New York – Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi won the first race of the Formula 1 electric championship in New York on Saturday, with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne still waiting for the second race on Sunday to eventually become crowned champion for the second time consecutive times.
Buemi (Nissan), in pole position, led from start to finish a race enamelled many incidents.
This is the first victory of the season for the Swiss driver who was Formula E champion in 2015/2016. "I really wanted to win one and I'm glad it's here", he said with the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the background of the podium.
"Ending with a theoretical chance of winning the championship after not having completed several races in the season, it's still not bad", noted Buemi who, like Vergne, went through Formula 1 before arriving in Formula Electric.
"Objectively, there is no chance"to win the championship, however admitted the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota a month ago.
Vergne (DS / Techeetah), who started 10th on the grid, was caught in several skirmishes. The first occurred with several competitors including his own teammate André Lotterer from the start of the 45-minute race plus a lap, forcing him to a pit stop to change the muzzle before his single-seater.
The second, with the Brazilian Felipe Massa (Venturi) and leading to a pileup also involving several competitors, made him out of points and lose his last chances of being crowned champion on Saturday.
– Day without –
He was called to the race marshals after the arrival for an open investigation after this last incident.
"In auto sports, there are days with and without days. Today was clearly a day without. But I'm still 22 points ahead and there's still a race"he said.
In the championship and after 12 events, the French has 130 points, ahead of the Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi (Audi) with 108 units, New Zealand's Mitch Evans (Jaguar) with 105 and Buemi with 104.
These four men keep their chances of being crowned in the last race of the championship on Sunday with the winner scoring 25 points, with three more points for pole position and one point for the lap record (if its author finishes in the top 10 ).
Jean-Eric Vergne, 29, was crowned champion of the discipline last year on the same circuit traced in the port of Brooklyn opposite Manhattan.
On the side of the manufacturers, things remain as open between DS / Techeetah with 216 points and Audi, the outgoing champion, with 192. Nissan, with 167 points, also keeps a mathematical chance.
The race start will be given at 16:00 local time (20:00 GMT / 22:00 French time), qualifying being from 11:45.
. Ranking of the 1st race of the New York ePrix, played Saturday on the Brooklyn circuit (2,373 km).
1. Sébastien Buemi (SUI / Nissan)
2. Mitch Evans (NZL / Jaguar) at 0.932
3. Antonio-Felix Da Costa (POR / BMW) at 1,216
4. Alexander Sims (GBR / BMW) at 2.971
5. Lucas Di Grassi (BRA / Audi) at 3.537
15. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA / DS-Techeetah) at 1: 34.508