ABB Formula E – New York ePrix 1 – Race
Hello MinE Fans!
New York hosts the final rounds of the 2018-19 FIA ABB Formula E championship on the Brooklyn Street Circuit, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. New York is often referred to as “the big apple”, but do you know why? Apparently the term came from horse racing, specifically a publication from the 1920’s which coined the term to describe the major cash prize on offer for horse racing events around the city. It’s a different type of horsepower on show this weekend though ..
Practice sessions showed that the New York circuit is incredibly challenging for the drivers to contend with. Throw into the mix that eight drivers and four teams can still win the title with just two races to go; those are the ingredients that will make this weekend absolutely enthralling.
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne starts today’s race from 10th which is actually a pretty good qualifying result from group one. His main title challenger, Lucas di Grassi, will start down in 14th. Season three champion, Sebastien Buemi, is still in the title hunt this year and the Swiss driver has done all he can so far by taking pole position for New York ePrix 1, along with the subsequent three points for that achievement. Behind Sebastien Buemi on the grid are Pascal Wehrlein, Alex Lynn, Daniel Abt and Alexander Sims.
In order to facilitate writing this article, I take quick notes during the race. For the second time this season, I gave up, after just 10 minutes too. There was quite simply too much going on to keep track. I’ve never seen a race like that before. This is the type of race that will be played in 10/20 years from now as a classic. Unbelievable!
So at the front; Sebastien Buemi led from start to finish to take his, and Nissan’s, first win of the season. He survived heavy pressure from Alex Lynn (who would eventually stop on track with a technical problem) and Mitch Evans who would finish 2nd. Antonio Felix da Costa completed the podium. That’s the simple bit.
In terms of the main title contenders; both di Grassi and Vergne had poor starts and lost positions at the start of the race. In the early stages, Sam Bird tagged Maximilian Gunther, causing a pile-up. In the melee, Andre Lotterer ran into the back of team mate Vergne, causing heavy damage to both cars which put them right near the back. Disaster for the Techeetah team who are leading the championship.
Vergne mounted a spirited fightback to sit in the tail end of the points, however an overtake attempt on Felipe Massa saw multiple collisions between the two, ultimately resulting in a second pile up. Incredibly, Jerome d’Ambrosio managed to get past Massa and Vergne by running over the top of their nosecones. The upshot was more damage for Vergne, and finishing down in 15th place – scoring no points.
The points scorers outside the top three were; Sims 4th, di Grassi 5th (potentially crucial points for the championship), Abt 6th, Wehrlein 7th, Bird 8th, d’Ambrosio 9th – having started 22nd – and Oliver Turvey 10th.
I tell you what, I would hate to be a team owner today. With the exception of Buemi, I doubt there’s a car that is undamaged. There were heavy, heavy impacts today up and down the field; carbon fibre everywhere, and some very expensive repair bills.
The number of drivers that can win the title is now down to four. Vergne leads with a 22 point lead over di Grassi. Evans is three points further back, just one point ahead of Buemi. Meanwhile, Techeetah lead the team’s championship by a reduced margin of 24 points with 47 remaining.
Final race tomorrow. I’m not sure I will have recovered by then to be honest! Do you think Vergne will take the title? Let us know in the comments below.