Vergne wins Formula E drivers’ championship

Techeetah Renault driver Jean-Eric Vergne clinched the Formula E drivers’ championship with one race to spare when he finished Saturday’s New York City E-Prix fifth while Lucas di Grassi headed up a one-two finish for Audi.

Vergne, who started the face from 18th on the grid, fought his way through the field after entering the penultimate race of the season with a 23-point lead over Sam Bird.

He was forced to start way back in the field after his qualifying times were deleted after he was deemed to have exceeded the maximum permitted level of power, leaving him 18th for the start, four places back from title rival Bird.

After a smooth start, Vergne got the jump on Bird on-track just before the mid-race car swaps, needing to make up four more positions to stand any chance of wrapping up the title early.

He did just that through the pit-stop cycle to run sixth before crossing crossed the line in P5 and with Bird only finishing ninth it was enough to secure Vergne the championship.

FIA Formula E New York City E-Prix – Race 1 Results:

1. Lucas di Grassi BRA ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 43 laps
2. Daniel Abt GER ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport + 0.965s
3. Sebastien Buemi SWI Renault e.dams + 2.583s
4. Tom Dillmann FRA Venturi + 4.090s
5. Jean-Eric Vergne FRA Techeetah + 4.679s
6. Nick Heidfeld GER Mahindra + 5.142s
7. Andre Lotterer GER Techeetah + 5.810s
8. Maro Engel GER Venturi + 6.312s
9. Sam Bird GBR DS Virgin Racing + 6.833s
10. Nicolas Prost FRA Renault e.dams + 8.389s
11. Antonio Felix da Costa POR Andretti + 9.114s
12. Stephane Sarrazin FRA Andretti + 13.242s
13. Jerome d’Ambrosio BEL Dragon Racing + 13.805s
14. Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mahindra + 35.452s
15. Luca Filippi ITA NIO Formula E + 1 lap
Ret. Alex Lynn GBR DS Virgin Racing 33 laps
Ret. Nelson Piquet Jr. BRA Panasonic Jaguar Racing 30 laps
Ret. Jose Maria Lopez ARG Dragon Racing 30 laps
Ret. Mitch Evans NZL Panasonic Jaguar Racing 0 laps
WD. Oliver Turvey GBR NIO Formula E withdrew due to injury