Di Grassi takes the money in Zurich
The Zurich E-Prix – the first race to be held on Swiss soil since 1955 – was won by Formula E’s defending champion Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler...
The New York City E-Prix saw Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin claim the 2017/2018 FIA ABB Formula E Drivers’ and Teams’ titles. Season 5 will kick off in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, on December 15 when the championship’s new-generation all-electric single-seaters will race for the first time on equally new Michelin tyres.
With a score of three wins to his name ahead of the trip across the Atlantic, fifth place in the first race in New York sufficed for Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah/Michelin) to wrap up the 2017/2018 Formula E Drivers’ title and follow in the footsteps of the competition’s first three champions Nelson Piquet Jr, Sébastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi.
This is the 28-year old Frenchman’s first international title since his debut in karting at the age of 10. Over the years, ‘JEV’ worked his way up through Formula Campus, F2, F3 and Formula Renault 3.5 to Formula 1 which saw him contest 58 grands prix from 2012 to 2014 before a switch to Formula E in 2015. His record in the latter now stands at five race wins and eight pole positions.
The 2017/2018 campaign concluded in the streets of Brooklyn, New York City, where the weekend’s two races took place in sweltering weather. But even track temperatures in excess of 45°C failed to faze the Michelin Pilot Sport EV2 which provided another display of its exceptional durability and consistency.
Saturday’s race was won by last season’s champ di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin), ahead of team-mate Daniel Abt and Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams). Despite starting from the back of the grid, Vergne ended up fifth which was sufficient to put the lid on his scrap for the title with DS Virgin/Michelin’s Sam Bird who was ninth.
Sunday’s result saw Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler sew up the Teams’ crown thanks to di Grassi and Abt who were second and third behind that day’s victor, Jean-Eric Vergne. The German outfit ended up two points clear of the latter’s employer, Techeetah.