15 Nov 20
01 Jun 20
Stoffel breaks his duck, Guenther’s bad luck, and Wehrlein recovers. Here’s a look back at the on-track action from New York and the virtual streets of Brooklyn’s docklands from Round 6 of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in Support of UNICEF.
Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team’s Stoffel Vandoorne made it a perfect hat-trick of Julius Baer Pole Position, Fastest Lap and the race win on Saturday – finally hammering home his raw speed and sending a marker to his rivals at the top of the standings with maximum points.
Up to the race around Red Hook, The Belgian had gathered together a consistent campaign, with three podiums in three rounds prior, but had yet to convert any of his four pole positions into race victories – more through bad luck and being unable to avoid drama than any lack of pace, though.
"It has taken a while before getting there!” said the 28-year-old. “It was a perfect result, pole position, race win, and also the fastest lap, so definitely a good day in the office. It has been coming for a long time, today we were just faster and didn't have any problems, so that was kind of 99 per-cent of the job done."
It was the complete performance at just the right time given what was going with those around him in the title battle. Stoffel’s thrown down the gauntlet with just this weekend’s Grand Final to come…
In fact, Stoffel's haul meant he has stolen top spot in the series by a point from Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein, who had been slapped with a five-place grid penalty for his part in a shunt with BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Guenther back in Berlin. Guenther himself was swept away in the turn one chaos this time around.
Wehrlein steered around that penalty, by picking between the incidents and squeezing everything out of his Mahindra to take an impressive second spot up from seventh on the grid – through what is an increasingly-tough and competitive sharp end of the field. His move for second on Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) was arguably the pick of the race, too.
“It was a good result,” said the German. “With the penalty, I had to start from seventh and managed to finish second and it was a good fight to get there.
“Even though the car was already damaged after the first corner as there was a big shunt ahead of me with a lot of cars trying to go through at the same time, the pace of the car was good throughout.
“By the end, I was just defending my position and trying to get good exits to keep Oliver (Rowland) and Neel (Jani) behind me. All in all, second place was not bad!”
Pascal secured back-to-back wins in Rounds 3 and 4, following double top for another German – Max – in Rounds 1 and 2. The BMW racer, like Vandoorne, has been a little unlucky in his quest to avoid getting tangled up in others’ incidents. Max is undoubtedly quick, but is now 46 points off of top spot, having initially looked from his early results like he might manage a clean sweep.
In the Teams’ running, Mahindra had placed themselves in prime position with CEO and team principal Dilbagh Gill in high spirits heading to NYC. Mercedes-Benz have now stolen the initiative and a five-point advantage, however, with the help of Vandoorne’s heroics.
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