In a less chaotic, but suspenseful second race in New York City, it was Robin Frijns who came out on top while Jean-Eric Vergne secured his second Formula E title.
Pole-sitter Alexander Sims (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) got off the line well and was able to defend his position in front, while Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns lost his second place to yesterday’s race winner Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams). Further down the field, Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler), who started from sixth, dropped to P8, while his teammate and title contender Lucas di Grassi quickly managed to overtake Venturi Formula E’s Edoardo Mortara for P10.
Nevertheless, the tricky Brooklyn track took its toll – named Andre Lotterer. The DS Techeetah driver collided with Jose-Maria Lopez (GEOX Dragon), turning the Argentinian around, who then crashed into the side of Lotterer when rejoining the race. Ultimately, this ended Lotterer’s race and season prematurely as his car was too badly damaged. Lopez also had to retire though just a few minutes later, causing the Safety Car to come about ten minutes into the race.
The last race of the season quickly became a race of attack modes as the drivers had to use the special feature not just twice, but three times during the race. And the drivers delivered – and pretty early on: Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne (HWA Racelab) and Gary Paffett (also HWA Racelab) all used their first attack mode on the third lap. This strategy paid off for Frijns, who was thus able to put a lot of pressure on Buemi and the Dutch ultimately found a way past the Nissan e.dams driver when the race was restarted following the Safety Car phase.
While Sims was comfortably leading the race for the first 20 minutes, the Brit had problems defending Frijns who seemed to be flying. The Envision Virgin Racing driver then squeezed himself past Sims with 21 minutes to go and quickly managed to establish a gap between himself and the driver in second. Meanwhile, Buemi struggled to keep up with the top-duo as he had to fight off Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing) who was putting a lot of pressure on the Swiss. This duel transformed into a three-way battle though, as Buemi ultimately managed to close the gap to Sims in P2.
With less than 15 minutes to go, Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) was starting to make his way through the field, first overtaking Vandoorne with the help of FanBoost and then using his extra attack mode-power to pass Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) for P7. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) meanwhile, had to look into his rearview mirror because Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) was trying to find a way past the French title contender.
With just a few minutes to go in the fifth Formula E season, Buemi – closely followed by Bird, Abt, Evans and di Grassi – found himself directly behind Sims and an exciting seven-way battle ensued. And while all looked to be set in stone, it would not be a typical Formula E race without another last-minute surprise. With just a few more corners to go, the battle between Evans and di Grassi ended in a collision which put both of them out of their promising positions within the top-ten.
With Frijns winning the 13th race of the season ahead of Sims and Buemi and Vergne finishing in P7, the Frenchman deservingly celebrated his second Formula E title and also DS Techeetah winning the teams’ championship as well.