This week, the FIA Formula E Championship makes its first visit to New York for the penultimate round of the 2016/17 season of the championship. This double-header will be held in the streets of Brooklyn, around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on July 15thand 16th.
This new circuit drawn under the background of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty offers a total of ten turns with a mixture of fast portions, hairpin turns and a straight line directly to the waterfront.
Renault e.dams moved into the “Big Apple” with 229 points, a 58 points lead over their nearest rival ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. Nevertheless, it will be a different weekend for the team that will not count on the presence of Seb Buemi, who is retained with Toyota in the FIA WEC Championship for the 6 hours of the Nürburgring which is held on the same weekend.
French driver Pierre Gasly will replace the championship leader for both races and will try on his Formula E debut to help the team keep its first place in the teams’ standings. With only four races to go to claim the supreme crown, this is no time for mistakes for Renault e.dams who have consistently scored points in all races. But everything is still to play for…
Three questions to…
We asked Yannick Hubert, Chief Engineer, for his impressions ahead of the race.
We are heading for the very first time to New York. What can you tell us about this new track?
The New York circuit is one of the slowest circuits of the season and one of the smallest tracks as it is only 1,953 km. For this occasion, the asphalt has been re-surfaced so we expect to have different tyre uses. Nevertheless, we are delighted to discover a new track, moreover in one of the most renowned cities of the world.
What will be the technical challenges of this track? Are there opportunities to overtake?
The circuit offers good opportunities for overtaking. There are several phases of high speeds with areas of heavy braking and very slow turns. There will be a lot of electric demand and one of the major challenges of this circuit will therefore be about the brakes. It is at this point that we will be able to make a difference.
Like Berlin, we will have two races in the same weekend. Is there a technical challenge for the car to race twice?
The difficulty will be more for the drivers given the lag between the number of laps: there are 43 laps on Saturday and 49 on Sunday. This is unusual, so there will be two strategies to apply and it will be necessary that the drivers adapt their level of consumption with the rhythm in race. We are looking forward to racing the new track.
“I lived three years in New York so it’s a bit like a home ePrix and there’s the will to do it right. It is a very important weekend at the championship draws to a close for both the team and me. I want to get the third place back, at least. We are very motivated, we are well prepared but as usual we know that it will be a tough fight.”
“I am really excited about New York which will be a brand new experience. It is going to be a great challenge to get in a Formula E car for one ePrix. There are a lot of things to learn in a very short time. I would like to thank Renault e.dams for the great opportunity and I am looking forward to discovering this Formula E car in Brooklyn.”
Free Practice 1 – 08.00 – 08.45
Free Practice 2 – 10.30 – 11.00
Qualifying – 12.00 – 12.36
Super Pole – 12.45 – 13.00
Race – 16.00
Free Practice – 07.00 – 07.45
Qualifying – 09.00 – 09.36
Super Pole – 09.45 – 10.00
Race – 13.00
1,953 (km): Track length.
10: Number of turns.
43: Number of laps in Saturday ePrix.
49: Number of laps in Sunday ePrix.
157: Seb Buemi leads the championship by 157 points.
72: Nico Prost is lying fourth with 72 points.
229: Renault e.dams leads the championship by 229 points.
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