ABB FIA Formula E 2021 US E-Prix double header rundown: Round 10 and 11
Round 10 and 11 of the ABB FIA Formula E world championship was held on the streets of New York. The twisty narrow circuit provided a lot of overtaking opportunities and action over the double header. The track has 14 corners, stretches to 2.32km and is located in the heart of Brooklyn.
The Round 10 was won by Maximillian Gunther in his BMW i Andretti Motorsport after a calculated drive. He started from fourth and managed to keep the car in one piece for the entirety of the race. He was followed by Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) and Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler). Round 11 was won by Sam Bird who was racing with the Jaguar Racing team. Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing) and Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah) rounded out the podium after finishing P2 and P3 respectively.
Here is a brief of some interesting pointers that took place over the two weekends:
Changing weather conditions threw a curveball at the teams and the driver’s strategy.
Mahindra Racing finished pointless at Round 10 but jumped back with a 10 points clutch at round 11. They now stand in P10 at the constructor championship table.
Only five points divide the top three teams with Envision Virgin Racing at 146 points, DS Techeetah at 144 and Jaguar Racing at 141 points.
Sam Bird leads the drivers championship table with 81 points while a 76 points tie between Antonio Felix Da Costa and Robin Frijns keeps the two positions occupied.
Round 12 and 13 of the 2021 Formula E-Prix will be a doubleheader in the streets of London. July 24 and 25 are the decided dates for the two races.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Guenther carved his way through the top three by taking the lead of the race from Nick Cassidy at a hairpin with five minutes to go. He also had the advantage of having more energy in the batteries compared to the rivals. His teammate Jake Dennis suffered a DNF after his car gave up on him.
Jean Eric Vergne gathered some important points for himself and his team DS Techeetah by finishing second. He ran most of his race behind Nick Cassidy but used his FanBoost at the right part of the race which allowed him to overtake the New Zealander at the hairpin. Unfortunately his teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa finished P12 and could not gather any points for the team and himself.
Lucas Di Grassi finished third after he made a comeback through the field from P7. Di Grassi had to push the braking limits of his car as late-braked to get past opponents. His teammate Rene Rast finished P10 after starting P23. This keeps the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in contention for the top four positions.
Mahindra Racing had a disappointing first race. Both the drivers finished behind the points with Alexander Sims suffering a DNF and Alex Lynn finishing P11. Lynn was tapped by Pascal Wehrlein on lap 10 when the German dived in for the attack mode but instead rammed into the Mahindra of Lynn costing him a position.
The race saw six DNFs in its entirety. Some of them were car failures while the rest were a reason for racing neck and neck in the narrow streets of Brooklyn.
Sam Bird of Jaguar Racing qualified at pole for the Round 11 and won the race comfortably. He managed to pull away from the competition and managed to create a gap between him and the rest of the field at the start itself. He managed to climb back to the top of the drivers championship board after the victory. His teammate on the other hand had a race to forget. He was right behind Bird for most of the race when he hit the barrier out of turn 4 while fending off a charging Cassidy. He picked up damage in the incident and lost positions to the rest of the field as the race progressed. He came in P13 as he crawled over the finish line.
Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing) finished second after he capitalised over Evan’s unfortunate contact with the wall. His race came alive at the second half which saw him catching up to the frontrunners. His teammate Robin Frijns finished P8 after starting from P21 on the grid. With the points finish from both the drivers, Envision Virgin Racing leads the drivers championship with 146 points, only two points over DS Techeetah at second.
Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah) completed the podium with a third place finish. He started from P7 and cut through the field as the race progressed. As Da Costa was trying to pursue Cassidy, he lunged at the New Zealander at lap 27 with the help of the FanBoost but couldn’t quite squeeze his way through. Vergne could not get his DS Techeetah to start from the line, and this resulted with the safety car on the starting lap.
Mahindra Racing had a better race this time. Lynn and Sims started P8 and P9 respectively for the race and both managed to bring points for the team. Sims had a great holeshot for the race and was also the first to use the Attack Mode in the race. His steady driving saw him finish at P6. Alex Lynn was side by side with his teammate for the better half of the first race but ended up coming home at P9. The 10 points acquired over the weekend in two races keeps them at P10 in the championship table but with only a point separating them and Nissan E.Dams at P9.
A lot of drama unfolded over the two back-to-back races. Mahindra Racing could not produce a strong weekend but the points brought in by the drivers puts them in contention for the ninth position in the table. The next races will be a double header at London on July 24 and 25. It can be viewed on the Formula E app, Hotstar, Star Sports Select and on the YouTube channel of ABB FIA Formula E. Stay tuned for updates.