Jean-Éric Vergne wins the final race of the ABB FIA Formula E Season to nearly clinch the double champion titles, but narrowingly missing out by two points.
Having secured the Driver Championship yesterday in the first race of the double-header season finale, the team entered the final race of the season with a lead of five points over nearest rival Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.
Ever-changing weather conditions and thunder storms throughout the morning meant that practice and qualifying sessions took place in very wet conditions. Nonetheless, the TECHEETAH pair of André Lotterer and Jean-Éric Vergne secured second and third position in the superpole shoot-out ahead of both Audi drivers.
Starting today’s E-Prix in 2nd position, Jean-Éric Vergne leapt into an early lead, overtaking polesitter Sebastien Buemi into turn one with André retaining his starting position in P3. Unfortunately, André was given a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start light. Once served, he emerged in P15 and the race was on to get back into the points.
With three laps remaining, André made it into the points in ninth position and was challenging for the fastest lap award of two additional points. Jean-Éric Vergne took the chequered flag and his 4th win of the season but the team came just short of Audi, who took the Team Championship by two points.
The only non-manufacturer team in the championship, the small customer team has been dubbed “The Giant Slayers”, having scored four wins, four pole positions and seven podiums this season.
The New York City E-Prix marked the end of Formula E’s first generation. Having completed four seasons on multiple continents and attracted some of the leading manufacturers, technology giants and racing drivers in the world, the championship now moves into a new era with the new Gen2 chassis. The fifth Formula season will kick off in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 15, 2018.
“What can I say. This has been a wonderful season. Against all the odds, we have built a team that is capable of taking on the best manufacturers in the championship and compete right to the very end. To miss out on the Team Championship will hurt for a little while, but takes nothing away from what we achieved and from winning the Drivers’ Championship. To do the double would have been the icing on the cake but nevertheless this gives us more fire in our belly in our preparation for next season,” said Mark Preston, Team Principal.
“It feels great to sign off the season in style with another race win. I’d like to thank the whole team for all the hard work this season and for the results we have earned, against the odds. This season has been the highlight of my career. We are a small customer team and honestly, we have done something amazing this year, going up against other manufacturers and coming within two points of a double championship win.
“This weekend couldn’t have been any better, despite starting with a disqualification in qualifying yesterday, I came through to win the Drivers’ Championship. And again, today we qualified well in the wet, made a strong start and I could manage the race. It was tough because we know how strong the Audi’s are in the race. No mistakes were allowed on my side and I achieved that. I feel even hungrier now to win more races and that’s the attitude I’m going to have for next season. I’m looking forward to it already,” added Jean-Éric Vergne.
“It has been an incredible season for us. The whole team must be extremely proud of everything we achieved. The amount of work that goes into the team behind the scenes and the level of preparation is amazing.
“While today could have gone better, I accept the decision of the stewards and it is a shame to miss out on winning the Team Championship by such a small margin. Even so, this makes us hungrier for more. It’s been a fascinating rookie season for me in this championship and I have learned a lot. We are all so excited to go racing with the Gen2 car next season,” concluded André Lotterer.