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Formula E: Audi seize teams’ title while Vergne wins season finale

16th Jul 2018 4:29 pm

Audi edged Techeetah by two points to win the 2017/18 Formula E teams’ championship title.

After clinching the drivers’ championship title a day prior, Jean-Eric Vergne topped off the 2017/18 Formula E season with yet another victory, winning the season finale in New York. Vergne led the 43-lap race from the first corner after muscling his way from third on the grid and past polesitter Sebastien Buemi on the run to Turn 1.

Going into the race, the battle for the teams’ championship title was very much on, with Techeetah holding a narrow five-point advantage over Audi. However, Audi ultimately triumphed with a double podium finish for Lucas di Grassi (second place) and Daniel Abt (third place) helping the team edge Techeetah by two points in the standings.

Techeetah’s fate was sealed when both Vergne and Andre Lotterer came under investigation for jumping the start. The threat of a penalty hung over the leading duo throughout a full-course yellow period caused by Jose Maria Lopez stopping on the run to Turn 6 with suspension damage, and an almost simultaneous incident between Antonio Felix da Costa, Luca Filippi and Jerome D'Ambrosio on the approach to Turn 11. Filippi and da Costa clashed and in the aftermath of their contact, D'Ambrosio was eliminated. Andretti driver da Costa was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for causing the collision with Filippi and ultimately finished the race in 15th place.

During the suspension of racing, the FIA handed Lotterer a 10-second stop-and-go penalty while Vergne was given the all-clear. The penalty dropped Lotterer from second to 15th place on the grid and he managed to salvage a ninth place finish.

By lap 12, Vergne held a 1.6sec lead over Buemi, who was subsequently demoted to third by di Grassi. Abt had dropped back from his fourth-place grid spot on the first lap but fought his way back and ultimately passed Buemi for third place on lap 19. Abt did, however, end up using much more energy than his rivals in the first stint and was the first to pit for his car swap on lap 22, with Vergne, di Grassi and Buemi following him on the next lap.

Abt and Buemi briefly swapped places in the second stint when Buemi used his fanboost to dive ahead at Turn 11, before being repassed a few laps later after making a mistake at Turn 2. Meanwhile, di Grassi ramped up the pressure on Vergne, at one point pushing the rear of the Techeetah driver heading into the final corner, but he could not find a way by.

Their battle allowed Abt and Buemi to close right back up again and set up a nail-biting four-way fight by the finish. But Vergne held on to win by 0.5sec, with Buemi finishing in fourth place and 0.4sec behind Abt, who had to save energy significantly in the second stint to recover from his early stop.

Felix Rosenqvist finished fifth after battling by Mitch Evans, who ended up sixth, with Piquet falling back to seventh by the flag to come home in front of Nick Heidfeld. Sam Bird rounded out the top 10 and as a result of di Grassi's points haul, the Virgin Racing driver fell behind the Brazilian to end up third in the final drivers' standings.

Race result

POS

DRIVER

TEAM

CAR

GAP

1

Jean-Eric Vergne

Techeetah

Renault

1h01m38.089s

2

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

Audi

0.508s

3

Daniel Abt

Audi

Audi

1.287s

4

Sebastien Buemi

e.dams

Renault

1.780s

5

Felix Rosenqvist

Mahindra

Mahindra

12.146s

6

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

Jaguar

20.050s

7

Nelson Piquet Jr.

Jaguar

Jaguar

20.592s

8

Nick Heidfeld

Mahindra

Mahindra

24.275s

9

Andre Lotterer

Techeetah

Renault

28.821s

10

Sam Bird

Virgin

DS Virgin

32.810s

11

Nicolas Prost

e.dams

Renault

34.100s

12

Stephane Sarrazin

Andretti

Andretti

34.594s

13

Ma Qing Hua

NIO

NextEV NIO

1 Lap

14

Alex Lynn

Virgin

DS Virgin

1 Lap

15

Antonio Felix da Costa

Andretti

Andretti

3 Laps

-

Maro Engel

Venturi

Venturi

Retirement

-

Luca Filippi

NIO

NextEV NIO

Retirement

-

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Dragon

Penske

Retirement

-

Jose Maria Lopez

Dragon

Penske

Retirement

-

Tom Dillmann

Venturi

Venturi

Retirement

 

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