Without even being in New York Sebastien Buemi managed to retain his championship lead and will be rather relieved that Lucas di Grassi did not gain too much benefit from his absence.
There is no doubt that di Grassi and the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport team threw away a fantastic chance to take the lead of the championship. This was mostly due to not getting the job done in qualifying, leaving di Grassi just too much work to do in the races. However, he didn’t then lose his head, and scored reasonable points in both rounds, meaning he comes to Montreal just ten points behind Buemi with 58 points up for grabs.
With Buemi missing and di Grassi struggling, who did have a good NY weekend?
Well it was the ‘Englishman in New York’, Sam Bird. He was untouchable, with two victories and one pole taking him up to fourth in the championship, still with a mathematical chance of winning it.
Following a fantastic Berlin weekend, Mahindra Racing suffered the disaster of a double retirement in round nine, but both drivers bounced back in round ten, with Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld finishing second and third respectively. Rosenqvist hangs onto third in the championship and is one of four drivers still in with a shout of being crowned.
Who is brave enough to bet against ‘Mr Quick and Consistent’ Buemi for the Montreal race wins and to retain the championship? Unfortunately for the punters, but fortunately for the fans, the final rounds are possibly the two most open of the season.
The usual suspects of Buemi and di Grassi are under threat from both Mahindra Racing drivers who have found form over the later rounds. Sam Bird has joined the party and you can’t rule out a hungry Jean-Eric Vergne looking for his first ever series win.
Realistically, Buemi should shade it, but it’s all set up for a thrilling weekend of action.
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