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Vergne claims title in New York as Frijns wins

DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne claimed the Season 5 drivers’ title in Formula E despite a seventh place finish, as Robin Frijns won the New York City E-Prix.

Vergne led the standings coming into the weekend and, despite a disastrous opening race of the weekend where he scored no points, did enough to hold off the challenge from Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi and Mitch Evans.

It means Vergne becomes the first driver to win multiple titles in the all-electric series while Techeetah also claimed the teams’ title from Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.

It is only the second driver-team combination to win both titles in the same season after Renault e.dams and Buemi in Season 2.

Vergne started from 12th place with di Grassi 11th and Evans 8th on the grid. All three made places up throughout the race slowly, with di Grassi and Evans coming to blows on the final lap of the race.

Evans was deemed responsible for the collision and was handed a 10 second stop/go penalty which was converted into a time penalty.

Meanwhile, Frijns claimed victory after starting from third place on the grid for his second win of the season for his first points-scoring finish since the Dutchman’s win in Paris.

He lost ground to Nissan’s Buemi at the start with Buemi starting on the cleaner side of the grid while BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alexander Sims held the lead from the start.

Sims would keep a lead of around two seconds until about the halfway stage when Frijns passed the Brit into the tight left-hander of Turn 1.

It was similar to the move Frijns made on Buemi using attack mode to move into second place a few laps earlier, although on this occasion he went around the outside.

Sims came home in second place for his first podium of the season while Buemi followed up his win on Saturday with third place.

Frijns’ Envision Virgin Racing team-mate Sam Bird was fourth after a tight battle with Daniel Abt.

Abt claimed the bonus fastest lap point to go along with the 10 points for fastest lap.

Oliver Rowland of Nissan was sixth as he beat now two-time drivers’ champion Vergne by 1.1s, the Frenchman finishing seventh to claim the title.

HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne, BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa and HWA’s Gary Paffett finished in the points.

The provisional results mean Buemi finishes second in the drivers’ championship, 11 points clear of di Grassi who had 108 points.

The last-lap collision between Evans and di Grassi means race-winner Frijns jumped Evans in the championship by one point.

Jack Amey

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