For a time it appeared that Stéphane Sarrazin, driving the #27 MS&AD Andretti car, would score points in the last race of Formula E Season Four in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. But Andre Lotterer, on a charge in hopes of saving the team title for Techeetah, demoted Sarrazin from tenth with a few laps remaining in the race. Then Renault’s Nico Prost got by the Andretti car, leaving Sarrazin twelfth at the end of the race.
Sarrazin’s teammate, António Félix da Costa, who started from the back of the twenty-car-grid because a technical issue kept him from qualifying, finished fifteenth in Car #28; he was assessed a penalty for a contact incident that also involved NIO Racing’s Luca Phillipi and Dragon’s Jerome d’Ambrosio.
Techeetah’s Jean Eric Vergne, who had clinched the Season Four drivers’ title in Saturday’s race, won on Sunday, but Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi finished second, and his teammate, Daniel Abt,finished second and third, clinching the team title for Audi.
Lotterer had run second early in the race, but a stop-and-go-plus-ten-second penalty for jumping the start set him back to fifteenth. His charge back to ninth at the end of the race was not enough to secure the title for Techeetah.
On Saturday, Félix da Costa finished eleventh and Sarrazin finished twelfth; di Grassi won the race, with Abt second and Renault’s Sebastien Buemi rounding out the podium in third.
The Brooklyn double-header was the last race for the Generation One Formula E cars; when Season Five begins in December in Saudi Arabia, the Generation Two cars will take over. While the Season Four cars required a mid-race driver change, the new cars will run the entire race; they will also be faster and more powerful than the Generation One cars. All of the cars will share a common chassis with a new aerodynamic package. (More information on BMW’s testing of the new car appears here.)
BMW Motorsport partnered with Andretti this season; in Season Five the Andretti team will become a BMW Motorsport team, with a drivetrain developed by BMW. In New York, both Félix da Costa and Andretti expressed optimism about the prospects for the new season.
BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “Looking ahead to Season Five, a new era dawns for BMW and Formula E after the end of this season. Our preparations for entering the race series as a works team with the new Gen-Two car are still in full swing. I am really looking forward to seeing our car in test drives in the coming months, and at its maiden race in December. As ‘Official Vehicle Partner,’ BMW has partnered with Formula E since its inception, and has always believed in the success of the race series. Now we are taking the next step together.”—Brian Morgan