The New York City ePrix was a new addition to the calendar this season and new venues are always exciting. The track lived up to people’s expectations across the entire weekend but what happened in the first of the two races?
With championship leader Sebastien Buemi not racing, hopeful Lucas di Grassi was granted his opportunity to push for points in a bid to catch up with or overtake Buemi.
Starting the first race in tenth position on the grid didn’t make his chances look too good. However, things did start to look brighter as he joined both Daniel Abt and Jean-Eric Vergne as a FanBoost winner.
People say you should start as you mean to go on. If we were to judge the rest of the race on the start of this ePrix, the following 42 laps would not disappoint as the entire grid bunched up into T1. It was here that Abt stole the lead from pole sitter Alex Lynn.
As impressive as this was, the best start of the race has to go to Felix Rosenqvist who made up an incredible six positions, from P17 to P11 whilst setting the fastest lap. However, there was no change for di Grassi.
Still in the early stages of the race, Nelson Piquet Jr swept up the inside of Jerome D’Ambrosio on lap 4, stealing P8. D’Ambrosio didn’t seem to be off to a great start as he’d also suffered from contact with di Grassi resulting in a wave of the orange and black flag, pushing him to pit for repairs.
It wasn’t too long after this that Sam Bird became desperate to begin his climb to the top. From starting in fourth position, he was now beyond eager to overtake Lynn. After expressing this over team radio, Bird made his way past Lynn, taking second position and beginning his chase down of the race leader, Abt.
After the cars began to role into the pits it became clear that the Techeetah team were in for a good race with Vergne in second and Stephane Sarrazin in fourth. Could the team get a double podium? With only 13 laps left to race, their drivers were still in second and fourth.
As the drivers began the closing stages of the race Rosenqvist spins out, losing his rear wing and fifth position. It’s become clear that di Grassi is here for points as he speeds past the Swede picking up P5. Rosenqvist makes it to the pit lane and his rear wing is replaced. He’s released a lap down to the rest of the field.
This wasn’t the last of the excitement as a mere few laps from the chequered flag, Heidfeld slows on track. Replays show that his suspension broke as he hit the brakes on a kerb. The safety car is deployed.
First time racer Pierre Gasly looks to be getting a points finish as he fills absent Buemi’s seat. The safety car is in, leaving only two laps to race. Abt makes an error allowing Sarrazin to pass him and makes contact with his teammate. Techeetah finish the race in P2 and P3.