Formula E: All to Play for in New York City

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Jean-Eric Vergne won his first Formula E title in New York last year; can he do the same this weekend? Image sourced from Yahoo Sports.

After the twists and turns of Season Five, New York City will once again host the finale in Brooklyn.

With seven different winners from the first seven races, this has been a truly unpredictable season of racing.

Now, the series heads to Brooklyn to determine the fate of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships.

Here is a run-down of the title contenders and a brief overview of each of their campaigns so far.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Championship: 1st, 130 points

Poles : 2 Wins: 3 Podiums: 5 Non-Points Finishes: 4

DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne is the favourite to win the Formula E Drivers’ title in this weekend’s New York ePrix. Image sourced from @DHL_Motorsports via Twitter.

Jean-Eric Vergne is the clear favourite heading into New York, and will aim to become Formula E’s first two-time Drivers’ champion.

Vergne started the season well with second and fifth places in Ad Diriyah and Marrakesh respectively. In contrast, the Parisian would then suffer three successive non-points finishes.

Come round six, Vergne won his first race of the season in Sanya, much to the delight of his Chinese team, DS Techeetah.

After failing to score points in Rome, Vergne retaliated in response with victory in Monaco.

Then in the following round in Bern, he held off a race-long defence of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans to claim his third win of Season Five.

Additionally, Vergne has been quick in qualifying, earning two Pole Positions to add to his championship tally.

Despite his repeated insistence that he isn’t focusing on the title fight, the Frenchman will treat this weekend like any other.

All he needs to do is qualify and score well, as he doesn’t need to go all out. But like many racing drivers, he’ll probably want to end the season on a high.

Lucas di Grassi – Championship: 2nd, 98 points

Poles: 0 Wins: 2 Podiums: 3 Non-Points Finishes: 3

After developing the inaugural Formula E car, it would be appropriate if Lucas di Grassi became the sport’s first two-time champion. Image sourced from @eracing365 via Twitter.

Season Three champion Lucas Di Grassi has endured another difficult season with more ups and downs in the championship.

Although he’s currently 32 points adrift of Vergne, the Brazilian is known for producing incredible fightbacks when it matters most.

While Vergne’s Techeetah picked up 28 points after the first two races, the Audi of Di Grassi only managed nine in comparison. Further problems then arose when he finished outside of the top ten in Chile.

However, the Brazilian took an incredible win in Mexico City in one of Formula E’s most thrilling races by to date. There, Di Grassi managed to pass Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein metres from the chequered flag.

Strong performances in Rome and Paris when then sandwiched by a non-points finish in Sanya and a DNF in Monaco.

The fastest lap en route to his second victory of the season in Berlin pulled him back into contention.

However, in Switzerland, a scruffy qualifying lap meant that he started from the back but recovered to finish ninth come the chequered flag.

With two rounds to go, Di Grassi stands as Vergne’s closest challenger.

He will share the Frenchman’s ambitions of becoming the sport’s first double champion and will need a strong weekend to do so.

Mitch Evans – Championship: 3rd, 87 points

Poles: 0 Wins: 1 Podiums: 2 Non-Points Finishes: 2

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans has surprised many with his raw pace in Season Five of Formula E. Image sourced from @bermont via Twitter.

One of the more consistent drivers this season, Mitch Evans has surpassed his own expectations, raising his game to sit third in the championship.

The New Zealander has been impressive and scored in all of the first seven races.

The undoubted highlight was Evans’ maiden win in Rome; the first for Jaguar in Formula E. This was an impressive victory after holding off Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer for most of the race.

After this success, Evans failed to score points in Paris and in Monaco, but returned to form in Bern. The Kiwi produced an attacking drive to pressurise Vergne for the win, and jumped to third in the standings with his second place finish.

However, the odds for his first title since becoming GP3 champion in 2012 are slim.

With only 58 points on the table, the 43-point gap to Vergne might be too much to ask. Evans will need a near-perfect performance in both races, and hope that both Vergne and Di Grassi hit trouble to take home the championship.

Andre Lotterer -Championship: 4th, 86 points

Poles: 1 Wins: 0 Podiums: 2 Non-scoring races: 4

Once again, Andre Lotterer has endured mixed fortunes for DS Techeetah. Image sourced from @MatraxRacing via Twitter.

It’s mind-blowing that Andre Lotterer has yet to take a victory in Formula E and still sits as the highest placed driver yet to do so.

However, he could be leading the championship if it wasn’t for a few misfortunes along with way.

A drive-through penalty in the season opener at Ad Diriyah cost him a podium, while an incident with Sam Bird cost him victory in Hong Kong.

His eventually claimed his first podium in Rome, but his championship hopes were severely damage once again after receiving a post-race time penalty in Switzerland.

This consequently dropped the experienced German from fourth to 14th and lost out on 12 valuable championship points.

He comes into this weekend 44 points behind team-mate Vergne and will need to make up for lost ground. Like Evans, the three-time Le Mans winner will need those ahead to have a difficult weekend.

Antonio Felix da Costa – Championship: 5th, 82 points

Poles: 1 Wins: 1 Podiums: 3 Non-Points Finishes: 4

After winning the season opener in Ad Diriyah, Antonio Felix da Costa’s season has steadily gone downhill. Image sourced from @MotorSportPress via Twitter.

As a result of BMW’s performance in Pre-Season testing and the need to prove himself, Da Costa was tipped as an early title contender.

His season started perfectly with pole position and the race win in Ad Diriyah.

However, two retirements followed, including a collision with team-mate Alexander Sims in Marrakesh, throwing away a second victory.

A return to the podium in Mexico City and Sanya, alongside consistent top ten finishes boosted his chances. However, post-race disqualification in Monaco has left the Portuguese driver 48 points behind Vergne, instead of 40.

Finishing outside of the points in Bern has helped mattered either. He needs a near-perfect weekend and hope his fellow competitors fail to make the finish.

The trio of Robin Frijns, Sebastian Buemi and Daniel Abt are all still in mathematical contention. On the other hand, they’ll need miracles to topple those ahead of them.

DS Techeetah look to Avenge Audi in Brooklyn

DS Techeetah and Audi Sport ABt Schaeffler will be the favourites to win the Formula E Constructors’ Championship. © Alastair Staley / LAT Images

After painfully coming within a grasp of the Constructors’ title last year, DS Techeetah are certainly on course to redeem themselves.

With the duo of Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer, the team has scored in all but two races this season, picking up three wins and seven podiums. Subsequently, the Chinese outfit lead Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler by 43 points.

Defending champions Audi nicked the title after an amazing comeback in the second half of the season, beating Techeetah by just two points.

Having been equally consistent, with either Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt scoring points in every race expect Monaco. Two wins and five podiums place the German manufacurer on 173 points.

Envision Virgin Racing are in third place on 150 points, while Nissan e.dams close behind on 139 points.

It’s unlikely that either of these teams will claim the Constructors’ title, but this is Formula E; expect the unexpected!

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