Sam Bird takes victory in the first NYC round
The first race of the double-race weekend in New York had some interesting results. Virgin Racing was on its way to a double victory. Eventually Sam Bird pulled off his first victory of the Season, boosting himself into the Top-5 of the rankings. However, it was Techeetah who ended up having their best race weekend on their first season. With Jean-Eric Vergne climbing the second highest podium and Stephane Sarazzin achieving 3rd place and his first podium ever in the series.
Other Top-10 names included Dragon Racing’s Loïc Duval at 5th, breaking a very long non-points scoring streak for the driver. NextEV’s Oliver Turvey brought the team valuable points (with his team-mate at only 11th) and Andretti’s Robin Frijns scored for the third time this season. Adam Carroll brought a point for Jaguar as 10th only for the second time this season.
However, there were many disappointments as well…
The championship leading teams Renault eDams and Abt-Schaeffler had an uncharacteristically weak showing at New York. With Championship challenger Lucas Di Grassi starting from the back, he was able to fight his way into 4th, but unfortunately his team-mate Daniel Abt, forfeited a podium finish when he damaged his rear tyre towards the end of the race. Despite the fact that Di Grassi didn’t accomplish a podium though, he still has a realistic chance of catching up to championship leader Buemi in today’s race.
Renault had a terrible start and didn’t seem to make up much ground and, it’s fair to say, they earned points today simply because of the high amount of retirements. Nicolas Prost could only muster an 8th place with substitute driver Pierre Gasly beating him out by one position. Defending champion Sebastien Buemi was not present as he is taking part in the World Endurance Championships this weekend.
Also absent for the same reason was Jose Maria Lopez from Virgin who was substituted by rookie Alex Lynn. Lynn was the surprise pole winner and was driving for a podium but his tyre broke late in the race. Mahindra also had tough luck with championship number-3 man Felix Rosenqvist and ex-F1 alumni Nick Heidfeld both forfeiting positions in the top-5. Nick Heidfeld suffered from technical issues while Rosenqvist was forced into the pits when he spun into the track barrier and his rear wing became busted. Heidfeld’s car was also left on the roadside, leading to a safety car session late in the race though the last two laps were driven under normal conditions.
Looking forward to the second round today…
Championship Top-3 (9 out of 12 rounds)
- Sebastien Buemi, 157 points (Renault eDams)
- Lucas Di Grassi, 137 points (Abt-Schaeffler)
- Felix Rosenqvist, 86 points (Mahindra)