Friday, July 1, 2016

Three Fight For Formula E Title in London

The second Formula E season heads to its season finale at Battersea Park in London and there will be a new champion crowned. With a doubleheader set for this weekend, 60 points remain on the table and three drivers are championship eligible entering the weekend.

Lucas di Grassi enters with a championship leading 141 points. The ABT Audi Sport driver has finished on the podium in seven of the previous eight races this season and his lone non-podium finish was after he was disqualified for his car being underweight, taking a victory away from the Brazilian. Despite the disqualification, di Grassi won at Putrajaya, Long Beach and Paris and he has two second place finishes and two third place finishes. While having the championship lead, di Grassi has not won a pole position, nor scored a fastest lap in a race. A pole position pays three points and a fastest lap is worth two points.

Sébastien Buemi trails di Grassi by one point entering the season finale. Buemi won at Beijing, Punta del Este and the most recent round in Berlin and like di Grassi he has two second place finishes but Buemi only has one third place finish. The e.Dams driver has twice finished outside points-paying positions after an electrical issue at Putrajaya and contact at Long Beach but the Swiss driver has scored points in every race this season. He scored five points at Putrajaya after winning pole positions and running the fastest lap in the race and he had fastest lap at Long Beach. Buemi has four fastest laps this season along with two pole positions.

Sam Bird is the final driver mathematically eligible for the championship but Bird would need a perfect weekend with Lucas di Grassi failing to score any points this weekend and Buemi scoring no more than one point. Bird trails di Grassi by 59 points. The DS Virgin Racing driver can only win the championship if he wins both races, wins both pole positions and sets both fastest laps this weekend. Bird's only victory was at Buenos Aires and he finished second at Putrajaya. He has three sixth place finishes and a Formula E leading three pole positions this season.

Last year, di Grassi and Buemi entered London second and third in the championship with Nelson Piquet, Jr. leading the championship. In race one, Buemi won from pole position while di Grassi finished fourth with fastest lap and Piquet, Jr. finishing fifth. Buemi trailed by five points entering the final race and started race two sixth with di Grassi in 11th and Piquet, Jr. in 16th. Buemi couldn't get any higher than fifth while di Grassi and Piquet, Jr. chased down the Swiss driver. Sam Bird won the final race after Stéphane Sarrazin was handed a 49-second penalty for overusing power and Bird also set fastest lap. Di Grassi finished sixth and Piquet, Jr. clinched the championship by finishing seventh in race and a point ahead of Buemi with di Grassi finishing third in the championship, 11 points back.

Outside of the championship battle, Dragon Racing's Jérôme d'Ambrosio is fourth with 64 points, two ahead of Nicolas Prost. D'Ambrosio finished fourth in the championship last year. Venturi Grand Prix's Stéphane Sarrazin has finished in the points in every race this season and has 59 points with his best finish being second at Long Beach. Daniel Abt has two podiums in the last three races and has 50 points. Loïc Duval, Nick Heidfeld and Andretti Autosport driver Robin Frijns round out the top ten with 48 points, 47 points and 45 points respectively.

Jean-Éric Vergne is eight points outside the top ten while Bruno Senna is 11 points behind the Frenchman. António Félix da Costa has 20 points, Oliver Turvey sits on ten points and Mike Conway has five points. Piquet, Jr. is tied with Simona de Silvestro and the inactive Nathanaël Berthon on four points. Ma Qing Hua is the only driver entered for London that has yet to score a point.

The Teams' Championship will be one of four teams with 96 points remaining on the table. Renault e.Dams leads with 202 points, 11 points ahead of ABT Audi Sport. DS Virgin Racing trials by 83 points and Dragon Racing is the final team mathematically eligible and trail by 90 points.

Race one from London will take place at 11:03 a.m. ET on Saturday and can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Race two is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday and will be on Fox Sports 2. Coverage for both races will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET. Race one is scheduled to be 33 laps with race two being 29 laps.