Sam Bird dominates second NYC round
Sam Bird dominated the second New York round of Formula E. Mahindra also recovered after the disastrous race yesterday with both drivers on podium with Felix Rosenqvist on the second highest and Nick Heidfeld on the third highest podium.
Lucas Di Grassi landed lower than yesterday at only 5th and is now within 10 points of the championship leader Sebastien Buemi (absent from the race due to taking part in the WEC series). Once again, his team-mate Daniel Abt suffered from technical issues and was forced to retire already on the first lap.
Renault eDams improved considerably with Nicolas Prost managing an okay 6th position. Buemi’s replacement driver Pierre Gasly also managed a quite good 4th place, although he severely damaged his car in the final corners trying to overtake the Mahindras. Although his car was trashed, he crossed the finish line and claimed the points.
The Techeetahs, Jean-Eric Vergne and Stephane Sarazzin, also committed an embarrassing blunder during the second Full Course Yellow (resulting from replacement driver Alex Lynn suffering another car breakdown). As the other drivers pulled into the pits, the Techeetahs stayed out for too long leading to the FCY to end and dropping both drivers way behind. Compared to their double podium yesterday, Jean-Eric Vergne was the only Techeetah car to bring points at a paltry 8th. Sarazzin was 12th.
The race was otherwise quite dull with only the Dragon Racing drivers providing excitement as Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loïc Duval trading positions while battling for them as well. D’Ambrosio suffered a spin very similar to Rosenqvist yesterday but left unscathed. Duval was not as lucky as the fight brought him close to Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa who pushed Duval into a spin, ruining his race and landing Da Costa a drive-through penalty. D’Ambrosio was able to claim 10th position and one point despite the incident.
The championship is now technically a two-man battle. Rosenqvist is still mathematically in the running (counting pole and fastest lap points) but it seems that just like last year, the battle is coming down to Di Grassi and Buemi. Looking forward to the finale in two week’s time.
Championship Top-3 (10 races out of 12)
- Sebastien Buemi, 157 points (Renault eDams)
- Lucas Di Grassi, 147 points (Abt-Schaeffler)
- Felix Rosenqvist, 104 points (Mahindra)