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The 2017 New York City ePrix (formally the 2017 FIA Formula E Qualcomm New York City ePrix) were a pair of Formula E motor races held on July 15 and 16, 2017 at the Brooklyn Street Circuit in Red Hook, Brooklyn before a two-day crowd of 20,000 people. There were the ninth and tenth races of the 2016–17 Formula E season and the inaugural running of the event. The first race, contested over 43 laps on 15 July, was won by Virgin driver Sam Bird after starting from fourth place. Jean-Éric Vergne finished second for Techeetah, and his teammate Stéphane Sarrazin came in third. The longer 49-lap race held the following day was won by Bird from a pole position start. Mahindra teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld completed the final two places on the podium.
Alex Lynn started from the pole position for the first race by recording the fastest lap in qualifying, but lost the lead to Daniel Abt at the start. Abt elected to conserve electrical energy, meaning he could not establish a healthy advantage at the front of the field and later struggled with his brakes, leading to his team to request that he focus on restoring electrical energy. After twice not being able to pass him two laps previously, Bird overtook Abt for first place on lap 16. Bird maintained the lead after the mandatory switch into his second car, until a safety car was necessitated for the Heidfeld's stricken car. At the lap 41-restart, Bird kept the lead and fended off an overtaking manoeuvre by Vergne on the final lap to win the race. There were two lead changes among two different drivers during the course of the event.
Bird carried over his strong pace from the previous day and secured the pole position for the second race, but lost the lead to Rosenqvist heading into the first turn. However, he was able to remain close behind Rosenqvist in the early stages of the race, catching the latter off guard following a restart, and passed him to retake the lead on the 11th lap. Lynn stopped his car on track nine laps later, prompting a full course yellow flag, and several drivers made pit stops to switch into their second cars. Bird chose to remain on track for one additional lap, and emerged back in first position with extra electrical energy. Bird opened up a healthy advantage over the rest of the field, crossing the start/finish line after 49 laps to win the event. There was one lead change among two different drivers during the course of the race.
The victories were Bird's fourth and fifth of his career and became the first driver to win both races of a double header weekend since Nico Prost at the 2016 London ePrix. The results of the races meant Lucas di Grassi narrowed the advantage of Drivers' Championship leader Sébastien Buemi (who was absent because of a World Endurance Championship commitment) to ten points. Rosenqvist maintained third position while Bird's two victories enabled him to move from seventh to fourth and Prost fell to fifth. e.Dams-Renault maintained their Teams' Championship lead with 229 points and their advantage over Audi Sport ABT had increased slightly by seven points. Mahindra were still in third place and Virgin consolidated fourth with two races left in the season.
Practice and qualifying
Two practice sessions—both on Saturday morning—were held before the late afternoon race. The first session ran for 45 minutes and the second lasted 30 minutes. A 30-minute shakedown session took place on Friday afternoon in which no competitive lap times were set and was held on a wet track for the first time in Formula E's history. Lynn was fastest in the first session, which took place on a damp track caused by the heavy rain from the previous day but dried up as the session progressed, with a late lap of one minute and 5.977 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second faster than teammate Bird in second and Rosenqvist third. Prost was fourth-fastest, ahead of both Audi Sport ABT drivers Daniel Abt and di Grassi. Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Mitch Evans, Robin Frijns and Adam Carroll rounded out the session's top-ten drivers. The session was temporarily halted three minutes in when Tom Dillmann stopped his car on track and could not restart. Vergne later drifted wide into the run-off area but avoided damaging his car. Rosenqvist used the full 200 kilowatts (270 hp) available to him and recorded the second practice session's fastest lap time, at one minute and 2.423 seconds despite making minor contact with the wall leaving turn five with his right-rear tire, damaging its suspension. The damage however was not severe enough and was repaired. He was three-tenths of a second ahead of teammate Heidfeld in second and Prost third. Bird was fourth-fastest; the two Audi Sport ABT cars of di Grassi and Abt placed fifth and sixth. Loïc Duval was seventh-fastest, Evans eighth, Frijns ninth and Lynn completed the top ten ahead of qualifying. Late in the session, di Grassi drove to the side of the track with a battery management system problem and could not restart his car, necessitating race control to display a full course yellow flag.
Daniel Abt (pictured in 2015) qualified second and led the first race's 15 laps before retiring with car problems.
Saturday's afternoon qualifying session ran for 60 minutes and was divided into four groups of five cars. Each group was determined by a lottery system and was permitted six minutes of on-track activity. All drivers were limited to two timed laps with one at maximum power. The fastest five overall competitors in the four groups participated in a "Super Pole" session with one driver on the track at any time going out in reverse order. Each of the five drivers was limited to one timed lap; the starting order was determined by the participants' fastest times. The driver and team who recorded the fastest time were awarded three points towards their respective championships. Qualifying took place in dry and warm weather conditions. In the first group of five runners, Vergne paced the session despite minor contact with the barriers lining the circuit, four-tenths of a second ahead of second-placed Duval. Andretti teammates Frijns and António Félix da Costa were third and fourth (the latter lightly impacted the wall between the eighth and ninth corners) and Gasly was the group's slowest driver after hitting the concrete wall, damaging his suspension. D'Ambrosio set the second group's fastest lap time, three-tenths of a second faster than Heidfeld in second position. Prost was third-quickest, and was ahead of the group's slowest two participants Stéphane Sarrazin and Evans. In the third group, Abt topped the time sheets with Lynn taking second place. Piquet took third with Carroll fourth. Rosenqvist slid and went deep at the turn one hairpin, losing him two seconds worth of time and was the third group's slowest competitor.
Bird set the fastest overall time in all four groups with a lap of one minute and 2.806 seconds. He was almost six-tenths of a second faster than Oliver Turvey in second place and di Grassi was third. Dillmann was fourth-quickest and Maro Engel was the fourth group's slowest driver. Engel was affected a problem which emerged before he could record a maximum power lap, forcing di Grassi to slow because yellow flags were waved. At the end of group qualifying, the lap times set by Bird, d'Ambrosio, Abt, Lynn and Vergne was fast enough to enable them advancement into super pole. In what was considered "a shock result" by multiple motorsport publications, Lynn clinched the first pole position of his career, with a lap of one minute and 3.296 seconds in his first race meeting. He became the first driver to secure pole position in his debut Formula E race since Vergne at the 2014 Punta del Este ePrix. He was joined on the grid's front row by Abt who recorded a lap time two-tenths of a second slower than Lynn, and was quicker than the driver but lost time in the track's final sector. Abt was 0.003 seconds ahead of third-place qualifier Vergne. Bird's effort in super pole was untidy, and could not match his teammate's pace with two errors at the track's hairpins. He was only able to muster a fourth place starting position. D'Ambrosio could not get his car into a qualifying setup, resulting in him locking his tires at turn six, and was restricted to starting fifth.
The first race began at 16:00 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−05:00). Weather conditions at the start of the race were dry and sunny with an air temperature between 84.65 to 85.64 °F (29.25 to 29.80 °C) and a track temperature ranging from 91.0 to 93.0 °F (32.8 to 33.9 °C). A special feature of Formula E is the "Fan Boost" feature, an additional 100 kilowatts (130 hp) of power to use in the driver's second car. The three drivers who were allowed to use the boost were determined by a fan vote. For the first New York race, Abt, di Grassi and Vergne were handed the extra power. When the race started, Lynn spun his tires, enabling Abt to overtake him at the turn one hairpin. Bird and di Grassi gained one position at the start of the race; the latter found himself delayed in traffic at the hairpins where multiple cars made contact and emerged from the melee without bodywork damage. Rosenqvist made the best getaway in the field, gaining six positions by the end of the first lap while Prost lost nine places over the same distance because of his car was damaged. Evans was required to switch into his second car because of a broken right front wheel. Following contact with Piquet which damaged the left corner of his front wing, d'Ambrosio also drove into the pit lane.
At the end of the first lap, Abt led from Lynn, who was followed in turn by, Bird, Vergne, Heidfeld, d'Ambrosio, Turvey, Sarrazin, Piquet, di Grassi, Rosenqvist, Duval, Carroll, Félix da Costa, Dillmann, Frijns, Gasly, Engel, Prost and Evans. Abt opted to conserve electrical energy, meaning he could not establish a large lead over both Virgin drivers. Lynn defended from teammate Bird but the latter grew frustrated over his manoeuvres. Bird was granted permission to pass Lynn at the second corner on the ninth lap. Vergne was overtaken by Heidfeld for fourth place at the end of the same lap. Abt was struggling with his brakes, and his team requested that he focus on restoring electrical energy. Bird used this handicap to his advantage and challenged him for the lead. Bird attempted to pass Abt twice on lap 14 but could not get past. Two laps later, Bird took the lead from Abt by aggressively turning to the inside of Abt at the turn five hairpin. Vergne and Heidfeld attacked Lynn who was struggling to manage his car's electrical energy. Heidfeld took advantage of a small gap left by Lynn to move in front of Lynn for third heading towards the turn two chicane on the 16th lap. Vergne passed Lynn to move into fourth place at the turn one hairpin on the next lap.
Jean-Éric Vergne (pictured in 2016) ran strongly in the first race to finish second.
Heidfeld placed pressure onto Abt but Vergne was drawing closer to him, allowing Abt to pull out a small advantage over the two drivers. Vergne began his attack before the opening of the pit stop window and moved ahead of Heidfeld at the turn two chicane for third on lap 18. Further down the field, Carroll and Félix da Costa battled each other and both cars made contact, littering the track with debris. On the 21st lap, Abt fell to third when he was passed by Vergne. The mandatory pit stops, during which all drivers need to change into a second car, began on the same lap when Lynn entered the pit lane after being passed by Sarrazin for sixth position. Bird and Vergne made their pit stops on the same lap, handing the lead back to Abt. Engel set the race's fastest lap on the same lap, completing a circuit in one minute and 3.883 seconds, earning him one championship point. Abt was on an alternative strategy, and held the lead for one lap before handing it back to Bird. After the pit stops, Bird led Vergne by 2.2 seconds, with Abt five seconds adrift of the Virgin car. Sarrazin gained the most places as swift work from his pit crew moved him to fourth, while Rosenqvist was now running in sixth after starting from 17th position, though his teammate Heidfeld fell to eighth.
Lynn's race ended early on lap 25 when he stopped on track with a driveshaft failure. Di Grassi was separated by the two Mahindra cars of Rosenqvist and Heidfeld, and battled the former while also defending from the latter. Dillmann and Gasly overtook Carroll to move into the points-scoring positions on lap 29. As the lead group established themselves, attention focused on di Grassi's duel with Rosenqvist. Di Grassi was cautious as he attempted to find room to pass Rosenqvist, but kept pressuring him. On lap 33, Rosenqvist locked his tires turning into the turn two chicane, causing him to lose control of his car's rear-end, and drifted into the corner's exit barrier. His error promoted di Grassi into fifth place; the impact removed his rear wing, prompting race officials to display a black flag with an orange circle, requiring him to make a pit stop for repairs. After passing Dillmann, Gasly was at this point running in seventh position. Heidfeld's right-rear suspension collapsed after hitting the turn three inside kerb too hard on the 37th lap. He stopped on track, triggering the safety car's deployment, and reducing the time gaps within the field. Heidfeld pushed his car back to pit lane without assistance from marshals.
The safety car was withdrawn at the end of lap 41, and racing resumed with Bird leading Vergne and Abt. On the final lap, Abt slowed with a battery management system failure in the first turn, enabling Sarrazin to claim third place. As Abt attempted to rejoin, he almost hit teammate di Grassi, and stopped on track, preventing him from finishing. Vergne attempted to pass Bird by braking later than him on the same lap, but could not overtake the latter who maintained the lead for the remainder of the race to secure the win. Vergne finished second, 1.3 seconds behind and his teammate Sarrazin took third. Di Grassi was fourth, Duval fifth and Turvey sixth. The two e.Dams-Renault cars of Gasly and Prost were seventh and eighth. Frijns and Carroll rounded out the top-ten points-scoring positions. Piquet and Félix da Costa were in the next two positions. Dillmann was affected by problems and fell to 13th. Abt and Rosenqvist were the last of the classified finishers. Evans, d'Ambrosio and Engel were the other three drivers not to finish the race. It was Bird's first victory of the season, the fourth of his career, and his first since the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix. He became the first driver to win a motor race in New York City. There were two lead changes during the race; two drivers reached the front of the field. Bird led twice for a total of 27 laps, more than any other driver. Result List
1 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Virgin-Citröen 43 52:29.275 4 25
2 25 France Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah-Renault 43 +1.354 3 18
3 33 France Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah-Renault 43 +4.392 11 15
4 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 43 +6.155 10 12
5 6 France Loïc Duval Dragon-Penske 43 +8.428 12 10
6 88 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO 43 +8.952 8 8
7 9 France Pierre Gasly e.Dams-Renault 43 +9.321 19 6
8 8 France Nico Prost e.Dams-Renault 43 +10.036 9 4
9 27 Netherlands Robin Frijns Andretti-BMW 43 +11.019 16 2
10 47 United Kingdom Adam Carroll Jaguar 43 +12.073 13 1
11 3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NIO 43 +12.977 7
12 28 Portugal António Félix da Costa Andretti-BMW 43 +13.341 18
13 4 France Tom Dillmann Venturi 43 +16.337 15
14 66 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 42 Battery 2
15 19 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra 42 +1 Lap 17
Ret 23 Germany Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 34 Wheel nut 6
Ret 5 Germany Maro Engel Venturi 30 Engine 20 14
Ret 37 United Kingdom Alex Lynn Virgin-Citröen 23 Driveshaft 1 33
Ret 7 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon-Penske 22 Oil Pressure 5
Ret 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar 18 Wheel 14 FanartBannerPotential Filenames
Formula E 2017-07-15 New York ePrix Race 1.mkv
Formula E 2017-07-15 New York ePrix Race 1.avi
Formula E 2017-07-15 New York ePrix Race 1.mp4