Formula E is back in the States | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Formula E is back in the States

29.03.16
Long Beach is the venue for the sixth round of the season for the electric championship Buemi on the attack to try and make the break
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The Formula E Championship returns to the USA one year on from the last race held at this Long Beach street circuit on the 4th April last. On that occasion, victory went to Nelsinho Piquet Jr., who in California thus took his first “electric” win at the very same venue at which his father Nelson recorded his maiden Formula 1 victory in 1980, at the wheel of a Brahbam. Piquet Jr. laid the groundwork for his win with an amazing start which rocketed him from third to first place, brushing aside pole man Daniel Abt and Nicolas Prost. From then on, he did a brilliant job of managing his available energy, something which became his trademark on the way to conquering the title.

Even though the race was neutralised twice, the NEXTEV TCR driver – in fact it was at Long Beach that the team debuted its new name – managed to maintain the lead quite comfortably to be first past the chequered flag. Behind him came Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti) for his best ever result in Formula E, and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT.)

The Long Beach ePrix could be the watershed moment of the season, because at round 5, in Mexico City, the Drivers’ classification, previously quite close, was blown apart. Lucas di Grassi was first past the chequered flag at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but was then disqualified, which has allowed Renault e.Dams driver Sebastien Buemi, second in the Mexican race, to pull out a substantial 22 point lead ( 98 to 76) over ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Brazilian.

Another win for the Swiss driver would carve out a significant gap, although not yet a decisive one, in the fight for the Drivers’ crown.

Mexico was the second Formula E win for Jerome D’Ambrosio and it means Dragon Racing leap into second spot in the teams’ classification, even if 34 points off the leading Renault e.Dams squad, 136 to 102. Strangely enough, D’Ambrosio’s first win in this category, last year in Berlin, also came as a result of Di Grassi being excluded from the result.

The outcome of the Mexico City race demonstrated that, while Buemi and Prost’s cars seem to have a little something extra over the rest of the field in terms of outright performance, a well-matched pack is still one of the features of this series. In fact, once again it was evident that in order to win, everything must go perfectly from start to finish on race day. Just the slightest mistake, as was the case for Buemi in the super pole battle, and any theoretical advantage can simply vanish. Clearly keen to do well in front of the American fans will be the two Stars and Stripes teams – Dragon Racing and Andretti. The Jay Penske team holds the record for the most points scored in a single ePrix (40,) having reprised its Berlin performance in Mexico City. Repeating that feat, or thereabouts would see them fully engaged in the fight for the team title, something which would have been hard to imagine at the start of the season.

2014/15 Long Beach ePrix

Race

P.

Driver

Team

Laps

Time

1

Nelson Piquet Jr.

China Racing

39

46:01.971

2

Jean-Eric Vergne

Andretti

39

+ 1.705

3

Lucas di Grassi

Audi Sport ABT

39

+ 2.994

4

Sebastien Buemi

e.dams Renault

39

+ 3.518

5

Bruno Senna

Mahindra Racing

39

+ 8.844

6

Jerome D’Ambrosio

Dragon Racing

39

+ 13.460

7

Antonio Felix da Costra

Amlin Aguri

39

+ 16.171

8

Jaime Alguersuari

Virgin Racing

39

+ 17.975

9

Loic Duval

Dragon Racing

39

+ 18.436

10

Stephane Sarrazin

Venturi

39

+ 20.418

Pole Position: Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT), 56.937

Fastest Lap: Nicolas Prost (e.dams Renault), 58.973

Season 2015/16

 

Drivers’ Championship

Teams’ Championship

Driver

Points

Team

Points

1

Sebastien Buemi

98

Renault e.Dams

136

2

Lucas di Grassi

76

Dragon Racing

102

3

Sam Bird

60

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

92

4

Jerome D’Ambrosio

58

DS Virgin Racing

66

5

Loic Duval

44

Mahindra Racing

39

6

Nicolas Prost

38

Andretti

31

7

Robin Frijns

31

Venturi

30

8

Stephane Sarrazin

30

Team Aguri

20

9

Nick Heidfeld

27

NEXTEV TCR

14

10

Antonio Felix da Costa

16

 

 

Long Beach ePrix 2015/16

Date: 2 April

Venue: Long Beach

Track length: 2,131 km

Start/finish line offset: 144 m

Number of laps: 41

Timetable

Start

Finish

Session

8.15

9.00

Non qualifying practice 1

10.30

11.00

Non qualifying practice 2

12.00

12.06

Qualifying Group 1

12.10

12.16

Qualifying Group 2

12.20

12.26

Qualifying Group 3

12.30

12.36

Qualifying Group 4

12.45

13.00

Super Pole

16.04

 

Race