my career,” he added. “I am confident I will be back. We’re pushing all the way and we’ll find out more in the next two weeks.

“I wish we could have been able to deliver something better this weekend but, unfortunately, we were not able to this time. However, it was an amazing weekend – racing in my home country in front of all the Mexican people – and I really want to thank them because they’ve really made it a race to remember.”

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 30: Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico and Haas F1 on the drivers parade before the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.