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PREVIEW: New York City E-Prix

In what has been arguably the most competitive Formula E season so far, there’s no denying we’re set for an intense showdown this weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest topics ahead of the NYC E-Prix. 

Vergne versus di Grassi? 

Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne currently has a cushy lead in the driver’s championship ahead of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi with 32 points between them, but this is Formula E and if there’s anything we’ve learnt from this season is that anything can happen and with a double-header weekend, there’s plenty of room for a plot twist to take shape in the final moments. 

Eight drivers still have a shot at the title

At the moment, eight drivers are still mathematically eligible for the driver’s title: 

  • Jean Eric-Vergne (130 pts) 
  • Lucas di Grassi (98 pts) 
  • Mitch Evans (87 pts)
  • André Lotterer (86 pts)
  • Antonio Felix da Costa (82 pts)
  • Robin Frijns (81 pts) 
  • Sébastien Buemi (76 pts)
  • Daniel Abt (75 pts)

Seeing as we saw eight different drivers as race winners in the first eight rounds this season, as well as the qualifying format playing a big role in where the front runners are placed on the starting grid, there is a possibility that we might see an unexpected top three on the podium in the final two rounds. 

Could we see a repeat of last year’s Team Championship win? 

Techeetah just might have a good shot at claiming their first Team’s Championship with 216 points ahead of this weekend. However, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler (currently 43 points behind Techeetah) dominated the first round of the NYC race last year with di Grassi in first place and Daniel Abt in second. The German team was crowned the team champions in the second round on Sunday, two points ahead of Techeetah despite Vergne claiming first place. 

New tweaks to the circuit, new challenges

Slight changes to the NYC circuit might pose new challenges for the teams. According to the Formula E track preview, the start and finish line will be located on the same spot this year while parts of the circuit will be laid out with new and old tarmac sections offering challenges in terms of grip and tyre wear. This is also the first time we’ll see the Red Hook circuit play host in the Gen2 era and the first time we’ll see Attack Mode laid out, meaning higher speeds and possibly more drama. 

Keeping cool 

Temperatures are expected to be sunny and humid with a slight chance of a thunderstorm on Sunday and the Formula E weather gods have been quite unpredictable this season so let’s hope the weather will have an extra effect this weekend. 

About Noor Amylia Hilda
Noor Amylia Hilda is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur with bylines in titles such as Women's Health, Esquire and ELLE. She is also a freelance motorsport journalist covering the FIA Formula E championship and Formula 1.