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Formula E Whizzes Into New York

Although the focus of the motor racing fraternity will be placed on the titanic Formula One battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton this weekend, it is not the only discipline that has generated drama in 2021.

Because although Formula One is considered the pinnacle of auto racing, it is not necessarily the future and with ongoing discussions taking place regarding new regulations, one wonders what shape the discipline will be in the next five to ten years.

When it comes to the future of motorsport, the future is very much now and with Formula E gaining more and more traction within the sporting world, this electric form of racing is one that is certainly futureproof.

While back in July, a glimpse of the future arrived in New York and with a double header of races or ePrix’s as they are otherwise known on display, it allowed Brooklyn residents the opportunity to get up close and personal to a new wave of racing action.

Action that would take place at a specially created Brooklyn street circuit and although it did not quite evoke the memories of racing at Monaco, this city-based construction still generated enough memories of its own.

While when it comes to the topic of things being generated, it is power from the cars electric batteries which are fundamental to the running of any car on the track and with 24 entrants attempting to earn pole position for Race 1, the battle for first on the grid is always keenly fought.

With the 24 drivers being split into groups of four – these groups would be decided by championship position at the time, the format for qualification was as follows:

Those positioned in odd numbered positions (ie 1st, 3rd, 5th etc.) would be placed in Group A, while those in even positions (2nd, 4th, 6th etc.) were to run in Group B. Each group then had a ten-minute window, where the drivers could set any number of laps in race mode

Once the group stage was completed, the fastest eight drivers would progress to the knockout round, with the fastest driver from Group A (dubbed A1) setting a new time against the fourth fastest driver from Group B (B4).

Second from Group A (A2) would then race third from Group B (B3), third from Group A (A3) against second from Group B (B2) and finally the fastest from Group B (B1) run against fourth from Group A (A4). The winner of each duel would then progress to the semi-final, with the winner of A1-v-B4 running against A2-v-B3, while A3-v-B2's victor would battle against A4-v-B1's winner.

The winning drivers from the semi-finals would then appear in the final, with the fastest driver from that duel claiming pole, while the defeated driver would line-up in second. The fastest loser from the semi-finals would then claim third ahead of the slower driver who would be handed fourth place.

With this format playing out, it was Nick Cassidy who earned pole position but unfortunately, he could not convert that into a race win - as the New Zealander only managed to steer his Virgin-Audi to a fourth-place finish in Race 1.

It needs to be said the despite some success of elektric power in sprint racing, there are leaking some reports that it is not always that profitable in potential production, as for example reported by CryptoLists about cancelling the promising project. Fans would have been rather disappointed with that. Back to Formula R, where Cassidy earning pole position for the opening race, he would have been many local’s favourite to take the win.

An honour that instead went to German Maximilian Günther and with the German piloting his Andretti-BMW to victory, it meant that a fourth-place qualifying position was subsequently converted to 25 championship points.

While with the polesitter unable to also earn race victory in the first Brooklyn offering, it may have spelt bad news for Sam Bird and with the British ace earning first place on the grid for Race 2, he would look to assert his dominance on the rest of the field.

Something that he managed to do with relative ease and with the Jaguar driver taking the chequered flag by a winning margin of over four seconds, it meant that Nick Cassidy would have to make do with being the best of the rest in second.

With both Maximilian Günther and Sam Bird acting as rather worthy race winners at Brooklyn, they will have undoubtedly endeared themselves to Formula E fans across the United States and beyond and after such success in 2021, they will look to do it all over again in 2022.

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