Vergne crowned Formula E champ in New York

Jean-Eric Vergne pic: Techeetah Twitter

Jean-Eric Vergne has sealed the Formula E title with a day to spare despite starting rear of grid in the first race of the New York City double-header.

Vergne and Techeetah team-mate Andre Lotterer were put to the back of the field for a technical infringement during qualifying but the Frenchman raced through to finish fifth.

Lucas di Grassi won the race in an Audi Sport one-two while Sam Bird’s (DS Virgin) championship hopes were extinguished when he took ninth position.

Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) started from pole and led the field away while fellow front row starter Mitch Evans’ Panasonic Jaguar appeared to suffer a driveshaft failure at the start line.

Daniel Abt made early progress from fifth on the grid and overtook Buemi for the lead on Lap 6.

Vergne, who would have been on pole but for exceeding maximum allowed power during group qualifying, broke into the top half of the field when he got by Bird on Lap 16.

Di Grassi had in fact started 11th but made a steady climb to sit third on Lap 15, then passed Buemi on Lap 20.

The Brazilian gained ground on team-mate Abt through the pit stop cycle and they touched on Lap 24 before he took over the race lead at Turn 11.

Abt tried initially to regain the position but couldn’t find a way, while Vergne made the critical move for fifth when he got by Lotterer on Lap 29.

Alex Lynn (DS Virgin) brought about a Safety Car when he clouted the wall at Turn 5 on Lap 34, setting up a four-lap dash to the chequered flag.

Di Grassi ultimately took victory by just under a second, from Abt and Buemi, who held third for the latter half of what ended up being a 43-lap race.

Tom Dillman (Venturi) finished fourth, one position ahead of Vergne, with the top 10 rounded out by Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra), Lotterer, Maro Engel (Venturi), Bird, and Nico Prost (Renault e.dams).

Oliver Turvey was a non-starter after breaking a finger in a practice crash and will be replaced at NIO by Ma Qing Hua for the next race.

Audi Sport’s strong performance puts the squad just five points behind Techeetah in the teams’ championship, which will be decided when the season finale takes place on Monday morning (AEST).

Race results: Race 11, New York City

Pos Num Driver Team Race time/Split
1 1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:02:30.054 (43 laps)
2 66 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +0.965
3 9 Sébastien Buemi Renault e.dams +2.583
4 4 Tom Dillman Venturi Formula E Team +4.090
5 25 Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah +4.679
6 23 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing +5.142
7 18 André Lotterer Techeetah +5.810
8 5 Maro Engel Venturi Formula E Team +6.312
9 2 Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing +6.833
10 8 Nico Prost Renault e.dams +8.389
11 28 António Félix da Costa MS&AD Andretti Formula E +9.114
12 27 Stéphane Sarrazin MS&AD Andretti Formula E +13.242
13 7 Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dragon Racing +13.805
14 19 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing +35.452
15 68 Luca Filippi NIO Formula E Team +1 Lap
DNF 36 Alex Lynn DS Virgin Racing
DNF 6 José María López Dragon Racing
DNF 3 Nelson Piquet Jnr Panasonic Jaguar Racing
DNF 20 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Jean-Éric Vergne 173
2 Sam Bird 142
3 Lucas di Grassi 126
4 Sébastien Buemi 110
5 Daniel Abt 104
6 Felix Rosenqvist 86
7 André Lotterer 62
8 Mitch Evans 60
9 Oliver Turvey 46
10 Nelson Piquet Jr. 45
11 Nick Heidfeld 38
12 Maro Engel 31
13 Edoardo Mortara 29
14 Jérôme d’Ambrosio 27
15 António Félix da Costa 20
16 Alex Lynn 17
17 José María López 14
18 Tom Dillman 12
19 Nico Prost 8
20 Tom Blomqvist 4
21 Luca Filippi 1
22 Stéphane Sarrazin 0
23 Kamui Kobayashi 0
24 Ma Qing Hua 0
25 Neel Jani 0

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