Sam Bird took a dominant victory in the second race of the New York City E-Prix weekend to take over at the top of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standings.
Jaguar Racing returned to form with a vengeance on Sunday, with Bird taking pole position just ahead of team-mate Mitch Evans, and for much of the race, it appeared it would be the same order at the chequered flag.
Evans was running second when, inexplicably, he clipped the wall at the exit of turn six and damaged his left-rear suspension, leaving him easy pray from the chasing pack. He eventually slipped out of the points and ended a disappointed thirteenth.
This promoted the excellent Nick Cassidy of Envision Virgin Racing to second, with the New Zealander the only driver to have kept tabs with the two Jaguar drivers in the early laps. Cassidy had passed Evans for second on track during his first attack mode run but slipped behind his countryman when both used their second.
Bird took the chequered flag 4.167 seconds clear of Cassidy to become only the second driver this year to take a second victory – nine different drivers have won inside the first eleven races – and he jumped from thirteenth in the standings to hit the top!
The final spot on the podium went the way of defending Formula E champion António Félix da Costa, with the Portuguese racer from DS Techeetah getting the better of the two Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team drivers Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer, who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Mahindra Racing’s Alexander Sims came out on top of an entertaining battle with Sérgio Sette Câmara to take sixth. Unfortunately for Sette Câmara, with his energy levels lower than most, the Dragon/Penske Autosport driver slipped back in the final laps and missed out on points in eleventh.
Despite running most of the race with part of someone else’s diffuser wedged on his front wing, ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Norman Nato claimed seventh, while a late race charge, as well as a penalty for Lucas di Grassi, promoted Robin Frijns to eighth for Virgin, ahead of Mahindra’s Alex Lynn and BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Günther.
Di Grassi failed to score after picking up a ten second time penalty for a collision with long-time rival Sébastien Buemi that had seen the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver spin around the Nissan e.dams driver at turn one.
Neither Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver scored again, with Stoffel Vandoorne only twelfth and Nyck de Vries down in eighteenth, while pre-race championship leader Edoardo Mortara of Venturi was down in seventeenth after early contact with Andretti’s Jake Dennis.
There was an early safety car as Jean-Éric Vergne failed to get off the line in the second Techeetah. His stricken car was removed from the circuit and racing resumed on lap three.
Bird’s victory sees him top of the Drivers’ standings on eighty-one points, five clear of both Félix da Costa and Frijns, while Mortara now sits fourth, nine points back, two ahead of Cassidy.
New York City E-Prix Race 2 Result
|1||10||Sam Bird||GBR||Jaguar Racing||37 Laps|
|2||37||Nick Cassidy||NZL||Envision Virgin Racing||+4.167|
|3||13||António Félix da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||+4.840|
|4||99||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||+7.154|
|5||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||+7.762|
|6||29||Alexander Sims||GBR||Mahindra Racing||+16.286|
|7||71||Norman Nato||FRA||ROKIT Venturi Racing||+24.983|
|8||4||Robin Frijns||NED||Envision Virgin Racing||+25.084|
|9||94||Alex Lynn||GBR||Mahindra Racing||+25.405|
|10||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+26.009|
|11||7||Sérgio Sette Câmara||BRZ||Dragon/Penske Autosport||+26.341|
|12||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||+30.781|
|13||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Jaguar Racing||+30.957|
|14||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRZ||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||+31.970|
|15||23||Sébastien Buemi||CHE||Nissan e.DAMS||+32.985|
|16||27||Jake Dennis||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+35.692|
|17||48||Edoardo Mortara||CHE||ROKIT Venturi Racing||+35.924|
|18||17||Nyck de Vries||NED||Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team||+36.339|
|19||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.DAMS||+51.384|
|20||33||René Rast||GER||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||+59.694|
|21||88||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||+1:05.327|
|22||6||Joel Eriksson||SWE||Dragon/Penske Autosport||+1:07.701|
|RET||8||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333 FE Team||Retired|
|DNS||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||Did Not Start|