The 2017 - 2018 Formula E season came to a close on Sunday in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but not without drama on and off the racetrack.
The day started with a steady, but not heavy rain for a couple hours before the race started. The morning practice runs took place with the track soaked and filled with puddles. Unlike a dedicated racetrack, Formula E races on closed off streets, so there isn't the normal drainage you'd expect on a racetrack. Water puddles up, there are painted lines in the roadway which provide slippery surfaces when wet, and the surface isn't as even as the drivers would prefer. This all adds to the challenges the drivers face and helps to separate the best from the rest of the pack.
Formula E New York
Jaguar, as well as BMW and Audi, had a strong presence at Formula E NYC
Then, shortly before the race was to begin, the weather forecast worsened, with a lightning storm expected to pass through the area. The organizers decided the prudent thing to do was to evacuate the entire event area. Thousands of people poured into the streets of Brooklyn, undoubtedly to the delight of the local retail businesses. The lightning storm never really materialized, and about an hour later they announced the gates were open for everybody to return and the race would start on time.
Jean-Eric Vergne of team Techeeta edged out Lucas di Grassi of team Abt by a mere .5 second to capture the individual trophy, and Audi captured the Season 4 Team championship. Other notable events of the day were Andre Lotterer of team Techeeta being handed a 10-second stop/go penalty for jumping the start and team Andretti driver Antonio Felix da Costa, was also handed the 10-second stop/go penalty for causing a collision.
Team MS & AD Andretti working on one of their cars before the race.
After the race, it was announced that Vergne and teammate Andre Lotterer were both fined $6,000.00 and assessed two penalty points against their racing licenses for wearing the wrong underwear (Yes, there are regulations on what undergarments the drivers must wear for safety purposes) during the qualification rounds.
If the cars look like they are going slowly in the videos, it's because of where I was positioned. I was a guest at the Enel X (a Formula E sponsor) suite, and they were located right in front of a hairpin turn, so the cars in the video are all slowing down to negotiate the turn.
Audi, Jaguar and BMW all had display suites in the Allianz E-Village, which was open to the public. BMW had an i3, i8, and a 740e i-Performance. Jaguar had an I-Pace and one of their Formula E race cars on display and Audi had an E-Tron Quattro with a camouflage wrap in their display.