2018 New York City ePrix

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2018 New York City ePrix
Race 11 of 12 of the 2017–18 Formula E season
New York City Layout 2018.png
Race details
Date 14 July 2018 (2018-07-14)
Official name 2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix
Location Brooklyn Street Circuit, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Course Street circuit
Course length 1.475 mi (2.374 km)
Distance 43 laps, 63.404 mi (102.039 km)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver e.Dams-Renault
Time 1:13.911
Fastest lap
Driver Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra
Time 1:14.663 on lap 42
Podium
First Audi
Second Audi
Third e.Dams-Renault
2018 New York City ePrix
Race 12 of 12 of the 2017–18 Formula E season
New York City Layout 2018.png
Race details
Date 15 July 2018 (2018-07-15)
Official name 2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix
Location Brooklyn Street Circuit, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Course Street circuit
Course length 1.475 mi (2.374 km)
Distance 43 laps, 63.404 mi (102.039 km)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver e.Dams-Renault
Time 1:17.973
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Daniel Abt Audi
Time 1;15.552 on lap 15
Podium
First Techeetah-Renault
Second Audi
Third Audi

The 2018 New York City ePrix (formally the 2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix) were a pair of Formula E electric car races held on July 14 and 15, 2018 at the Brooklyn Street Circuit in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They were the eleventh and twelfth rounds of the 2017–18 Formula E season, and it was the second annual edition of the event. The first race, contested over 43 laps on July 14, was won by Lucas di Grassi of the Audi team after starting from eleventh place. His teammate Daniel Abt finished second, and e.Dams-Renault driver Sébastien Buemi came third. The second race on July 15 also lasted 43 laps, and was won by Techeetah's Jean-Éric Vergne from third. Di Grassi took second, and his teammate Abt placed third.

Buemi earned the tenth pole position of his career by posting the fastest lap in qualifying and held his lead on the run to the first corner. He lost the first position to Abt on the fifth lap as di Grassi moved past Buemi to progress into second 15 laps later. Abt maintained the lead through the mandatory pit stops to change into a second car. On lap 24, di Grassi overtook Abt with an aggressive pass for first after Abt made a driver error. A safety car closed the field up on lap 35 to allow marshals to clear debris from a crash by Alex Lynn of Virgin. The race restarted with two minutes remaining, and di Grassi retained his advantage to secure his second consecutive victory, and the eighth of his career.

For the second day running, but on a wet track, Buemi secured the pole position with the fastest qualifying lap, the eleventh of his career, but he immediately lost the lead to Vergne at the start. The race was neutralised on lap eight because the Dragon car of José María López required extrication after he broke the right-rear suspension, and for a three car accident on the straight linking turns ten and eleven. Racing resumed four laps later with Vergne holding his lead through the following 12 laps, and the switch into a second vehicle at the halfway point. In the final six laps, Vergne was challenged by di Grassi, who advanced to second, and he held him off for his fourth victory of the season, and the fifth of his career.

The race results meant Vergne took his maiden Drivers' Championship after finishing fifth in the first race. Di Grassi's strong performances over the weekend meant he advanced past Sam Bird, Vergne's rival entering the event, for second. Buemi maintained fourth, and Abt finished the season five points adrift of him in fifth. In the Teams' Championship, Audi outscored Techeetah in both races to win the title by two points. Virgin took third with 160 points. The battle for fourth position was won by Mahindra by five points over e.Dams-Renault in fifth.

Background[edit]

The 2018 New York City ePrix double header was confirmed as part of Formula E's 2017–18 series schedule in September 2017 by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.[1] They were the eleventh and twelfth scheduled single-seater electric car races of the 2017–18 season,[1] and it was the second annual edition of the event.[2] The races were held at the fourteen-turn 1.47 mi (2.37 km) Brooklyn Street Circuit in Red Hook, Brooklyn on July 14 and 15.[3] It was the final two races for the Spark-Renault SRT 01E specification vehicle, and it was replaced by the SRT05e from the 2018–19 season onwards. Renault also made its final appearance as a team and powertrain manufacturer in Formula E, and their place was assumed by their corporate partner Nissan.[4] Organisers of the ePrix expected 40,000 people to converge to the circuit over the weekend.[5] Formula E arranged a partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to provide organizations in the Red Hook community with a 1,000 race day tickets to give away to local residents for free.[6][7]

The Brooklyn Street Circuit, where the race was held

Before the race, Jean-Éric Vergne of Techeetah led the Drivers' Championship with 163 points. His nearest rival in the championship was Virgin's Sam Bird with 140 points and Audi driver Lucas di Grassi was third with 101 points. With 92 points, Sébastien Buemi of e.Dams-Renault was fourth and Mahindra driver Felix Rosenqvist was six points behind him in the battle for the position.[8] In the Teams' Championship, Techeetah led with 219 points, 33 ahead of their rivals Audi. Virgin placed third with 157 points and Mahindra (116 points) and Jaguar (105) contended for fourth.[8] 58 points were available for the final two races of the season, which meant Vergne could win the Drivers' Championship in the first New York City round. He needed to win the race, and for Bird to place second, with one championship point for the fastest lap but not the three awarded for winning the pole position to claim the title.[9]

Bird commenced the season by leading the championship after the 2017 Hong Kong double header. He soon lost the lead to Vergne after the latter won the Santiago race but he kept himself in contention by consistently finishing in the top five over the next seven races.[10] At the preceding Zürich ePrix, Vergne's advantage in the Drivers' Championship was lowered from 40 to 23 points when Bird placed second and Vergne finished in tenth.[11] Bird, the defending winner of both New York City races in 2017,[12] was the underdog for the Drivers' Championship and spoke of his belief that contact was unlikely to occur and Vergne was under pressure, "If I were him I would be terrified of close-quarter racing because one clip at the front or contact at the rear or even just a lock-up can put you in the barrier. The thought of him having a bad Saturday must almost keep him awake at night because if that happens and I have a good Saturday he has to deliver the following day."[13] Vergne said Techeetah would not alter its approach and entered the rounds with maximum preparation, "No matter how this weekend goes, we have shown that a customer team can take on the manufacturers and be successful."[14]

The layout of Brooklyn Street Circuit was modified going into the event. The course was extended farther north and west to Summit Street and Hamilton Avenue. As opposed to the original right-hand hairpin at the end of the main straight on Bowne Street, a four-turn complex was added featuring a left-hander and three right-handed corners leading to the second straight that formed the previous configuration of the track. The changes increased the overall length of the circuit by half a kilometer, and were made to accommodate the more powerful second generation Formula E car, which has an increased amount of downforce.[15][16][17] Di Grassi opined that the elongated track could increase overtaking on the back straight, and create more excitement during the races. Bird however stated that the alterations to the circuit would hinder his team as its car was less energy efficient than others, and that its flowing corners would not assist him.[18]

There was one change of driver going into the weekend. Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara had a Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters commitment for Mercedes-Benz at the Circuit Zandvoort due to his championship position of second in that series. He was replaced in New York by the team's test and reserve driver Tom Dillmann.[19] This was the second time in the season that Dillmann replaced Mortara with the first being at the Berlin ePrix two months prior and he had competed for Venturi in seven ePrix during the 2016–17 season. Venturi's request to switch competitors was granted by the stewards through bypassing Article 19.1 of Formula E Sporting Regulations which states that changes of driver in the final three races of the season was forbidden except in unforeseen circumstances such as the suspension of an e-licence.[20]

Race one[edit]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Two practice sessions—both on Saturday morning—were held before the late afternoon race. The first session was scheduled to run for 45 minutes and the second lasted half an hour.[21] An untimed half hour shakedown session was held late Friday afternoon to allow teams to check the reliability of their cars and electronic systems.[21][22] Although no major accidents were reported during the session, Buemi crashed his car into the wall, but he escaped with only minor damage to it.[22]

Oliver Turvey (pictured in 2012) withdrew from the race because he fractured the fifth metacarpal bone on his left hand in a heavy crash during second practice.

In the first practice session, held in warm and dusty conditions,[23] di Grassi was fastest with a 1-minute and 13.566 seconds lap he set with 200 kW (270 hp) of power late on. Buemi was 0.350 seconds slower in second, and Jaguar's Mitch Evans was third. Vergne, Daniel Abt of Audi, Bird, Dragon driver José María López, NIO's Oliver Turvey, Alex Lynn for Virgin and Techeetah's André Lotterer occupied positions six through ten.[24] Nick Heidfeld for Mahindra created an impassible track after hitting the turn eleven chicane exit kerb and he went straight into the wall alongside the circuit with Abt close by. The session was red flagged for three minutes while the field dispersed. Seven minutes later, López sheared his right-rear suspension over the turn twelve kerb, and a second stoppage was needed when he lost the ability to drive, and stopped at pit lane entrance.[23][25] The session was consequently extended by ten minutes to allow drivers to better familiarise themselves with the track.[25] A yellow flag was waved for Nelson Piquet Jr.'s Jaguar which stopped at the turn twelve exit,[23] and Maro Engel lightly damaged his Venturi in a collision with the turn two tire barrier.[23][25]

In the second half hour practice session, most teams used the opportunity to simulate their qualifying laps at 200 kW (270 hp) of power,[26] as several drivers had to scythe their way past traffic on the narrow circuit, and dust off the racing line reduced visibility.[27] Rosenqvist recorded a benchmark time that Buemi bettered,[28] and Stéphane Sarrazin bent the right-rear suspension on his Andretti at the wall in the turn seven left-hander.[26][29] Di Grassi began his maximum power lap when he grazed the barrier at the turn two 90-degree right-hander with the right-rear of his car, and he entered the pit lane for repairs. Dragon's Jérôme d'Ambrosio topped the time sheets until Evans went fastest a time of 1 minute and 13.207 seconds with two minutes remaining.[28][30] D'Ambrosio, Bird, López, Buemi, Nico Prost of e.Dams-Renault, António Félix da Costa of Andretti, Turvey, and the Audi pair of Abt and di Grassi completed the top ten ahead of qualifying.[30] After second practice, Turvey was transported to the trackside medical center, and then to a hospital in Brooklyn, because he fractured the fifth metacarpal bone on his left hand; he lost control of his car while on a maximum power lap, and he heavily collided with the outside barrier at the turn fourteen left-hander, causing him to miss qualifying.[31][32]

Sébastien Buemi (pictured in 2016) took the pole position for the race on Saturday and repeated the feat on Sunday.

Saturday's afternoon qualifying session ran for an hour 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.[21] In the first group, Vergne narrowly avoided a collision with Buemi, but he was the early pace setter with a provisional fastest lap of any driver in all four groups at 1 minute and 13.890 seconds with a second remaining.[33][34] Buemi and di Grassi were provisionally second and third. Bird and Rosenqvist were group one's slowest two drivers. Lotterer was provisionally group two's fastest competitor. Abt and the Jaguar duo of Evans and Piquet were second to fourth, and the absent Turvey was unclassified because of his finger injury.[35] At the conclusion of the second group, it was announced that the Techeetahs of Vergne and Lotterer were under investigation for a possible overuse of power.[35] In group three, d'Ambrosio was fastest and he demoted Buemi from super pole contention. Positions two through five were made up by Engel, Heidfeld, Félix da Costa and Lynn.[33]

During the fourth group,[35] Vergne and his teammate Lotterer had their lap times in group qualifying nullified because they were confirmed to have overused the maximum amount of allocated power.[36] This was related to a software glitch affecting a section of updated code that improved reliability to a control system that regulates power usage.[34][37] Prost set group four's fastest lap, followed by López, Dillmann and NIO's Luca Filippi.[38] Sarrazin was the slowest driver to set a lap time in group qualifying after he slid sideways into the barrier lining the circuit at turn eleven; race control did not halt the session because he continued driving.[33][35] At the end of group qualifying, the lap times set by Abt, Evans, d'Ambrosio, Buemi and Prost progressed them to super pole.[35] Buemi took his second pole position of the season,[36] and the tenth of his career with a time of 1 minute and 13.911 seconds.[37] He was joined on the grid's front row by Evans who was 0.554 seconds slower as a consequence of him sliding wide at turn five. Prost qualified in third place, and d'Ambrosio started from fourth after a driver error at turn six.[34] Abt made a mistake at turn seven and he began from fifth.[36] The rest of the grid lined up as Piquet, López, Engel, Dillmann, Heidfeld, di Grassi, Félix da Costa, Lynn, Bird, Filippi, Rosenqvist, Sarrazin, Vergne and Lotterer.[38] After qualifying, Turvey was withdrawn on medical grounds, and he was replaced by NIO's test and reserve driver Ma Qinghua for the Sunday race through the application of force majeure.[31]

Race[edit]

The first race began at 15:33 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−05:00) on July 14.[39] Weather conditions at the start of the ePrix were dry and clear. The air temperature ranged between 31.6 to 32.1 °C (88.9 to 89.8 °F) and the track temperature was between 43.25 and 45 °C (109.85 and 113.00 °F).[38] A special feature of Formula E is the "FanBoost" 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.[21] For the first New York City race, Abt, Buemi and Vergne were handed the extra power.[40] Evans moved only a few metres from his starting position due to a driveshaft failure,[41][42] as Buemi maintained his lead going into the first corner with his teammate Prost in second and Abt third.[43] D'Ambrosio swerved to avoid striking Evans' car, and that allowed his teammate López to draw alongside him on the run to the first turn.[43] But this resulted in López removing his front wing when he hit the rear of d'Ambrosio's vehicle, removing his rear wing.[44] As both Dragon drivers delayed the field, Lynn passed Félix da Costa on the inside line,[45] while Vergne dropped to the rear so he could conserve electrical energy.[46] Abt passed Prost for second on the inside line heading towards the sixth turn, as Bird moved into tenth by getting ahead of d'Ambrosio.[47]

Daniel Abt (pictured in 2015) finished second but he was unhappy with the position because of perceived team orders that were later disproved.

Coming to the conclusion of the first lap, Buemi led Abt, Prost, the fast-starting Piquet and Dillmann as López entered the pit lane for a replacement rear wing.[38] Prost lost third and fourth to Piquet and Dillmann on the second lap, as Lynn allowed his teammate Bird through into tenth. At the conclusion of lap three, d'Ambrosio drove into the pit lane to have a new nose cone fitted to his car.[38] On lap five, di Grassi overtook Engel around the outside for sixth going into the turn eleven chicane as the Techeetahs of Lotterer and Vergne began to move up the field. At the front of the pack, Buemi came under pressure from Abt with the latter plotting where to execute an overtaking manoeuvre.[40] During the sixth lap, Abt steered left to the inside of Buemi at the end of the straight going into the turn eleven chicane to pass him for the lead.[43][44] Elsewhere, Dillmann overtook Piquet on the run to the same corner to claim third on the following lap. On the eleventh lap, Rosenqvist went to the outside of Félix da Costa, and forced him wide at turn one for 12th. This allowed Vergne to take advantage and get ahead of Félix da Costa on the inside line and claim 13th going into the second corner. He soon out-braked Rosenqvist on the approach to turn seven, and got by him on the inside line for 12th.[40]

That same lap, Lotterer overtook Bird for tenth driving into the turn eleven chicane. Lotterer then delayed Bird enough to allow Vergne to draw closer to him.[40] Vergne got ahead of Lynn around the outside on the approach to the turn eleven chicane on lap 13.[40] Di Grassi lapped faster than anybody and this enabled his overtake on Dillmann on the outside for third going into the same corner two laps later.[40][47] Lotterer moved marginally farther away from Bird to provide his teammate Vergne with an opportunity for a pass. This came on lap 16 on the run to turn six and Vergne was successful in moving past Bird on the inside line for tenth.[47] On lap 17, Lotterer passed Engel for eighth.[44] A lap later, Heidfeld overtook Prost on the back straight to move into sixth.[40] Di Grassi caught and passed Buemi into turn six for second on the 20th lap.[43] Prost lost seventh to Lotterer on the next lap.[44] In the meantime, Bird returned to the top ten by passing Engel on the main straight.[40] At the end of lap 22, the field except for Sarrazin made their mandatory pit stops to change into a second car.[43] Rosenqvist stopped in the pit lane's center to avoid colliding with his teammate Heidfeld, and drivers scrambled for space to avoid hitting him.[47][48][n 1]

Lucas di Grassi (pictured in 2017) won his second victory in a row and the eighth of his career.

After the pit stops, Abt still led but di Grassi reduced it due to a faster car switch.[43] Dillmann lost fourth place to Piquet but he soon regained the position as Piquet stopped coming out of the pit lane because he inadvertently switched his car off and lost positions.[42][48] On lap 24, di Grassi began to challenge his teammate Abt for first.[44] Abt ran wide at the exit to turn seven,[45] and di Grassi nudged the rear of his teammate's car.[43] Di Grassi turned to the outside to pass Abt for first on the run to the turn eleven chicane with an aggressive overtaking manoeuvre that had them make minor contact in the braking zone. Abt was put towards the trackside barrier.[43][47] He sought a way back past going into turn six on the following lap but di Grassi repelled his manoeuvre.[40] Both Audi drivers were given the instruction Code 100, which was surmised as a potential team order to hold position.[49] On the 29th lap, Lotterer was instructed by Techeetah to allow his teammate Vergne past into turn six.[44][46] However, as Engel overtook Bird around the inside to move into tenth on lap 35,[40] Lynn lost control of his car's rear, and heavily damaged it in a collision with the outside wall lining the circuit at turn five.[43][48]

Although Lynn was uninjured and clambered out of his vehicle, the full course yellow procedure, and then the safety car was deployed to close the field up, and allow track clearing and barrier repairs by marshals.[35] The race was restarted with two minutes left as it switched to a timed event.[41][43] Heidfeld used the opportunity to get ahead of Lotterer for sixth and he challenged Vergne for fifth.[40] Engel overtook Prost for eighth, and Bird followed through to take ninth.[47] On the final lap, Filippi went into the pit lane to retire for unknown reasons. Abt also set the fastest lap in the top ten at 1 minute and 15.082 seconds to earn one championship point.[38][n 2] Di Grassi crossed the finish line to take his second victory in a row after the race in Zürich a month prior, and the eighth of his career.[50] Abt was 0.965 seconds adrift in second, and Buemi completed the podium in third.[41] Off the podium, Dillmann took a season best result of fourth.[35] Vergne finished fifth to claim the Drivers' Championship as Bird could not catch his points total with a race to go.[50] The final finishers were Heidfeld, Lotterer, Engel, Bird, Prost, Félix da Costa, Sarrazin, d'Ambrosio, Rosenqvist and Fillippi.[38]

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. Di Grassi praised the speed of his car and was complimentary with the on-track battles he had, "The second stint was a bit weird – in Formula E, it makes no sense to open a gap because if a safety car or any other disruption happens, you've wasted energy to open that gap. So, I was just trying to make sure that Daniel was just at just the right distance, but then after Lynn's crash, it’s just a flat-out race to the end, which was very different."[4] Abt stated he was unsure if there was an inter-team miscommunication, "I’m happy for Audi – the team deserves this but of course I can’t sit here and smile like crazy. We are absolutely able to win the teams’ championship – that was always the target here – then we can end the season really productively.”[51] Third-placed Buemi revealed that he elected not to battle di Grassi for electrical energy management purposes and focused on his own performance after brake and battery temperature issues, "In the end, I didn’t have the pace and they were stronger. Still, there’s one more race to go and then I have to work on next year as clearly in terms of efficiency they [Audi] were in a different league today, so I’m happy to be the best of the rest.”[51]

Sam Bird ceded the Drivers' Championship after finishing ninth in the first New York City race

On his way back to the pit lane, Vergne dedicated first motor racing Drivers' Championship win since the 2010 British Formula Three International Series to his friend and fellow racing driver Jules Bianchi, who died nine months after sustaining severe head injuries in an accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.[48][50] During the celebration, Vergne said of his championship success, "I can't believe it - what a crazy race - God, it feels good! Really I have no idea what it means to me to be champion. I need more time to process it – all I know is that it’s a good feeling. I guess still having the race tomorrow - I cannot completely relax. I can't go crazy tonight, so on the Sunday night when everything will be over, I will be able to enjoy it to the full extent."[52] Although Bird congratulated Vergne on the title, he bemoaned his powertrain's lack of energy efficiency, "We gave it everything today but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend with the extended track length and race distance from last year, but we’re still very proud of what we’ve achieved and the whole team has done an amazing job to put us in this position."[53]

Regarding Audi's inter-team battle, Abt spoke of his belief that di Grassi disobeyed a team order to hold position, "I don’t care if team orders are imposed, but if they are they need to be respected, and today they have not been respected. That’s why I’m unhappy. So we need to discuss that internally. It’s not that they’ve only been imposed after I was behind Lucas. I’d been told to hold position, that’s what I did, to take no risks, that’s also what I did. But I’ve been overtaken, so that’s why I’m not super happy."[54] Di Grassi insisted he had received no team orders until after the battle, "There was no call. There was no call until the end of the first third of the second stint, when we had to save energy. That was it."[55] Allan McNish, team principal of Audi, clarified that no instructions had been given, and revealed the decision to end the inter-team battle was made because of the potential threat from the Techeetahs in the event the safety car was dispatched.[55] He later stated that both di Grassi and Abt were permitted to race each other unless certain circumstances prompted a strategy change, "Opinions can differ of course like they did in New York a little, but we should a day later that it was water under the bridge and we got the job done. Therefore our overall strategy of allowing them to race, within reason, will remain."[56]

The result of the ePrix meant Vergne's fifth-place finish won him his maiden Drivers' Championship with a 29-point lead over his nearest rival Bird. Di Grassi's victory enabled him to maintain the third position but he drew to within 16 points of Bird in the battle for second. Buemi was still in fourth, and Abt's second-place finish advanced him from sixth to fifth.[8] Although the Drivers' Championship had been decided, the Teams' Championship had not. Techeetah continued to lead with 235 points, but Audi's one-two finish meant the manufacturer was now just five points adrift in second place. Virgin maintained third with 159 points. Mahindra (124 points) and e.Dams-Renault (118) contended for fifth with a round to go.[8]

Standings after the race[edit]

  • 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.[21] Overnight rain saturated the track, and it recommenced just before the start of the third practice session,[57] causing several drivers to aquaplane on standing water, as they all ran on the standardised all-weather tires.[58] Abt set the fastest lap 15 minutes in with a time of 1 minute and 18.699 seconds before weather conditions deteriorated. He was followed by Evans, Félix da Costa, Buemi, di Grassi, Sarrazin, Lotterer, Vergne, Rosenqvist, and Bird.[57] López pirouetted through 360 degrees at turn seven but avoided hitting the wall. Bird lost traction under braking, and broke his right-rear suspension in an impact with the outside barrier at the turn eleven chicane after 15 minutes.[59] He drove his car back to the pit lane for repairs.[58] Rosenqvist locked his tyres, and he removed the front wing from his car in a head-on collision with the TecPro wall at the same corner as Bird in practice's final ten minutes. He extricated himself from the wall, and drove to the pit lane for a replacement nose cone.[57][58][59]

Sunday's qualifying session was held in the morning rather than the customary time of the beginning of the afternoon.[39] In the first group, held on a damp racing surface, Sarrazin set the early pace, ahead of Dillmann (who ran deep on the run into the first corner), Filippi, and Prost.[60][61] Ma was group one's slowest competitor after he lost control of his car, and crashed into the wall at the exit of turn fourteen as he begun his maximum power lap, damaging his right-rear suspension.[61][62][63] Di Grassi set the fastest overall time of any driver in group qualifying with a 1-minute and 17.867 seconds lap. Buemi was 0.272 seconds slower in second.[63] The second group's slowest three drivers were Abt, Vergne, and Bird.[64] López was the fastest participant in group three as more rain fell on the circuit, followed by his teammate d'Ambrosio, Engel, and Lynn.[64] Félix da Costa did not set a quick lap because of a battery management system failure on his car while on a out-lap, and he began from the rear of the field.[65][66] In group four, rain continued to fall as Lotterer went fastest,[60] with the Jaguar duo of Evans and Piquet second and third after Piquet deranged his steering arm at the barrier lining the track leaving turn one.[62][64] The Mahindras of Rosenqvist and Heidfeld were the fourth group's two slowest competitors.[64] At the conclusion of group qualifying, the lap times set by di Grassi, Buemi, Lotterer, Abt and Vergne were fast enough to advance them to super pole.[60] Buemi was circumspect with personal best sector times en route to his second consecutive pole position,[67] and the eleventh of his career with a time of 1 minute and 17.973 seconds.[65] He was joined on the grid's front row by Lotterer who was four-hundredths of a second slower.[67] Lotterer's teammate Vergne qualified in third after he glanced the barrier on the entry to turn five, and he lost more time in the track's final sector.[62][67] Abt lost time in the opening two sectors but a quick third sector placed him fourth.[60][64] Fifth-placed di Grassi slowed to pass through standing water but he oversteered into the turn two outside TecPro barrier with the right-rear of his car.[61][64][67] After qualifying, Lynn was penalised ten places on the starting grid for changing his gearbox after his crash the day prior.[68] Félix da Costa was also demoted ten places for changing his gearbox.[69] The rest of the grid lined up after penalties as Evans, Piquet, Bird, Rosenqvist, Sarrazin, López, d'Ambrosio, Heidfeld, Dillmann, Filippi, Prost, Engel, Ma, Lynn, and Félix da Costa.[70]

Race[edit]

The second race commenced at 15:03 local time on July 15.[39] A few hours before the event was due to begin, it was temporarily suspended because of a lightning storm that was due to pass through Red Hook, and the ePrix organisers ordered a full evacuation of the track. The storm subsided an hour later, and the event began on schedule as all spectators and team personnel were allowed to return to the circuit.[71] The air temperature was between from 26.7 to 27.85 °C (80.06 to 82.13 °F) and the track temperature ranged from 28.85 and 30.6 °C (83.93 and 87.08 °F).[70] When the five red lights extinguished to signal the ePrix's start, Buemi made a slow getaway and turned left to block Lotterer's path.[72] That enabled the fast-starting Vergne to go to the inside of Buemi and he out-braked him to take the lead on the run into the first corner.[73] Abt lost sixth to Piquet and fell behind Rosenqvist for seventh going into the turn eleven chicane. However, Abt returned to sixth by passing Rosenqvist, as Lynn went into the pit lane to serve a ten-second stop-and-go penalty because he did not take his full grid penalty. Buemi fended off an manoeuvre from Lotterer on the outside under braking for the turn eleven chicane at the conclusion of lap one, and Lotterer defended from di Grassi who made minor contact with him.[74]

André Lotterer (pictured in 2013) began from second but was handed a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start.

On the third lap, it was announced that the Techeetahs of Vergne and Lotterer were under investigation for a potential jump start.[75] Evans went to the inside of Rosenqvist going into the sixth corner but his pass was blocked by Evans on the next lap. On lap five, Lotterer turned to the inside to overtake Buemi for second entering the turn eleven chicane, as di Grassi sustained minor front wing damage during a failed pass on Buemi.[74] Dillmann entered the pit lane to retire with a transmission failure on the lap.[76] On the eighth lap, a full course yellow flag was necessitated as López broke his right-rear suspension on the turn two kerb, and he stopped at the side of the track at turn six to retire,[72][77][78] as his front wing almost caught fire.when he hit the barrier alongside the circuit.[79] As the full course yellow was activated, Filippi went to the inside of Félix da Costa driving into the turn eleven chicane, but Félix da Costa moved towards Filippi. That caused Filippi to run into the rear of Félix da Costa's car.[76][79] Filiippi drifted across the track with a broken front wing and right-front wheel bearing, collecting d'Ambrosio who was behind him in the turn's braking zone.[80][81][82] It was during the full course yellow that the stewards gave Lotterer a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for being adjudged to have jumped the start while Vergne was not penalised.[83]

The full course yellow procedure was lifted on lap eleven, and racing resumed with Vergne maintaining his lead at the rolling restart.[83] Lotterer served his ten-second stop-and-go penalty in the pit lane at the start of the following lap.[82] He emerged in fifteenth as Buemi moved into second and di Grassi took over third.[77][78] That lap, di Grassi overtook Buemi around the inside to move into second at the turn eleven chicane. His teammate Abt executed a similar manoeuvre on Piquet going into the same corner by using more electrical energy than him for fifth.[74][77] Engel retired with a sudden loss of power in his car on the following lap.[76] Abt earned one championship point as he set the race's fastest lap at 1 minute and 15.552 seconds on lap 15.[70] On lap 18, Félix da Costa incurred a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for the collision with Filippi and three e-licence penalty points.[78] On the same lap, Vergne, Buemi and Abt were announced as the winners of the FanBoost vote.[81] As di Grassi closed up to Vergne,[82] his teammate Abt overtook Buemi around the inside for third entering the turn eleven chicane on the 19th lap.[77] Piquet allowed his teammate Evans through on the inside for fifth but he later lost sixth to Rosenqvist at the final corner on lap 21.[74]

Jean-Éric Vergne (pictured in 2016) led every lap of the second race and held off di Grassi to claim his fourth victory of the season.

At the end of lap 22, the mandatory pit stops for the change into a second car commenced when Abt entered the pit lane after a strategy miscommunication.[76][77] The rest of the front runners made their stops at the conclusion of the following lap.[77] After the pit stops, Vergne retained the lead with di Grassi close behind in second,[80] Abt in third, Buemi fourth, and Rosenqvist moved past Evans to claim fifth.[70] Buemi used his FanBoost to overtake Abt by out-braking him for third amidst a heavy defence from Abt on the approach to turn eleven on the 26th lap.[72][82][83] This allowed Vergne to draw clear as Buemi and Abt slowed each other in the process.[72] Three laps later, Buemi made an driving error at the second corner, giving Abt the opportunity to challenge him for third.[80] Abt used the additional momentum he was given to retake third from Buemi driving into turn six.[83] On lap 36, Heidfeld got ahead of Piquet for seventh on the run to the turn eleven chicane, and repelled his subsequent attack driving towards the final corner.[74] Lotterer overtook Prost to take over eleventh two laps later.[83]

In the meantime, di Grassi sought to get by Vergne for the lead.[75] Vergne used his FanBoost to mitigate di Grassi's attack but he subsequently conserved electrical energy by lifting and coasting.[72] On lap 39, as Vergne continued to conserve electrical energy, di Grassi was caught out by him, and pushed the rear of his car heading into the final turn, knocking its rear camera out of alignment.[77][83] Further down the field, Lotterer passed Sarrazin for tenth going into turn six on the next lap.[74] He got ahead of the electrical energy conservative Bird without trouble for ninth on the straight linking turns ten and eleven on the 41st lap.[72][75] Upfront, di Grassi could not find a way past Vergne,[82] and the latter crossed the finish line after 43 laps to take his fourth victory of the season, and the fifth of his career.[84] Di Grassi and Abt finished in second and third to claim the Teams' Championship for Audi.[75] Off the podium, Buemi finished fourth, ahead of Rosenqvist in fifth, and Evans in sixth. Piquet came seventh, Heidfeld eighth, Lotterer ninth, and Bird rounded out the top ten. The final finishers were Prost, Sarrazin, Ma, Lynn, and Félix da Costa.[77] There were no lead changes throughout the race as Vergne led from start to finish.[77]

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. Vergne congratulated Audi on claiming the Teams' Championship and Techeetah for its effort during the season, "This weekend started out with a mistake in qualifying that got me disqualified. I came back through the field - attacking very hard and overtaking many cars. Today qualifying went pretty well in the wet. Then I had a strong, aggressive, start and then I was able to manage the race, which was very tough as we all know Audi is really, really quick in the race. No mistakes were allowed on my side and I think I’ve achieved that.”[73] Di Grassi reserved praise for Vergne for the Drivers' Championship and spoke of his delight over his team winning the Teams' Championship, "Those guys back in the garage, everyone works really hard. Every time we say the same but I'm very proud that Audi committed to Formula E, suffering a lot, keeping their head high, recovering and in the last race winning by two points is just unbelievable.”[73] Third-placed Abt hailed the conclusion of Audi's season, "I’m just thankful and very, very happy. Now it’s time to get a break and we’ll bounce back in season five - what a big task ahead!"[73]

Audi Formula E Project Leader Tristan Summerdale eulogised the team's comeback throughout the season after multiple inverter failures in its opening four rounds, and praised di Grassi and Abt for their perseverance, “I think what we achieved is pretty special and the whole team and our suppliers have to take so much credit. To consider where we were after Santiago and then to see the amount of points we have been able to put on the board is mighty. It’s a great comeback and shows the great resilience we have at Audi."[85] Mark Preston, team principal of Techeetah, said that the squad's loss of the Teams' Championship to Audi would not deduct itself from their achievements, and it provided them with additional motivation for an improved performance in the 2018–19 season, "This has been a wonderful season, Against all the odds, we have built a team that is capable of taking on the best manufacturers in the championship and compete right to the very end."[86]

Vergne and his teammate Lotterer were fined €5,000 and penalised with two points on their e-licence after scrutineers found during inspection that both drivers were wearing "non-compliant underwear" during the second qualifying session for the weekend, a transgression of Article 30.14 of the Formula E 2017/2018 regulations.[87] Regarding his jump start, Lotterer admitted it was his mistake, and apologised for denying Techeetah the opportunity claim its first Teams' Championship, "You're always under pressure, but somehow the red light stayed on for longer, they were on for so long, and I don't know, I just couldn't hold myself anymore and fucked it up. It's hard to accept now losing the championship like this, although it's a season's result, but I was the one that messed it up. I'm gutted for the team. We win together, we lose together. They tried to cheer me up, they're a nice team, and I'm really thankful to race with these guys. It's a shame because we put in so much hard work, but we lost it like this and they really deserved it."[88]

The season's final championship standings meant Vergne had a Drivers' Championship winning margin of 54 points over di Grassi whose second-place finish advanced him past Bird for second as Bird came tenth in the second New York City race. With 120 points, Buemi finished in fourth place, and Abt was a further five points adrift in the fifth position.[8] In the Teams' Championship, Audi won it with a two-point advantage over Techeetah in second. Virgin placed third with 160 points. After both its drivers finished in the top ten, Mahindra held fourth from e.Dams-Renault in the final standings.[8]

Standings after the race[edit]

  • 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 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi e.Dams-Renault 1:13.911 1
2 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:14.465 +0.554 2
3 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 1:14.921 +1.010 3
4 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 1:15.391 +1.480 4
5 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi 1:16.579 +2.668 5
6 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 1:14.203 6
7 6 Argentina José María López Dragon-Penske 1:14.244 +0.041 7
8 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 1:14.292 +0.089 8
9 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 1:14.304 +0.101 9
10 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1:14.322 +0.119 10
11 1 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi 1:14.325 +0.122 11
12 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 1:14.382 +0.179 12
13 36 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 1:14.473 +0.270 13
14 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 1:14.484 +0.281 14
15 68 Italy Luca Filippi NIO 1:14.523 +0.320 15
16 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 1:14.825 +0.622 16
17 27 France Stéphane Sarrazin Andretti-BMW 1:26.036 +11.833 17
18 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 181
19 18 Germany André Lotterer Techeetah-Renault 191
WD 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NIO 2
Source:[38]

Notes:

Qualifying two[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap Grid
1 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi e.Dams-Renault 1:17.973 1
2 18 Germany André Lotterer Techeetah-Renault 1:18.013 +0.040 2
3 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 1:18.031 +0.058 3
4 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi 1:18.145 +0.172 4
5 1 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi 5
6 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:18.580 6
7 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 1:18.704 +0.124 7
8 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 1:18.794 +0.214 8
9 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 1:18.828 +0.248 9
10 27 France Stéphane Sarrazin Andretti-BMW 1:19.017 +0.437 10
11 6 Argentina José María López Dragon-Penske 1:19.114 +0.534 11
12 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 1:19.124 +0.544 12
13 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1:19.168 +0.588 13
14 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 1:19.365 +0.785 14
15 68 Italy Luca Filippi NIO 1:19.454 +0.874 15
16 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 1:19.529 +0.949 16
17 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 1:19.540 +0.960 17
18 36 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 1:19.658 +1.078 193
19 16 China Ma Qinghua NIO 1:26.086 +7.506 18
20 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 203
Source:[70]

Notes:

Race one[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi 43 1:02:30.054 11 25
2 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi 43 +0.965 5 194
3 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi e.Dams-Renault 43 +2.583 1 185
4 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 43 +4.090 9 12
5 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 43 +4.679 18 10
6 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 43 +5.142 10 8
7 18 Germany André Lotterer Techeetah-Renault 43 +5.810 19 6
8 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 43 +6.312 8 4
9 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 43 +6.833 14 2
10 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 43 +8.389 3 1
11 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 43 +9.114 12
12 27 France Stéphane Sarrazin Andretti-BMW 43 +13.242 17
13 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 43 +13.805 4
14 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 43 +35.452 16
15 68 Italy Luca Filippi NIO 42 +1 Lap 15
Ret 36 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 33 Accident 13
Ret 6 Argentina José María López Dragon-Penske 30 Suspension 7
Ret 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 30 Battery 6
Ret 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 0 Driveshaft 2
WD 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NIO
Source:[38]
Notes:

Race two[edit]

Pos. No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 43 1:01:38.089 2 25
2 1 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi 43 +0.508 5 18
3 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi 43 +1.287 4 166
4 9 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi e.Dams-Renault 43 +1.780 1 157
5 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 43 +12.146 9 10
6 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 43 +20.050 6 8
7 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 43 +20.592 7 6
8 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 43 +24.275 13 4
9 18 Germany André Lotterer Techeetah-Renault 43 +28.821 2 2
10 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 43 +32.810 8 1
11 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 43 +34.100 16
12 27 France Stéphane Sarrazin Andretti-BMW 43 +34.594 10
13 16 China Ma Qinghua NIO 42 +1 Lap 18
14 36 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 42 +1 Lap 19
15 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 40 +3 Laps 20
Ret 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 15 Power 17
Ret 68 Italy Luca Filippi NIO 7 Crash 15
Ret 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 6 Crash 12
Ret 6 Argentina José María López Dragon-Penske 5 Suspension 11
Ret 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 4 Gearbox 14
Source:[70]
Notes:
  • ^6  — One point for fastest lap.[21]
  • ^7  — Three points for pole position.[21]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mahindra were fined €2500 for releasing Nick Heidfeld in an unsafe manner.[48]
  2. ^ Felix Rosenqvist set the overall fastest lap at one minute and 14.663 seconds on lap 42, but the one championship point for the award was given to Daniel Abt becuse Rosenqvist did not finish within the top ten.[38]

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