The inaugural New York ePrix was an action-packed affair, which saw DS Virgin Racing star Sam Bird win the race from third place on the grid.
Pole sitter Alex Lynn got off to a wheel spinning start, which saw ABT driver Daniel Abt capitalise, and thus taking the lead at the turn 1 hairpin. The order remained calm up until mid-way through the first stint, where Lynn allowed Bird to pass, this proved vital to Sam Bird’s win, who could overtake Abt at the later stages of the lap.
But all eyes were on Di Grassi, who began in tenth. The final lap saw the Abt team mates coming together the hairpin, which saw Daniel Abt creep home with a suspected powertrain issues. This meant Di Grassi ended in 4th place respectively. This all meant Stephane Sarrazin had worked his way through the pack from 11th to take a last gasp podium finish.
“Today from tenth [to fourth] was 12 important points. We have to improve for tomorrow and go for the victory” Di Grassi said shortly after the race.
Di Grassi’s fourth place finish means he closes the gap to championship leader Sebastien Buemi to 20 points, with another race on tomorrow for him to further close the gap to the leader.
Vergne was left to settle for second but was joined on the podium by Techeetah teammate Stephane Sarrazin. Rising from 11th on the grid, Sarrazin gained several places through the pit stops to run fourth late on. The error from Abt allowed the Frenchman through to third, completing an impressive day for the Chinese based team.
Fifth place ultimately went to Loic Duval, who gave Faraday Future Dragon Racing its best result of the season so far, while Oliver Turvey took sixth for NextEV team.
Mahindra started sprightly, but Felix Rosenqvist’s had to pit late on for a new rear wing assembly, which came undone on the final corner of the lap, where he lost the rear end and was sucked into the wall.
Mahindra’s day was made worse in the late stages, as the safety car was called following a stoppage for Nick Heidfeld after a right-rear suspension failure, thus closing the field, which ultimately gave Vergne one last chance to catch Bird, the race returning to green flag running with two tours of the circuit remaining.
Images: FIA Formula E and DS Virgin Racing
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