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New York City Post-Event Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-event New York City E-Prix notebook…

Photo: Formula E

***Daniel Abt revealed he was confused about Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s strategy call in Sunday’s New York City E-Prix. “In the middle of the first stint I was told I was on the same strategy as the three cars ahead but then suddenly I was pitting one lap before and that wasn’t really the best way to do it,” he said in the post-race press conference “So I had to go one lap longer on the second stint and it was super hard as I had to save energy early on in the second stint.”

***Abt managed to finish third in the season-finale, enough for the German squad to claim the teams’ championship by only two points.

***Venturi endured a miserable end to the season with a double retirement after Tom Dillmann dropped out early with a gearbox issues and Maro Engel forced to park his car following a sudden loss of power.

***NIO’s Luca Filippi saw his race end after an accident between with Antonio Felix da Costa on Lap 6. “I was on the tail of Antonio and clearly faster,” Filippi told e-racing365. “I went on the inside on the straight between T10 and T11. He moved towards me and we touched. He got a harsh penalty and he apologized to me, which I appreciate, but it doesn’t change anything and I think we could have got some points today.”

***Jerome d’Ambrosio ended his four-season career with Dragon as an innocent victim of the Da Costa/Filippi tangle. The Belgian said he’s still trying to find a seat for next season. “At the moment nothing is signed but I think over the last few races I’ve got some good results, so we will have to see what the future holds,” he told e-racing365.

***Both Sunday race winner Jean-Eric Vergne and teammate Andre Lotterer were fined €5000 for “wearing non-compliant underwear pants,” in qualifying. Lucas di Grassi received a similar sanction earlier this year in Punta del Este.

***Renault’s Vincent Gaillardot, who remains with e.dams as a technical lead with the new Nissan Formula E team next season, expected a bigger challenge this season. “We knew it would be harder this season and that we had to manage development more,” Gaillardot told e-racing365. “I think actually that Techeetah’s performance helped us in a few areas this season as a customer team. What we have learned will be beneficial for the future as we become Nissan.”

***A deal for Formula E to return to Santiago is nearing completion. E-racing365 understands that the event, scheduled for Jan. 26, is likely to take place in the historic O’Higgins Parc area of the city, south of the Parc Forestal location that hosted the inaugural event earlier this year.

***BMW could look outside its pool of drivers for its debut season as a fully-fledged manufacturer. BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt told e-racing365: “We are looking everywhere, we always screen our own guys and whatever we have to have on our radar and we do this very thoroughly. I’m very positive that we will have the right guys in our car.”

***E-racing365 understands that BMW will reveal its definitive Season Five driver lineup in September. Antonio Felix da Costa, Bruno Spengler and Tom Blomqvist have all tested the BMW iFE.18 in recent months.

***The saga of whether the Monaco E-Prix will take place on the F1 circuit, the previously-used Formula E layout or an extended variant of the short circuit is still unresolved, according to series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. “I have discussed it with Jean [Todt, FIA President] on Thursday and he didn’t give me a yes or no, but I will keep pushing.”

***Agag has personally been pushing for the full F1 circuit, which he said came at an extra cost, although Todt has previously indicated it would unlikely happen.

***Newly appointed Virgin Racing managing director Sylvain Filippi has not discounted additional management appointments ahead of Season Five. “At the moment we have a strong team as we have seen this season,” he told e-racing365. “We are in a good position with our package for next season and the structure of what we have at Virgin Racing is solid.”

***Antonio Giovinazzi continues to be linked with a Season Five ride and is understood to be in advanced discussions with a team to at test a car next month. Giovinazzi’s manager, Enrico Zanarini, held discussions with several teams in last month’s Zurich E-Prix.

***NIO will test at Calafat this week as it continues to put miles on its Gen 2 car ahead of the homologation deadline later this month. Oliver Turvey was originally slated to drive but the test will now be undertaken entirely by Filippi.

***Ex-McLaren and Williams engineer Jakob Andreasen has joined Dragon, having engineered Jose-Maria Lopez last weekend. Andreasen took over the role from Andy Brown who has now left the team.

***Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch was in attendance on Sunday and undertook a garage visit at Panasonic Jaguar Racing where he caught up with former NASCAR rival Nelson Piquet Jr. “This is interesting, very different but interesting motorsport,” Busch told e-racing365

***Others making a visit to the Brooklyn circuit included open-wheel ace Sage Karam, who is seeking a ride for Season Five, as well as Patrick Dempsey, who is currently producing the upcoming motion-picture “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

***Dempsey, a Tag Heuer and Porsche ambassador, was one of several Hollywood celebrities to try his hand at the Spark-Renault SRT_01E on Sunday that also included actor Liv Tyler.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam



  1. Avatar


    July 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    The drivers’ line-up for the next season is the big unknown in the championship right now. Because the introduction of its 2Gen Car and the inclusion of HWA, certainly there’re more seat for grab than we’re thinking. And those with experience in Fe certainly in a better position.

  2. Avatar

    RUN PR

    July 17, 2018 at 5:58 am

    If JEV and Andre weren’t wearing compliant underwear, just what were they wearing – please tell me it wasn’t lace!

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