Antonio Felix da Costa led from the start to checkered flag in the second race of the New York City E-Prix doubleheader, the first victory of the season for da Costa and his DS Techeetah team.
Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team) came home second in Round 12 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to move ahead of Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) at the top of the drivers’ championship standings.
A third-place finish for Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing also closed the gap on Mortara to five points after Mortara was limited to 10th place and a single point. A braking problem in qualifying had marooned Mortara at the back of the grid.
In front of a second sell-out crowd on the scorching Brooklyn street circuit, Portuguese da Costa sprinted away from first on the grid and fended off the attentions of Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) early on before Vandoorne applied pressure later in the race. The Mercedes-EQ driver could find no way through, with da Costa expertly controlling his car’s energy and position all the way to the checkered flag.
“This is a little bit like our Monaco, it is such an incredible city and to win here,” declared da Costa, who took a celebratory dip in the Hudson River afterward.
“I finished second and third here in the past but to win this one today is amazing, especially given where we were coming from after such a tough start to the season,” continued da Costa. “I love this — I love the struggle and to keep proving everyone wrong, working with my guys and keep on improving and finding ourselves better, and here we are standing as a winner this season again, amazing.
“The guys behind were keeping me honest the whole way. I didn’t have a lot of information how we were doing on energy, so I was just trying to stick to my targets and I was mentally ready to fight — if I have to lose a position I would, but I really wanted this win and I could see with like 10 laps to go what Stoff had and that I could keep him behind if I made no mistakes. The track was picking the grip a lot, cars starting to oversteer, very hard not to make mistakes.”
Mitch Evans wound up third, holding on to a mid-race half-spin as he tried to break into the top. Evans hit a bump in the Turn 6 braking zone and caught a huge sideways slide to keep it out of the wall and drop only to fifth. By the finish he had fought his way back to third, with Sims following home in fourth for Mahindra Racing.
Sam Bird’s scrap to fifth position from 16th on the grid thrilled the Jaguar garage and re-ignited its teams’ championship push. Robin Frijns rounded out the top six for Envision Racing. Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team) was next over the line in seventh, with Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) in eighth, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s Andre Lotterer in ninth and Mortara recovering for a valuable point in 10th.
Vandoorne returns to the top of the drivers’ championship, with an 11-point margin over prior leader Mortara. Evans is five points further back in third with Jean-Eric Vergne unable to score, the Frenchman 27 points shy of the top. Mercedes-EQ is top of the Teams’ running, ten points up on DS Techeetah.
Next up is the London E-Prix doubleheader on July 30-3, a unique event in the Formula E calendar with an outdoor/indoor track running through events venue ExCeL London.