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2017 New York City ePrix

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2017 New York City ePrix
Race 9 of 12 of the 2016–17 Formula E season
New York Layout 2017.png
Race details
Date July 15, 2017
Official name 2017 FIA Formula E Qualcomm New York City ePrix
Location Brooklyn Street Circuit, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Course Street circuit
Course length 1.953 km (1.220 mi)
Distance 43 laps, 83.979 km (52.182 mi)
Weather Dry, Air: 29.25 to 29.8 °C (84.65 to 85.64 °F), Track: 32.8 to 33.9 °C (91.0 to 93.0 °F)
Pole position
Driver Virgin-Citröen
Time 1:03.296
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Maro Engel Venturi
Time 1:03.883 on lap 21
Podium
First Virgin-Citröen
Second Techeetah-Renault
Third Techeetah-Renault
2017 New York City ePrix
Race 10 of 12 of the 2016–17 Formula E season
New York Layout 2017.png
Race details
Date July 16, 2017
Official name 2017 FIA Formula E Qualcomm New York City ePrix
Location Brooklyn Street Circuit, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Course Street circuit
Course length 1.953 km (1.220 mi)
Distance 49 laps, 95.697 km (59.463 mi)
Weather Dry, Air: 28.6 to 29.5 °C (83.5 to 85.1 °F), Track: 28.35 to 28.9 °C (83.03 to 84.02 °F)
Pole position
Driver Virgin-Citröen
Time 1:02.285
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT
Time 1:03.898 on lap 7
Podium
First Virgin-Citröen
Second Mahindra
Third Mahindra

The 2017 New York City ePrix (formally the 2017 FIA Formula E Qualcomm New York City ePrix) were a pair of Formula E electric car races held on July 15 and 16, 2017 at the Brooklyn Street Circuit in Red Hook, Brooklyn before a two-day crowd of 20,000 people. They were the ninth and tenth races of the 2016–17 Formula E season and the inaugural running of the event. The first race, contested over 43 laps on 15 July, was won by Virgin driver Sam Bird after starting from fourth place. Jean-Éric Vergne finished second for Techeetah, and his teammate Stéphane Sarrazin came third. The longer 49-lap race held the following day was won by Bird from a pole position start. Mahindra teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld completed the podium's final two places.

Alex Lynn started from the pole position for the first race by recording the fastest lap in qualifying, but lost the lead to Daniel Abt at the start. Abt elected to conserve electrical energy, meaning he could not establish a healthy advantage at the front of the field and later struggled with his brakes, leading to his team to request that he focus on restoring electrical energy. After twice not being able to pass him two laps previously, Bird overtook Abt for first place on lap 16. Bird maintained the lead after the mandatory switch into his second car, until a safety car was necessitated for Heidfeld's stricken car. At the lap 41-restart, Bird kept the lead and fended off an overtaking manoeuvre by Vergne on the final lap to win. There were two lead changes among two different drivers during the course of the ePrix.

Bird carried over his strong pace from the previous day and secured the pole position for the second race, but lost the lead to Rosenqvist heading into the first turn. However, he was able to remain close behind Rosenqvist in the early stages of the race, catching the latter off guard following a restart, and passed him to retake the lead on the 11th lap. Lynn stopped his car on track nine laps later, prompting a full course yellow flag, and several drivers made pit stops to switch into their second cars. Bird chose to remain on track for one additional lap, and emerged back in the lead with extra electrical energy. Bird opened up a healthy advantage over the rest of the field, crossing the start/finish line after 49 laps to win. There was one lead change among two different drivers during the course of the race.

The victories were Bird's fourth and fifth of his career and he became the first driver to win both races of a double header weekend since Nico Prost at the 2016 London ePrix. The results of the races meant Lucas di Grassi narrowed the advantage of Drivers' Championship leader Sébastien Buemi (who was absent because of a World Endurance Championship commitment) to ten points. Rosenqvist maintained third position while Bird's two victories enabled him to move from seventh to fourth and Prost fell to fifth. e.Dams-Renault maintained their Teams' Championship lead with 229 points and their advantage over Audi Sport ABT had increased slightly by seven points. Mahindra remained in third and Virgin consolidated fourth with two races left in the season.

Background to race weekend[edit]

Preview[edit]

Coming into the double header from Berlin five weeks earlier, e.Dams-Renault driver Sébastien Buemi led the Drivers' Championship with 157 points, thirty-two ahead of nearest rival Lucas di Grassi in second, and a further thirty-nine in front of third-placed Felix Rosenqvist. Nico Prost was fourth on 72 points, and was nine points clear of Nick Heidfeld in fifth position.[1] e.Dams-Renault were leading the Teams' Championship with 229 points; Audi Sport ABT were second on 171 points, and Mahindra stood in third place with 149 points. With 97 points, Virgin were in fourth place, and Techeetah rounded out the top five forty points adrift.[1] e.Dams-Renault and Buemi had dominated the championship with di Grassi winning the Mexico City ePrix and Rosenqvist securing the first Berlin ePrix victory. Di Grassi, Sam Bird, Jean-Éric Vergne, José María López and Rosenqvist had all finished in second place at least once, and Rosenqvist and Mahindra teammate Heidfeld along with di Grassi and Bird had all taken at least one third-place.[1]

Preparations[edit]

In March 2014, it was announced that Formula E was working with New York City authorities to bring a motor race to the area.[2] Formula E's founder Alejandro Agag told CNN in May 2016 that he was "very optimistic" about the possibility of hosting an event in the city: "I've just come from New York looking at different venues, different possibilities. It's far from done yet but we are very optimistic. Our dream would be to have a race in New York."[3] Originally, planners considered Governors Island, Central Park, and Liberty State Park in Jersey City as possible locations for the track. However, these sites were not chosen since a Governors Island track would have been too costly; a Central Park track would have required cutting down trees; and Liberty State Park is outside the city limits. New York City deputy mayor Alicia Glen visited Paris in May 2016. After attending the ePrix, she lent her support to the New York City race with backing from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.[4] A one-year contract to stage the ePrix was later signed with a renewal option every year for the next ten years.[5]

The Brooklyn Street Circuit, where the race was held

On September 21, 2016, officials announced that the New York City ePrix would be held on the 1.210-mile (1.947 km) long Brooklyn Street Circuit in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook.[6][7][8][9] Senior figures supported the race with mayor Bill de Blasio calling Red Hook the place where is "no better home for the ePrix,[10][11] and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president Jean Todt said bringing the series to the city was "an amazing achievement in itself".[9][6][7] The event was confirmed one week later as part of Formula E's 2016–17 series schedule by the FIA World Motor Sports Council as a double header round.[12] They were the ninth and tenth scheduled single-seater electric car races of the season, and were held on July 15 and 16, 2017.[12][13] It was the first FIA-sanctioned open-wheel motor sport round to be held in New York City,[9] and its first motor race since 1896.[14] The ePrix in New York City was the third venue to hold Formula E racing in the United States, following the Miami ePrix in 2015 and the Long Beach ePrix in 2015 and 2016.[15] The press expected that the races would be attended by around 18,000 to 40,000 spectators.[16][17][18]

The first pictures of the planned layout were released to the media on September 21.[9] Construction of the track began on July 2, thirteen days before the first race, and finished eleven days later.[19] More than $20 million was spent renovating the area which included the dismantling of pedestrian crosswalks, sections of curb and bus canopies because they protruded into the circuit and a terminal guardhouse in the track's centre was rebuilt to make it portable so it could be moved before and after the event.[16] Rosenqvist described the track as "one of those really technical circuits" and spoke of his belief the layout was comparable to the Circuit des Invalides.[20]

Controversy[edit]

The car of Pierre Gasly in the paddock prior to Sunday qualifying. He replaced Sébastien Buemi who had a World Endurance Championship commitment.

With the races scheduled for July 15 and 16, the event conflicted with the 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring. The clash occurred because the CEO of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) Gérard Neveu agreed with his teams not to hold a race within four weeks after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Nürburgring required a two-week gap leading into a proposed 30 July date for the German Grand Prix.[21] Previously Neveu and Agag had a "gentlemen's agreement", preventing their respective series from holding races on the same weekend as several drivers participate in both disciplines.[22] The dates for the New York City races could not be changed because of its location and ship docking schedules,[23] and the Nürburgring event was not rescheduled due to freight needing transporting to Mexico City and the circuit had been rented for the weekend after.[24] WEC and Formula E reached an agreement in July 2017 that will prevent both series from clashing in 2018.[25]

Prost and Nelson Piquet Jr. (Jaguar) were the first two WEC drivers to confirm their participation in New York in February, with Jaguar's Adam Carroll leaving the endurance racing series to focus on Formula E.[26] Bird reached an agreement with his team AF Corse to contest the New York races,[27] and was partnered at Virgin by the team's development driver Alex Lynn after López was required to prioritize WEC by Toyota.[28] Championship leader Buemi could not reach an agreement that would enable him to take part in the first race because of logistical problems, and Toyota mandated he attend the Nürburgring WEC round. He was thus replaced by reigning GP2 Series champion and Super Formula driver Pierre Gasly.[29]

Race one[edit]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Two practice sessions—both on Saturday morning—were held before the late afternoon race. The first session ran for 45 minutes and the second for 30 minutes.[30] A 30-minute shakedown session took place on Friday afternoon in which no competitive lap times were set and was held on a wet track for the first time in Formula E's history.[31] Lynn was fastest in the first session, which took place on a damp track caused by the previous day's heavy rain but dried up as the session progressed, with a late lap of one minute and 5.977 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second faster than teammate Bird in second and Rosenqvist third. Prost was fourth-fastest, ahead of both Audi Sport ABT drivers Daniel Abt and di Grassi. Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Mitch Evans, Robin Frijns and Adam Carroll rounded out the session's top-ten drivers.[32][33] The session was temporarily halted three minutes in when Tom Dillmann (Venturi) stopped his car on track and could not restart. Vergne later drifted wide into the run-off area but avoided damaging his car.[33] Rosenqvist used the 200 kilowatts (270 hp) available to him and set the second practice session's fastest lap time, at one minute and 2.423 seconds despite making minor contact with the wall leaving turn five with his right-rear tire, damaging its suspension.[34][35] The damage however was not severe enough to rule him out and was repaired.[35] He was three-tenths of a second ahead of teammate Heidfeld in second and Prost third. Bird was fourth-fastest; the Audi Sport ABT duo of di Grassi and Abt placed fifth and sixth. Loïc Duval was seventh-fastest, Evans eighth, Frijns ninth and Lynn completed the top ten ahead of qualifying.[34] Late in the session, di Grassi drove to the side of the track with a battery management system problem and could not restart his car, necessitating race control to display a full course yellow flag.[35][36][37]

Daniel Abt (pictured in 2015) qualified second and led the first race's 15 laps before retiring with car problems.

Saturday's afternoon qualifying session ran for 60 minutes and was divided into four groups of five cars. Each group was determined by a lottery system and was permitted six minutes of on-track activity. All drivers were limited to two timed laps with one at maximum power. The fastest five overall competitors in the four groups participated in a "Super Pole" session with one driver on the track at any time going out in reverse order from fifth to first. Each of the five drivers was limited to one timed lap and the starting order was determined by the competitor's fastest times (Super Pole from first to fifth, and group qualifying from sixth to twentieth). The driver and team who recorded the fastest time were awarded three points towards their respective championships.[38] Qualifying took place in dry and warm weather conditions.[39] In the first group of five runners, Vergne paced the session despite minor contact with the barriers lining the circuit, going four-tenths of a second faster than second-placed Duval.[40] Andretti teammates Frijns and António Félix da Costa were third and fourth (the latter lightly impacted the wall between the eighth and ninth corners) and Gasly was the group's slowest driver after hitting the concrete wall, damaging his suspension.[40][41] D'Ambrosio set the second group's fastest lap time, three-tenths of a second faster than Heidfeld in second. Prost was third-quickest, and was ahead of the group's slowest two participants Stéphane Sarrazin and Evans. In the third group, Abt topped the time sheets with Lynn taking second place. Piquet took third with Carroll fourth.[40] Rosenqvist slid and went deep at the turn one hairpin, losing him two seconds of time and was the third group's slowest competitor.[41][42][43]

Bird set the fastest overall time in all four groups with a lap of one minute and 2.806 seconds. He was almost six-tenths of a second faster than Oliver Turvey in second and di Grassi was third. Dillmann was fourth-quickest and Maro Engel was the fourth group's slowest driver.[39] Engel was affected by a problem which emerged before he could record a maximum power lap, forcing di Grassi to slow because yellow flags were waved.[41][42] At the end of group qualifying, the lap times set by Bird, d'Ambrosio, Abt, Lynn and Vergne was fast enough to enable their advancement to super pole.[43] In what was considered "a shock result" by multiple motorsport publications,[42][44] Lynn clinched the first pole position of his career, with a lap of one minute and 3.296 seconds in his first race meeting.[44] He became the first driver to claim the pole position in his debut Formula E race since Vergne at the 2014 Punta del Este ePrix.[45] He was joined on the grid's front row by Abt who recorded a lap time two-tenths of a second slower than Lynn, but was quicker than Lynn until he lost time in the track's final sector.[41] Abt was 0.003 seconds ahead of the third-place qualifier Vergne.[42] Bird's super pole effort was untidy, and could not match his teammate's pace with two errors at the track's hairpins. He could go no better than fourth.[40][41] D'Ambrosio could not get his car into a qualifying setup, resulting in him locking his tires at turn six, and was restricted to starting fifth.[41] The rest of the field lined up as Heidfeld, Piquet, Turvey, Prost, di Grassi, Sarrazin, Duval, Carroll, Evans, Dillmann, Frijns, Rosenqvist, Félix da Costa, Gasly and Engel.[39]

Race[edit]

The first race began at 16:00 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−05:00).[30] Weather conditions at the start of the race were dry and sunny. The air temperature during the race was between 84.65 to 85.64 °F (29.25 to 29.80 °C) and the track temperature ranged from 91.0 to 93.0 °F (32.8 to 33.9 °C).[39] A special feature of Formula E is the "Fan Boost" feature, an additional 100 kilowatts (130 hp) of power to use in the driver's second car. The three drivers who were allowed to use the boost were determined by a fan vote.[38] For the first New York race, Abt, di Grassi and Vergne were handed the extra power.[46] When the race started, Lynn spun his tires, enabling Abt to overtake him at the turn one hairpin.[47] Bird and di Grassi gained one position at the start of the race;[46][48] the latter found himself delayed in traffic at the hairpins where multiple cars made contact but emerged from the melee without bodywork damage.[46] Rosenqvist made the best getaway in the field, gaining six positions by the end of the first lap while Prost lost nine places over the same distance because of car damage.[39][49] Evans was required to switch into his second car because of a broken right front wheel. Following contact with Piquet which damaged the left corner of his front wing, d'Ambrosio also drove into the pit lane.[49]

At the end of the first lap, Abt led from Lynn, who was followed in turn by, Bird, Vergne, Heidfeld, d'Ambrosio, Turvey, Sarrazin, Piquet, di Grassi, Rosenqvist, Duval, Carroll, Félix da Costa, Dillmann, Frijns, Gasly, Engel, Prost and Evans.[39] Abt opted to conserve electrical energy, meaning he could not establish a large lead over both Virgin drivers.[50] Lynn defended from teammate Bird but the latter grew frustrated over his manoeuvres. Bird was granted permission to pass Lynn at the second corner on the ninth lap.[51][52] Vergne was overtaken by Heidfeld for fourth place at the end of the same lap.[39][49] Abt was struggling with his brakes; his team requested that he focus on restoring electrical energy.[48] Bird used this handicap to his advantage and challenged him for the lead. Bird attempted to pass Abt twice on lap 14 but could not get past.[46] Two laps later, Bird took the lead from Abt by aggressively turning to the inside of him at the turn five hairpin.[51] Vergne and Heidfeld attacked Lynn who was struggling to manage his car's electrical energy.[48] Heidfeld took advantage of a small gap left by Lynn to move in front of him for third driving towards the turn two chicane on the 16th lap. Vergne passed Lynn to move into fourth place at the turn one hairpin on the next lap.[49]

Jean-Éric Vergne (pictured in 2016) ran strongly to finish second in the first race.

Heidfeld placed pressure onto Abt but Vergne was drawing closer to him, allowing Abt to pull out a small advantage over the pair.[46] Vergne began his attack before the opening of the pit stop window and moved past Heidfeld at the turn two chicane for third on lap 18.[49][50] Further down the field, Carroll and Félix da Costa battled each other and both cars made contact, littering the track with debris.[46] On the 21st lap, Abt fell to third when he was passed by Vergne. The mandatory pit stops, during which all drivers need to change into a second car, began on the same lap when Lynn entered the pit lane after being passed by Sarrazin for sixth position. Bird and Vergne made their pit stops on the same lap, handing the lead back to Abt.[49] Engel set the race's fastest lap on the same lap. He completed a circuit in one minute and 3.883 seconds, earning him one point.[39] Abt was on an alternative strategy, and held the lead for one lap before handing it back to Bird.[51] After the pit stops, Bird led Vergne by 2.2 seconds, with Abt five seconds adrift of the former.[49] Sarrazin gained the most places as swift work from his pit crew moved him to fourth, while Rosenqvist was now running in sixth after starting from 17th position, though his teammate Heidfeld fell to eighth.[51]

Lynn's race was curtailed on lap 25 when he stopped on track with a driveshaft failure.[46][48][52] Di Grassi was separated by the two Mahindra cars of Rosenqvist and Heidfeld, and battled the former while also defending from the latter.[46] Dillmann and Gasly overtook Carroll to move into the points-scoring positions on lap 29.[39][49] As the lead group established themselves, attention focused on di Grassi's duel with Rosenqvist.[51] Di Grassi was cautious as he attempted to find room to pass Rosenqvist, but kept pressuring him.[48] On lap 33,[46] Rosenqvist locked his tires turning into the turn two chicane, causing him to lose control of his car's rear, and drifted into the corner's exit barrier.[48][50][51] His error promoted di Grassi into fifth place; the impact removed his rear wing, prompting race officials to display a black flag with an orange circle, requiring him to make a pit stop for repairs.[48][50][52] After passing Dillmann, Gasly was at this point running in seventh position.[49] Heidfeld's right-rear suspension collapsed after hitting the turn three inside kerb too hard on the 37th lap. He stopped on track, triggering the safety car's deployment, and reducing the time gaps within the field.[47][51][52] Heidfeld pushed his car back to pit lane without assistance from marshals.[49]

The safety car was withdrawn at the end of lap 41, and racing resumed with Bird leading Vergne and Abt.[49] On the final lap, Abt slowed with a battery management system failure in the first turn, enabling Sarrazin to claim third place. As Abt attempted to rejoin, he almost hit teammate di Grassi, and stopped on track, preventing him from finishing.[51][52] Vergne attempted to pass Bird by braking later than him on the lap, but could not overtake him and Bird maintained the lead for the rest of the race to secure his first victory of the season, the fourth of his career, and his first since the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix. He became the first driver to win a motor race in New York City.[48][53] Vergne finished second, 1.3 seconds behind and his teammate Sarrazin took third. Di Grassi was fourth, Duval fifth and Turvey sixth. The two e.Dams-Renault cars of Gasly and Prost were seventh and eighth. Frijns and Carroll rounded out the top ten. Piquet and Félix da Costa were in the next two positions.[39] Dillmann was affected by problems and fell to 13th.[51] Abt and Rosenqvist were the last of the classified finishers. Evans, d'Ambrosio and Engel were the other three drivers not to finish the race.[39] There were two lead changes during the race; two drivers reached the front of the field. Bird led twice for a total of 27 laps, out of 43.[39]

Post-race[edit]

Stéphane Sarrazin (pictured in 2012) achieved his first podium of his season with a third-place finish.

The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and spoke to the media in a later press conference. Bird was delighted with the victory, calling his achievement "incredible" and congratulated Formula E for organising the ePrix: "I can imagine how difficult it was, but it’s been an amazing week so far. We had pretty good speed today."[54] He said that the Berlin races were "a turning point" for his team as they had been extensively educated on their performance and praised his teammate Lynn for taking the pole position.[54] Vergne was pleased to finish second but claimed his getaway off the grid prevented him from winning the race as there was a large amount of dirt off the racing line, causing him to lose positions. However, he was aware he could reclaim ground in the ePrix's opening phase, and increased his pace to conserve more electrical energy than Bird but felt the latter deserved the victory.[54] Sarrazin said that he felt "very good" to secure a third-place finish, and despite making a small error in qualifying, he was aware that his car was good but felt "lucky" because of Abt's final lap problem.[54]

Following battery re-generation problems on his car that left him unable to finish the event after having led the first 16 laps, Abt spoke of his annoyance and revealed he had some issues with his first car: "But still we were in a position to at least take a podium here which would have been good points. Still good, and then last lap my car shuts off with a battery failure or whatever. It’s annoying."[55] He was also disappointed over losing the possibility of finishing on the podium, but said it was continually satisfying to compete at the front of the pack; however he claimed to feel more satisfied to be the first driver to finish the race: "I don’t know why this always happens to me, so many times. It’s just really annoying because in the end people forget what happened."[55]

The ePrix result meant Buemi's Drivers' Championship lead had been reduced to 20 points as a consequence of di Grassi's fourth-place finish. Rosenqvist remained in third position on 86 points, but his advantage over Prost in fourth place had decreased to ten points. Bird's victory enabled him to gain three positions and move into fifth.[1] e.Dams-Renault still led the Teams' Championship on 239 points, although their lead over Audi Sport ABT had been narrowed slightly by two points. Mahindra maintained third place on 149 points. Virgin consolidated fourth position with 125 points, and Techeetah's strong form enabled the team to further extend their advantage over NextEV for fifth with three races left in the season.[1]

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Bold text indicates who still had a theoretical chance of becoming Champion.
  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Race two[edit]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

One 45-minute practice session on Sunday morning was held before the early afternoon race.[30] Bird recorded the fastest lap time of the third practice session, which took place in dry and warm weather conditions,[56] at one minute and 2.209 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second ahead of Vergne in second and Engel was third. Turvey was fourth-fastest; Piquet was fifth and Dillmann sixth. Lynn was seventh-fastest, di Grassi eighth, d'Ambrosio ninth and Heidfeld rounded out the top ten ahead of second qualifying.[57] Dillmann broke his front-left suspension following an impact with the barrier leaving the turn six hairpin. He could not drive back to pit lane, and stopped his car at the next corner, necessitating a red flag.[58] Di Grassi carried excessive speed driving into the turn one hairpin, and steered in the opposite direction to continue driving. The session ended early when Frijns lost control of his car's rear, and hit the turn ten wall, littering the circuit with debris.[57][58] Frijns got out of his vehicle but limped slightly, possibly caused by hitting his leg on his car's monocoque cell.[57]

Sunday's qualifying session was held in the morning rather than starting at the traditional time of the beginning of the afternoon.[30] Qualifying took place in dry and warm weather conditions.[56] In the first group of five runners, Bird paced the session, ahead of Frijns. Prost and Piquet were third and fourth due to both drivers losing time through errors.[59] Duval had trouble selecting second gear, and ran deep into the first turn. He consequently finished as the first group's slowest competitor.[59][60] Rosenqvist set a lap that immediately placed him as the fastest driver in the second group, finishing in front of Turvey and Abt. D'Ambrosio and Félix da Costa were the second group's slowest participants.[61] In the third group, Gasly set the fastest overall timed lap of any driver in the group stages at one minute and 2.080 seconds, and was one-tenth of a second faster than Vergne in second place.[56] Di Grassi impacted the turn three exit barrier lightly en route to finishing third-fastest.[60][62] Sarrazin and Evans finished the third group as its slowest competitors.[56] In the fourth group, Heidfeld set a final minute lap time that made him the fastest driver, ahead of Engel.[57] Dillmann was third-fastest. After changing three car components, Lynn struggled with brake temperatures and could only muster fourth. Carroll was the fourth group's slowest driver after contact with the turn five exit barrier.[56][60] At the end of group qualifying, the lap times set by Gasly, Rosenqvist, Vergne, Bird and Heidfeld were fast enough to enable their progression into super pole.[61] Bird clinched pole position with a time of one minute and 2.285 seconds. He was joined on the grid's front row by Rosenqvist who recorded a lap 0.037 seconds off Bird's pace.[59] Vergne locked his tires at the hairpin, which disrupted his rhythm through the following corners, but recovered enough time to qualify in third.[61] Gasly went wide at the turn one hairpin, restricting him to fourth. Heidfeld's attempt was untidy, and could only muster fifth place. After qualifying, Frijns was demoted ten places on the starting grid because he changed his gearbox following his practice accident,[60] and Piquet did the same after changing his engine.[63] After the penalties, the rest of the grid lined up as Engel, Turvey, Abt, di Grassi, Dillmann, Sarrazin, Evans, d'Ambrosio, Prost, Lynn, Félix da Costa, Duval, Carroll, Frijns and Piquet.[56]

Race[edit]

Felix Rosenqvist (pictured in 2016) started on the front row of the grid and led the first ten laps of the second race.

The second race started at 13:00 local time.[30] Weather conditions at the start of the race were dry and sunny. The air temperature throughout the ePrix was between 83.5 and 85.1 °F (28.6 and 29.5 °C) and the track temperature ranged from 83.03 to 84.02 °F (28.35 to 28.90 °C).[56] Six more laps were completed by the drivers in the event, making battery management the core concern of all participants.[64] For the second consecutive day, it was not the pole sitter who got away in the lead as Rosenqvist accelerated faster than Bird off the line and was ahead of him driving into the turn one hairpin.[65] Gasly fell to fifth behind Heidfeld.[66] Just as in the first race, several drivers made contact in the first turn. Abt's rear wheel guard was damaged from contact with teammate di Grassi and Dillmann.[63][64] Engel ploughed into the rear of Vergne in the first corner, and was shown a black flag with an orange circle, requiring him to enter the pit lane for repairs.[64][67] Abt slowed halfway through the first lap, stopping in the centre of the track to perform a full reset, and fell to the rear of the field.[66] Prost made the best getaway, gaining three positions by the end of the first lap, while Abt's problems meant he lost twelve places over the same distance.[56]

At the end of the first lap Rosenqvist led from Bird, Vergne, Heidfeld, Gasly, Engel, Turvey, Dillmann, di Grassi, Evans, Prost, Sarrazin, d'Ambrosio, Félix da Costa, Duval, Carroll, Lynn, Piquet, Frijns and Abt.[56] Bird was close behind Rosenqvist in the opening laps,[65] while Heidfeld drew closer to both drivers.[64] After starting ninth, di Grassi was in seventh by lap seven.[66] Engel went into the barriers lining the circuit, and drove to pit lane where his team made repairs to his car and set himself the objective of setting the race's fastest lap.[68] However he did not achieve this as Abt recorded the race's fastest lap on his seventh lap. Abt completed a circuit in one minute and 3.898 seconds to earn one point.[56] After locking his right-front brake, Evans ran wide, and stopped his car near the pit lane entry after lightly hitting the wall two laps later.[63][64][66] Evans had difficulty reversing out of the barrier, prompting the first full course yellow flag. Gasly was the first driver to notice this, slowing in turn ten,[63] and fell back from the top three. During the full course yellow, di Grassi, Abt and Heidfeld were announced as the winners of the second FanBoost vote.[66]

Racing resumed on lap 10 with Rosenqvist leading Bird and Heidfeld.[68] Shortly afterward,[68] Bird attacked Rosenqvist, catching the latter off guard, and passed him around the inside at the turn six hairpin for the lead at the start of the 11th lap.[63][67] Heidfeld could not get ahead of his teammate as Gasly was drawing closer to the lead group.[66] Bird began to pull away from the field.[68] Frijns was preserving electrical energy in an attempt to gain positions.[63] The other half of the top ten were delayed by Turvey with Dillmann and di Grassi battling him. Dillmann managed to overtake the struggling Turvey and di Grassi passed Turvey shortly afterward.[66] Engel chose to risk changing into his second car on lap 15, but consequently fell to 18th while Vergne was running quickly and recovered to 12th.[63] A second full course yellow was necessitated on lap 20 when Lynn stopped in the centre of the straight with a technical problem after leaving the turn one hairpin.[64][68] This prompted several drivers, including Mahindra teammates Rosenqvist and Heidfeld, to enter the pit lane for the mandatory change into their second cars on the same lap.[64] Bird opted to remain on track for one additional lap before making his stop, giving him more electrical energy than the drivers behind him.[65] Techeetah drivers Vergne and Sarrazin were caught off guard by the full course yellow, and switched to their second cars just as the field returned to racing speed.[65] The two lost positions,[68] but had more usable electrical energy.[63]

Sam Bird, pictured (right) in the paddock prior to Sunday qualifying, won both of the weekend's races.

When racing resumed, Bird kept first place and was in front of both Mahindra cars.[64] Di Grassi was seven seconds in arrears of Gasly, although the latter had fallen off the pace of the leading battle, and the two were separated by the yet-to-stop Frijns.[66] Bird used the restart to increase his lead to three seconds over both Mahindra drivers without using too much electrical energy.[63] D'Ambrosio spun at the chicane; although his car's rear was damaged, his rear wing remained intact.[68] Félix da Costa steered to the inside of Duval, but spun at the first turn, falling behind Duval's teammate d'Ambrosio.[66] Prost caught di Grassi and placed extensive pressure on him for fifth position.[64] Rosenqvist's team noticed his car had an energy readout issue, and they prompted teammate Heidfeld to overtake him for second on lap 36 to see whether he could draw closer to Bird and pass him. Rosenqvist fell behind quickly so that his problem could be solved in a calmer environment.[66][69] This allowed Bird to further extend his advantage by a second.[63] Piquet was handed a drive-through penalty because he had not served an earlier ten-second penalty—which was issued to him after changing his engine—at his car swap.[64] D'Ambrosio drove to the inside of teammate Duval entering the sixth turn, and passed him, enabling Félix da Costa to draw closer to both Dragon cars.[66][67] One lap later, Félix da Costa braked later than Duval, but made contact with him at the first corner hairpin. Félix da Costa was issued a drive-through penalty as a result.[65][66][67]

Heidfeld allowed teammate Rosenqvist back through to second place on the 48th (and penultimate) lap.[64] Despite picking up oversteer in the race's closing stages, Bird opened up a healthy advantage and crossed the start/finish line after 49 laps to win his second victory of the season, his second consecutive in New York City, and the fifth of his career.[66][70] He was the first driver to win both races of a double header weekend since Prost at the 2016 London ePrix.[71] Gasly caught the Mahindra cars of Rosenqvist and Heidfeld on the final lap, and all three drivers concertinaed through the final turn.[65] While challenging Heidfeld for third, Gasly carried too much speed entering the final corner and drifted into the wall lining the track. He hurled a detachable barrier on the circuit, which was not collected by any other driver.[64][68] Rosenqvist took second, with Heidfeld finishing third, narrowly ahead of Gasly's damaged car. Di Grassi was fifth, Prost sixth, Dillmann seventh and Vergne eighth. Frijns's additional electrical energy allowed him to pass four cars on the final lap and took ninth. D'Ambrosio rounded out the top ten. Carroll, Sarrazin, Duval, Turvey, Félix da Costa and Piquet were the last of the classified finishers.[69] There was one lead change during the race; two drivers reached the front of the field. Bird led once for a total of 29 laps, out of 49.[56]

Post-race[edit]

The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and spoke to the media in a later press conference. Bird was euphoric with his second New York City win and paid tribute to the Virgin team for providing him with what he called "the best car" he had driven in his Formula E career: "What a car I was given this weekend. Blinding in qualifying, sensational on energy management in the race."[72] He suggested that the pole position be changed to track's right-hand side in the event the series returned to New York City, and did not rule out challenging for victories at the season's final race weekend in Montreal.[72] Second-place finisher Rosenqvist stated that he had not anticipated the strong form of the Virgin team but reserved praise for Bird's driving.[69] He said that he was "thrilled" to return to the podium despite being overtaken by Bird after the first ten laps. Rosenqvist stated his feeling that this displayed his team's potential to win more races, and was looking forward to the season's final two ePrix.[73] Heidfeld, who finished third, spoke of his enjoyment of the second ePrix. Because of the problems affecting his teammate Rosenqvist, he said he made an effort to put pressure on Bird but wanted to drive in a calmer manner following his suspension failure in the previous day's race.[74]

In regards to the final lap collision with Gasly, Heidfeld said that he did not encourage Gasly to run on the inside line, as he was attempting to remain close behind teammate Rosenqvist so there would be no space available to in which the latter could steer into: "For sure I didn’t touch him on purpose, and it’s a pity to finish like this, but at least we both made it over the line."[69] Gasly claimed Heidfeld had placed him in a position to impact the wall following the latter releasing his brake pedal.[75] Nevertheless, he described his weekend as "very positive", but did not anticipate his advancing into super pole after having just a day's worth of experience driving in the series: "We had a very busy schedule, especially with me arriving later on during the event. There was a lot to learn but we did great. We scored important points for the team. It was a great opportunity to discover a new discipline and I enjoyed the challenge very much."[76] Félix da Costa spoke of his disagreement of the drive-through penalty he received from the stewards after his collision with Duval in the closing laps of the event, something he said ended his race competitively.[77]

The result of the race meant di Grassi had further reduced Buemi's Drivers' Championship advantage to ten points. Rosenqvist remained in third place on 104 points, but was only four points ahead of two-time ePrix winner Bird. Prost's sixth-place finish meant he fell to fifth position.[1] e.Dams-Renault increased their lead over Audi Sport ABT in the Teams' Championship to 65 points. Mahindra maintained third place on 182 points. With 153 points, Virgin consolidated fourth position and the team were 59 points in front of Techeetah with two races left in the season.[1] 20,000 people attended the race weekend.[69] Di Grassi acknowledged that his team did not have the pace to challenge for victories in both races, but believed he could improve his situation in the championship and focused on the season's two remaining rounds.[78]

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Bold text indicates who still had a theoretical chance of becoming Champion.
  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying one[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap Grid
1 37 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 1:03.296 1
2 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 1:03.534 +0.238 2
3 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 1:03.537 +0.241 3
4 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 1:03.557 +0.261 4
5 7 Belgium Jerôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 1:07.203 +3.907 5
6 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1:03.193 6
7 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NIO 1:03.361 +0.168 7
8 88 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO 1:03.385 +0.192 8
9 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 1:03.433 +0.240 9
10 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 1:03.480 +0.287 10
11 33 France Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah-Renault 1:03.508 +0.315 11
12 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon-Penske 1:03.521 +0.328 12
13 47 United Kingdom Adam Carroll Jaguar 1:03.555 +0.362 13
14 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:03.637 +0.444 14
15 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 1:03.795 +0.602 15
16 27 Netherlands Robin Frijns Andretti-BMW 1:03.830 +0.637 16
17 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 1:04.300 +1.107 17
18 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 1:04.585 +1.392 18
19 9 France Pierre Gasly e.Dams-Renault 1:04.936 +1.743 19
20 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 1:17.591 +14.378 20
Source:[39]

Qualifying two[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap Grid
1 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 1:02.285 1
2 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 1:02.322 +0.037 2
3 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 1:02.544 +0.259 3
4 9 France Pierre Gasly e.Dams-Renault 1:03.173 +0.888 4
5 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1:03.210 +0.925 5
6 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 1:02.579 6
7 88 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO 1:02.583 +0.004 7
8 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 1:02.688 +0.109 8
9 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 1:02.720 +0.141 9
10 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 1:02.807 +0.228 10
11 27 Netherlands Robin Frijns Andretti-BMW 1:02.820 +0.241 191
12 33 France Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah-Renault 1:02.853 +0.274 11
13 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:02.868 +0.289 12
14 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 1:02.900 +0.321 13
15 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 1:03.038 +0.459 14
16 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NIO 1:03.184 +0.605 202
17 37 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 1:03.225 +0.645 15
18 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 1:03.330 +0.751 16
19 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon-Penske 1:03.547 +0.968 17
20 47 United Kingdom Adam Carroll Jaguar 1:03.594 +1.015 18
Source:[56]
Notes:

Race one[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 43 52:29.275 4 25
2 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 43 +1.354 3 18
3 33 France Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah-Renault 43 +4.392 11 15
4 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 43 +6.155 10 12
5 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon-Penske 43 +8.428 12 10
6 88 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO 43 +8.952 8 8
7 9 France Pierre Gasly e.Dams-Renault 43 +9.321 19 6
8 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 43 +10.036 9 4
9 27 Netherlands Robin Frijns Andretti-BMW 43 +11.019 16 2
10 47 United Kingdom Adam Carroll Jaguar 43 +12.073 13 1
11 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NIO 43 +12.977 7
12 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 43 +13.341 18
13 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 43 +16.337 15
14 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 42 Battery 2
15 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 42 +1 Lap 17
Ret 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 34 Wheel nut 6
Ret 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 30 Engine 20 14
Ret 37 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 23 Driveshaft 1 33
Ret 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 22 Oil Pressure 5
Ret 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 18 Wheel 14
Source:[39]
Notes:
  • ^3  — Three points for pole position.[38]
  • ^4  — One point for fastest lap.[38]

Race two[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 49 58:09.388 1 285
2 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 49 +11.381 2 18
3 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 49 +12.319 5 15
4 9 France Pierre Gasly e.Dams-Renault 49 +12.355 4 12
5 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 49 +23.451 9 10
6 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 49 +30.471 14 8
7 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 49 +41.862 10 6
8 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 49 +52.292 3 4
9 27 Netherlands Robin Frijns Andretti-BMW 49 +60.475 19 2
10 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 49 +72.659 14 1
11 47 United Kingdom Adam Carroll Jaguar 49 +101.134 18
12 33 France Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah-Renault 48 +1 Lap 11
13 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon-Penske 48 +1 Lap 17
14 88 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO 48 +1 Lap 7
15 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 48 +1 Lap 16
16 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NIO 46 +3 Laps 20
Ret 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 22 Electrical 6
Ret 37 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 19 Gearbox 15
Ret 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 18 Suspension 8 16
Ret 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 5 Transmission 12
Source:[56]
Notes:
  • ^5  — Three points for pole position.[38]
  • ^6  — One point for fastest lap.[38]

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External links[edit]

Media related to 2017 New York ePrix at Wikimedia Commons

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