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Cassidy wins red flagged New York E-Prix after multi-car incident

Nick Cassidy wins the New York E-Prix after a heavy crash that took out four drivers eight minutes before the chequered flag.

A late race deluge meant the field was under challenging conditions in the final 10 minutes of the race. Race control had just ordered a Full Course Yellow due to the weather when Cassidy aquaplaned and ran straight on. Lucas Di Grassi, who was right behind him on track, followed and hit the Envision car at speed. Stoffel Vandoorne and Sebastien Buemi also ran straight on at the same corner, while Pascal Wehrlein came to a stop further up the track and was hit from behind by Sam Bird.

The red flag was thrown and most of the field was able to return to the pits. However, the session would not be resumed. Results were taken back a lap, and Cassidy was awarded the victory, his first in Formula E.

Up until that point, Cassidy had been controlling the race. The only time he lost the race lead was after taking Attack Mode, when he fell behind Di Grassi, who had jumped Vandoorne for second at the start. Cassidy moved back up into the race lead after the Venturi driver took Attack Mode.

Di Grassi tried to use his FanBoost to find a way back past Cassidy, but Cassidy held the position. He had a lead of just over 0.6s to the battle for second when the rain started to fall and still appeared to be comfortably ahead when he aquaplaned off.

It was a much more eventful race for Di Grassi. After failing to make the FanBoost assisted move, he came under attack from Vandoorne, who also had the extra power. Vandoorne came through, but couldn’t shake off Di Grassi. The Venturi driver managed to get alongside Vandoorne and Robin Frijns almost made it three wide for the position. Di Grassi took second just before the Full Course Yellow, with Frijns following him past.

Frijns was one of the few drivers not to get caught out in the wet weather and led the field back to the pits, but dropped back to third when the results were corrected.

Vandoorne took fourth ahead of Edoardo Mortara, who swept past Buemi late on. Buemi had put up a good fight at the front of the field, running in third at one point, but couldn’t hold onto the position.

Mortara was one of the drivers caught up in the race ending incident, but was able to limp back to the pits without a front wing.

The result means Mortara retains the lead at the top of the championship standings, though Vandoorne jumps Jean-Eric Vergne in the points order.

It was a miserable race for the Techeetah team. Vergne was one of a number of drivers caught up in a concertina effect early on, in which a number of drivers made nose to rear contact with one another. Vergne was spun round, and dropped to the back of the order, 30 seconds behind the rest of the field.

Team-mate Antonio Felix Da Costa was running in the midfield late on when an incident with Maximilian Guenther and Andre Lotterer caused a left rear puncture and took him out of the race just a lap before the full course yellow was thrown.

Fourth in the championship Mitch Evans also finished outside the points in P11.

Wehrlein would be classified seventh, ahead of Jake Dennis, Sam Bird, and Nyck de Vries.

Bethonie Waring

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