The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns to the United States this weekend with its fifth trip to Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, and for a fourth time it’s a doubleheader, with races on Saturday and Sunday. Both races will air live on the CBS broadcast network at 1:00pm.
The New York races will play a key role in the battle for this season’s championship honors, now a four-horse race between three marques, four teams and as many drivers — Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing), Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah), Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ), and Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing). After the pair of Brooklyn races, only the season finale doubleheader in London later this month will remain.
Mortara fired himself to the top of the drivers’ standings last time out in Marrakesh, taking advantage of the qualifying misfortune for prior leader Vandoorne, who slipped to 20th on the grid before recovering 12 places in the race to take to eighth position at the checkered flag.
With Evans coming home third and Vergne fourth in Morocco, that reshuffle of the championship table means there are just 15 points splitting the top four drivers.
Vergne sits a close second in the running, and New York City is somewhere Formula E’s only two-time champion goes especially well. In fact, Vergne sealed both of those titles in sight of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty in both Season 4 and Season 5 — with a trip to the top step for good measure in 2018.
The 1.44-mile/2.32km, 14-turn Red Hook circuit remains unchanged from its previous layout. The circuit winds its way around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal site in the heart of the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. It’s a real test, lined with miles of unforgiving concrete with views across the Buttermilk Channel and over towards Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
For the second straight year, though, drivers will have a revised Attack Mode power boost activation zone to factor into their tactics, with the loop moved from the exit of Turn 5 to the outside of Turn 10.
Britain’s Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) is the most successful racer around the Brooklyn street circuit with three wins to his name.