New York became the latest city to be bitten by the racing bug when the city hosted the latest round of the Formula E season. To make things even better for Formula E fans, it was a double-header at the Big Apple.
DS Virgin driver Sam Bird won Saturday’s race ahead of Jean Eric Vergne and Stephane Sarrazin. Race 2, held on Sunday, saw Bird take pole position ahead of the Mahindra of Felix Rosenqvist.
Techeetah driver Jean Eric Vergne started 3rd alongside E.Dams rookie Pierre Gasly in his maiden race. The other Mahindra of Nick Heidfeld completed the top 5.
As the lights went out, Rosenqvist took advantage of being on the clean side of the circuit and slotted into the lead with Bird hot on his heels. The fast-starting Heidfeld leapfrogged Vergne and Gasly to run in 3rd. From then on, the three of them ran nose-to tail for nearly the entire race.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans brought out a Full Course Yellow after he ground to a halt. When the green flag was waved, Gasly in 4th was caught napping as the three ahead of him rocketed away.
On Lap 10, Bird lined up a move behind Rosenqvist and retook the lead. At the same time, Heidfeld tried a cheeky move on his teammate but Rosenqvist was having none of it.
The first race in New York did not yield good results for the Indian outfit and no one was eager for a repeat. While all this was going on, Bird was long gone and by the end of the race, had finished 11.3 seconds ahead of the Mahindra duo.
Championship leader Sebastien Buemi was absent due to his WEC commitments, 2016 GP2 champion Pierre Gasly had filled the vacant seat. Having beaten his more experienced teammate Nico Prost in Race 1, Gasly impressed once again to finish 4th.
Unfortunately, while mounting a late challenge for the podium, he made contact with Heidfeld but held on to 4th. Crucially for the E.Dams team, he had finished ahead of Buemi’s title rival Lucas Di Grassi.
After stalling on the final lap of Race 1, Daniel Abt’s miserable weekend continued when his car stopped. Another debutant, Alex Lynn had a poor weekend when he also retired from the race.
Mathematically speaking, it’s still possible that Bird and Rosenqvist could win the championship with just 2 rounds to go. Di Grassi is just 10 points behind Buemi in the standings with Rosenqvist a further 43 behind. With 58 points up for grabs, it’s still all to play for.