In Formula E, the most important person to beat is your teammate. Who did just that in Long Beach? Let’s go through the field and hand out the Team Mate Battle points!
These are the rules to which the drivers are being judged.
- 1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster race lap.
- 3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.
- 5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best during the race.
What was a solid drive from Antonio Felix da Costa turned into something of a recovery drive. Running in the top seven in the first half of the race, he lost a lot of time during the pit stop and spent the second half of the race fighting back to his previous position; seventh. He may well have been challenging for the podium had things gone a little smoother.
Salvador Duran was some way behind his team-mate, but wasn’t helped by Loic Duval, with whom he tanged just before the pit stops. Another collision late on forced him into race retirement not long after but, in truth, he was already long beaten before then. A clean sweep for Da Costa at Long Beach.
- Fastest Lap: Antonio Felix da Costa (3-1 to Da Costa)
- Qualifying: Antonio Felix da Costa (9-3 to Da Costa)
- Race: Antonio Felix da Costa (20-0 to Da Costa)
- Race 1: Takuma Sato 9-0 Katherine Legge
- Race 2: Antonio Felix da Costa 9-0 Katherine Legge
- Race 3 onwards: Antonio Felix da Costa 32-4 Duran
Amlin Aguri: Da Costa 32-4 Duran
From the high of the Miami ePrix, many expected Scott Speed to be challenging at the sharp end of the grid in Long Beach. Whilst demonstrating that his pace in Miami was no flash in the pan, his race lasted only a handful of laps. He took just a little too much of the kerb during the second part of the chicane and ended up in the wall on the exit of the corner, ending any secondary hopes of an American driver winning with an American team on American soil.
Vergne had much greater success, taking his first Formula E podium in his fourth race. It was definitely an overdue podium, given that he has started two races on pole position, but it’s a result that also gives Andretti their first podium since the start of the year.There wasn’t much to choose between the drivers in qualifying – there was exactly 0.05 of a second difference – but because Vergne was comfortably ahead in the early part of the race and avoided the barriers, it’s an easy race points victory for Vergne this time.
- Fastest Lap: Vergne (1-1)
- Qualifying: Vergne (6-0 to Vergne)
- Race: Vergne (5-5)
- Race 1: Franck Montagny 9-0 Charles Pic
- Race 2: Franck Montagny 1-8 Matthew Brabham
- Race 3: Matthew Brabham 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
- Race 4: Marco Andretti 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
- Race 5 onwards: Scott Speed 6-12 Jean-Eric Vergne
Andretti: Speed 6-12 Vergne
Audi Sport Abt
Lucas di Grassi is known as quite an intelligent racing driver. He doesn’t get too flustered and he’s unlikely to just throw the car to the inside line in any kind of desperate move. It’s this forward-thinking nature that has helped generated the consistency needed for a championship challenge. Apart from a slightly disappointing qualifying session he was quick all weekend.
It would be interesting to know how much involvement a driver has in changing the car’s power (aside from the level by the right foot). One would think Daniel Abt just presses the buttons at the request of the team, and that will alter how much power he has at his disposal. Does that then mean he shouldn’t be blamed for exceeding the power limit? The Long Beach race points tentatively go to Abt as he was successfully keeping his team-mate at bay until the penalty.
Would di Grassi have eventually passed? That’s hard to predict as he was the faster car, but he would’ve also been thinking of the championship lead. Would he have risked a pass? I’m not so sure he would.
- Fastest Lap: di Grassi (3-3)
- Qualifying: Abt (9-9)
- Race: Abt (20-10 to di Grassi)
Audi Sport Abt: di Grassi 32-22 Abt
It was clear from the start of the weekend that Piquet had only one goal in mind: Victory. It was clear he had the emulation of his father, Nelson Piquet Sr., in mind when he was sporting a one-off colour scheme for his helmet, which were the colours of his father’s helmet when he took his first Formula One win 35 years ago.
It was simply one of the most comfortable victories of the season – one which puts him straight into the driver’s championship mix – and one of the easiest team-mate battles that has ever been observed.
Piquet stormed to victory whilst Charles Pic accidentally side-swiped Jarno Trulli. Open and shut discussion; races points to Piquet.
What was interesting to see was that Pic managed to record a faster lap than Piquet. Granted, Pic probably had nothing better to do when he set it, but it certainly gives hope of him being able to double China Racing’s fortunes should they be quick once again.
- Fastest Lap: Charles Pic (1-1)
- Qualifying: Nelson Piquet Jr (6-0 to Piquet Jr)
- Race: Nelson Piquet Jr (10-0 to Piquet Jr)
- Race 1-4: Nelson Piquet Jr 36-0 Tung/Garcia
- Race 5 onwards: Nelson Piquet Jr 9-0 Charles Pic
China Racing: Piquet Jr 17-1 Pic
Long Beach was as much of a home race as you’re going to get for Dragon Racing, with the team being based just further North in Los Angeles. The unspectacular team which normally scythes its way through the field during a race was unusually in the wars. Both men lost ground just before the round of pit-stops; Jerome D’Ambrosio was bumped wide by an erratic Nico Prost and Loic Duval tangled with Amlin Aguri’s Salvador Duran, which resulted in a spin for the Frenchman.
Both men recovered well to collect a decent eight points for the team, with Loic Duval setting the second-fastest race lap. D’Ambrosio gets the race vote this time, but how long will it take for Duval to catch his Belgian team-mate? The pair seem confident in race trim (which may be what they set up for) but qualifying seems to be hampering them from strong results.
- Fastest Lap: Loic Duval (2-0 to Duval)
- Qualifying: Jerome D’Ambrosio (6-0 to D’Ambrosio)
- Race: Jerome D’Ambrosio (10-0 to D’Ambrosio)
- Race 1-4: Jerome D’Ambrosio 25-11 Oriol Servia
- Race 5 onwards: Jerome D’Ambrosio 16-2 Loic Duval
Dragon Racing: D’Ambrosio 16-2 Duval
What a way to come crashing back down to earth for Nico Prost. After qualifying, he looked like he could mount a challenge to become the first driver to record back-to-back victories in Formula E, but instead he spent the entire race dropping down the race order like a stone. In third place after lap one, he was passed by Vergne, di Grassi, Buemi and Da Costa before taking his frustrations out on Jerome D’Ambrosio prior to the pit stops. This earned the Frenchman a penalty and dropped him well out of the points. The only damage limitation for Prost was that he set the fastest lap of the race in his second stint for two points. Where was this turn of speed before? Was there something wrong with the first car, or was this an early indication of the pressures of the championship?
After the promise of qualifying, it turned into a race of recovery for Sebastien Buemi. Starting down in 10th, he conducted a solid drive to finish the race in fourth place. It may not be the result to completely reignite his championship aspirations, but it’s a result that keeps him within striking range of the top of the table. Race points to Buemi for Long Beach.
- Fastest Lap: Prost (4-2 to Buemi)
- Qualifying: Prost (15-3 to Prost)
- Race: Buemi (15-15)
e.dams-Renault: Prost 32-22 Buemi
Mahindra Racing seem to be the team that has been running solidly in the midfield for most of the season. They haven’t quite been on the pace of the Series’ leaders, but they haven’t had a race where they’ve been completely out of point’s contention either. After an average qualifying session, it was Bruno Senna who managed to turn eke a better race performance out of his car to finish a solid fifth place, and was close to challenging for a podium.
It was a different story altogether for Karun Chandhok, who looked to simply not have the pace to compete in California. Starting in 18th, his only real progress came from the retirements of others, a disappointing 12th place finish for Chandhok.
- Fastest Lap: Bruno Senna (3-3)
- Qualifying: Bruno Senna (12-6 to Chandhok)
- Race: Bruno Senna (20-15 to Senna)
Mahindra Racing: Chandhok 25-29 Senna
It was an incredibly frustrating day for driver and team boss Jarno Trulli. Running in 13th after the first safety car, he found himself on the wrong side of Charles Pic, becoming a dartboard for the China Racing arrow. A disgruntled Trulli was out on the spot, leaving only Liuzzi to contest the remainder of the race.
Liuzzi had a poor qualifying session. Clattering the barrier mid-way through his group, he qualified at the back of the grid. From there, the only way was up, and contested the first half of the race strongly until a gear selection problem with the second car lost the Italian some time at the pit stop. He finished P13 and it’s difficult to tell if he would have caught his team-mate at any point in the race. The race points will go to Trulli this time for being ahead at the time of retirement.
- Fastest Lap: Vitantonio Liuzzi (1-1)
- Qualifying: Jarno Trulli (3-3)
- Race: Jarno Trulli (10-0 to Trulli)
- Race 1-4: Jarno Trulli 24-12 Michela Cerruti
- Race 5 onwards: Jarno Trulli 14-4 Vitantonio Liuzzi
Trulli: Trulli 14-4 Liuzzi
Another weekend to forget for the Venturi team. They looked like contenders for a solid double-points finish until both drivers fell away towards the end of the race.
It was a fairly quiet and trouble-free race for Stephane Sarrazin, he pipped a wing-less Heidfeld to the final point, but he was slightly adrift of Heidfeld prior to that. He gets a clean sweep this time for keeping his nose clean.
After his consistently poor fortunes in the first few races of the season, Heidfeld almost looks to have given up on the championship. He probably hasn’t given up at all, but for some reason he has been unable to extract the same level of performance from his car in the two American rounds. Whether it’s because of a poor run of form from the driver/team or their rivals have learned more about the car, it’s hard to say.
It’s a home race next for the Monegasque team and a race where they will attempting to move themselves from the foot of the Team’s Championship.
- Fastest Lap: Stephane Sarrazin (4-2 to Sarrazin)
- Qualifying: Stephane Sarrazin (12-6 to Sarrazin)
- Race: Stephane Sarrazin (20-10 to Sarrazin)
Venturi: Heidfeld 34-20 Sarrazin
Sam Bird and Virgin Racing are slowly beginning to lose ground in their respective championship challenges. Neither Bird nor Jaime Alguersuari were quick enough for the top ten in qualifying and they were down to one driver after the first corner. Bird tangled with Sebastien Buemi which damaged the front suspension, after which he was chasing fastest lap times in the second car which had to do over 95% of the race distance. He retired mid-race.Alguersuari was on hand to pick up a couple of points, but the Spanish driver was languishing down in eighth place and well below Virgin Racing’s early season form. Race points go to Alguersuari this time for staying out of trouble, but both will be hoping to turn their fortunes around at Monaco.
- Fastest Lap: Sam Bird (4-2 to Bird)
- Qualifying: Sam Bird (9-9)
- Race: Alguersuari (20-10 to Alguersuari)
Virgin Racing: Bird 33-21 Alguersuari
Agree or disagree with the verdicts? Comment and let us know!