The Envision driver entered the Formula E season opener at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit with high hopes as Jaguar-powered occupied the top positions over the weekend.
The Dutchman topped his qualifying group, but a mistake in his quarter-final duel left him seventh on the grid before a problem off the line dropped him further down the field.
His weekend went from bad to worse as he lost control on the eighth lap through Turn 18 and collided with the barrier, which put him out on the spot.
“Struggling with the handling and tried to overtake Edo [Mortara, who had taken his Attack Mode], maybe I put one wheel in the dust, not sure, but I completely lost the rear, and it caught me by surprise,” Frijns told Motorsport.com.
“The handling was not at all how I expected; the handling was basically the worst [of] the entire weekend, which was kind of unfortunate because I felt strong.”
Frijns’s race had been compromised from the very start as he struggled to get off the line, having ‘completely’ lost drive, which the team believes was due to an unknown technical fault.
“I had no warning on the dash; it just stopped,” said Frijns.
“Not restart it, I just went off power and back on and went again. We don’t know what the problem was and still don’t.”
Frijns was not the only driver who failed to reach the finish in Mexico City, with Lucas di Grassi forced into retirement on the opening lap due to a braking issue.
The issue which ‘was obvious from the first corner,’ eventually sent the Abt Cupra driver into the run-off area at Turn 12 before recovering to the pits and retiring.
“A brake issue from the start, we don’t really exactly what it is,” di Grassi told Motorsport.com.
“I went into the garage to solve it to try and come back, but it was unsolvable, it was a bigger problem. We’re going to look at the data, strip the car apart, but s**t day in the office.”
While Di Grassi was an early retirement, Sergio Sette Camara was unable to even take the start of the race due to a technical problem.
The ERT driver, who was due to start on the 18th, was forced to come to a stop on the installation lap to the grid.
“There was a very loud noise coming from the back of the car and then some smoke, and then the car shut down by itself,” Sette Camara told Motorsport.com.
“I saw the red light, which means the car is unsafe. I jumped out, and then the FIA said I could not continue.
“Clearly a big issue, which meant our race was over before it even started.”