By finishing fifth and in front of Sam Bird, he gained enough points to claim the title one race before the end of the season.
'I cannot believe it, what a crazy race. I have waited the whole season for this, but when I crossed the line I honestly did not know I had won - when I found out I was speechless.' Those were the first words from the mouth of new a Formula E champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, who finished the first of two New York races on fifth place, securing enough points to claim the title one race before the end of the season.
Overall the race was, for the second time after Berlin, dominated by the team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, which again scored a one-two position at the end of the race, thus becoming the first team that managed to do this on two different occasions. And while most of the race the leader was Daniel Abt, it was Lucas di Grassi, who won the race after forcing his team mate into mistake at turn 6, and then came into lead. Abt then tried to overtake his teammate, but did not get a proper chance, as the safety car was deployed following a heavy crash of Alex Lynn.
Championship leader on the other hand did not make a great start. After being excluded from qualifying due to technical infringement, it looked like fight for the title will go down on the last race of the season. However, after starting the race from the last place Vergne continued with a good pace, passing competitors and even Sam Bird, closest rival in the championship and last year’s winner, who was helplessly driving in the middle, scoring only 2 points for 10th place – not enough to even have a chance of claiming the title.
Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, said: “The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler car was just a rocket today. I had good fights with Dillmann, good fights with a lot of the drivers in fact. The second stint was a bit weird - in Formula E, it makes no sense to open a gap because if a safety car or any other disruption happens, you've wasted energy to open that gap. So, I was just trying to make sure that Daniel was at just the right distance, but then after Lynn's crash, it’s just a flat-out race to the end, which was very different. Daniel made a mistake in braking at Turn 6 and went a little bit wide through the dust. Then his tyres were bad for the next segment, before the back straight and I knew that it was a good moment to attack.”
Full results after Round 11:
1 - Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 1:02:30.054s (25)
2 - Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +0.965s (19)
3 - Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +2.583s (18)
4 - Tom Dillmann, Venturi Formula E Team, +4.090s (12)
5 - Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, +4.679s (10)
6 - Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +5.142s (8)
7 - Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH, +5.810s (6)
8 - Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E Team, +6.312s (4)
9 - Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +6.833s (2)
10 - Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +8.389s (1)
11 - Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Formula E, +9.114s
12 - Stephane Sarrazin, Andretti Formula E, +13.242s
13 - Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON, +13.805s
14 - Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, +35.452s
15 - Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E Team, +1 Lap
DNF - Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, 33 Laps
DNF - Jose Maria Lopez, DRAGON, 30 Laps
DNF - Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 30 Laps
DNF - Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing