2018 Formula E New York City ePrix - Day 2
The second and final day of the weekend got off to a very wet start. My morning started at 6am in search for my morning cup of coffee outside my hotel, and I was met with a torrential downpour. After ferrying over to the track around 7:30, umbrella in hand, the rain had calmed down but returned to a light shower at 8:30 in time for free practice 3. Fun getting soaked first thing on a Sunday morning? Not really, but my photographer side was loving the fact I could catch details like the water spray coming up from the tires and reflections from standing water on track.
Another benefit of wet sessions is drivers like to swap out their tinted visors for clear ones, giving you a rare glimpse through the helmet where you can see the intense concentration and focus in their eyes.
Unlike Saturday, the Sunday lineup had just one practice session instead of two. Rain continued throughout most of practice with a mix of light and heavy showers. Drivers had a completely new track they'd have to work with and get used to in the lead up to qualifying.
About two hours passed in between the end of practice 3 and the start of qualifying. With a soaked track at the end of practice and not a lot of sun peeking through the clouds, the track didn't get a chance to dry out much which gave us our first ever wet qualifying session in the four year history of Formula E.
Sebastian Buemi started on pole for the second race of the weekend, with Vergne and teammate Andre Lotterer in second and third. The team championship was still up for grabs between Techeetah and Audi, both teams were feeling pressure ahead of the race for a good result.
Later in the afternoon, the sun came out and dried up most of the track before the race. Drivers and celebrities lined the grid prior to the start for the final race of the season, where we'd say farewell to the current cars ahead of the introduction of the generation 2 cars coming soon as well as Renault who will be replaced by Nissan on the grid for next season.
The BMW i8 safety car made the perfect chair on the grid for actress Uma Thurman
Lights out and away we go for the last race of the season. Venturi had a tough day with both cars retiring from the race. Andre Lotterer was handed a 10 second stop/go penalty for jumping the start at the beginning of the race, which ultimately handed the team championship to Audi who won by a margin of two points, the smallest ever in Formula E.
Jean Eric Vergne claimed first place, capping off an all-around great day for the people of France as the French national team won the World Cup earlier in the day as well. Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt returned to the podium in 2nd and 3rd, with team boss Allan McNish joining them later to celebrate their new championship.