New York E-Prixview
The streets of Brooklyn play host once more to a tight title battle in Formula E's best-ever season so far.
By the time Formula E arrives in Brooklyn there's usually a slight change in mood throughout the paddock. A stark reminder so looming that it might as well be a flashing billboard on 42nd Street: time is running out. The double header for the New York E-Prix preludes only London and the finale (and debut) in Seoul. Back in Monaco, there was a breeze of lighthearted dismissal at the questions about who could go all the way, "I'm not worried about not winning yet", said Stoffel Vandoorne on his Championship hopes. Vandoorne has dropped from the lead to 3rd place in the current standings, but remains firmly in the fight.
Current Championship leader Eduardo Mortara has stormed through the last 4 races, taking a whopping 90 points from a maximum 116. The Swiss-Italian-French driver also came into last year's New York E-Prix as the Championship Leader, but a technical issue resulted in a back-of-the-grid start, notably denting his title hopes and ultimately went on to finish the season 2nd. He'll be hoping for a bit more luck and a continuation of his recent form (and reliability) going into the weekend's double header. Both chasers to Mortara, Vergne and Evans, have had decent results (and podiums) in Brooklyn. All of them have topped the table at some point this year.
The New York E-Prix is a reminder of the abundance of location choices available to the sport, and why that matters. The lack of noise pollution and emissions was the main factor in approving the race in the first place, overcoming a major hurdle to race in one of the most famous cities on the planet. By comparison, Formula 1 has in the past frequently attempted to host a Grand Prix in New York, choosing locations across the city as suitable options. Most notable was the pre-approval for an event in 1983 in Flushing Meadows, but this was ultimately canned after environmental campaigns.
Now, 5 years and an ever-growing Formula E fanbase later, the New York E-Prix hopes to follow in the record-breaking attendance pathway demonstrated throughout the current season, especially after last year's 33% capacity limit. Ultimately, the location itself is an essential marketing tool for the sport. It needs existing fans, locals and tourists alike to associate the Championship with an iconic backdrop like the New York skyline in addition to more traditional racing locations like Monaco. As for the racing, it's safe to assume after the season so far that the attending crowd will likely enjoy a particular special double header.
The New York E-Prix takes place at the Brooklyn Street Circuit 16th & 17th July 2022.