However, a new venue brings with it an additional set of challenges for the teams, who have no previous race data to factor into their planning and set ups. This is also the second of three double headers in the latter stages of the season, so teams and drivers will need to ensure the cars are undamaged and reliable for both the Saturday and Sunday races.
The big news is that championship leader, Sebastien Buemi, will not be in New York. The Toyota World Endurance Championship (WEC) team has refused to release him from the clashing round at the Nürburgring in Germany. There has been a lot of speculation about who could take his place, but it is the Red Bull Formula One reserve driver, Pierre Gasly who gets the nod. The WEC also stakes a prior claim on Jose Maria Lopez. He will be replaced at DS Virgin Racing by their young British reserve driver Alex Lynn.
Berlin was a weekend of two halves for Sebastien Buemi, with a disqualification on the Saturday and a race victory on the Sunday. But his 2017 dominance counts for nothing and however quick the Renault e.Dams cars are in New York, Buemi will be scoring zero points thanks to his absence.
Lucas di Grassi had a good weekend in Berlin, with two podium finishes which crucially helped to close the gap in the driver championship. He trails Buemi by 32 points, but with 58 points on offer this weekend, the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver could even take the championship lead.
However, it is not going to be plain sailing for the Brazilian. Mathematically there are still nine drivers who could take the 2017 driver championship.
Front of the chasing pack is the rookie Felix Rosenqvist. The young Swedish driver took his first Formula E victory in Berlin and would have won the double if his Mahindra Racing team hadn’t performed an unsafe pit stop release. Despite this penalty, Rosenqvist finished second and this was enough to move him into third place ahead of Nicolas Prost.
Veteran racer, Nick Heidfeld has claimed four podium finishes this season and, whilst race two in Berlin was disappointing thanks to a poor qualifying result, he still looked very racy and will hope his experience comes into play when tackling a new circuit.
Once again there are two races in a weekend. For the sake of the championship, di Grassi will be going all out to win them both, but will the pressure and excitement get to him?
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|Race 1 Winner||