Sam Bird has won the second Formula E race of the weekend in New York. The Briton started from pole and never really saw his second win of the season in jeopardy. He is also the new World Cup leader. For Stoffel Vandoorne it is a weekend to forget: after he retired in the first race, he finished twelfth in the second race. He leaves NYC with 0 points.
At the start, an important casualty was immediately noted. Former champion Jean-Eric Vergne, who was 24th and last on the grid, did not get away and so immediately retired. Polesitter Sam Bird and his Jaguar teammate Mitch Evans retained the first two places.
After about 10 minutes of competition, championship leader Edoardo Mortara also went wrong. He got into a fight with Jake Dennis and ended up in the set. The Swiss was able to continue his race, but did so as a red lantern.
Up front, Sam Bird had everything under control. Behind his Jaguar teammate Evans a train started: the New Zealander had to give up his second place to compatriot Nick Cassidy, but Evans took the position back moments later. A 1-2 for Jaguar seemed in the making, until Evans had some bad luck in the absolute final phase. As a result, Cassidy and reigning champion Antonio Felix Da Costa landed on the podium.
Evans still seemed to be sixth, but fell completely silent on the last straight and only finished thirteenth. Bird, meanwhile, had reached the finish line first. With his second win of the season, he also jumps to first place in the standings. Remarkable: before the start of the race, Bird was only thirteenth (!) in the standings. Or how everything is possible in Formula E.
Difficult weekend for Vandoorne
For Stoffel Vandoorne, the second race in New York brought little improvement. Just like on Saturday, the West Fleming qualified at the back of the grid – this time he was allowed to start 20th – and a catch-up race awaited him. Vandoorne did manage to reach the finish line this time. He eventually sent his Mercedes across the finish line in twelfth, not enough for points.
Vandoorne has dropped to thirteenth place in the World Cup. The West Flemish has 54 points, but is still among the many contenders to win the World Cup: after all, he is 27 points behind new leader Bird. With four races to go, that gap can certainly be bridged. In two weeks there are two races in London, on August 14 and 15 the last two races are in Berlin.