Bird wins, di Grassi closes on absent Buemi
15 July 2017 – Sam Bird captured his and DS Virgin Racing's first win of the 2016/17 campaign at the New York ePrix, while Lucas di Grassi closed on absent title leader Sébastien Buemi.
Bird's debutant team-mate, Alex Lynn, caused a surprise by taking pole position, but he ceded the lead at the start to Daniel Abt, as Bird slotted into third.
Bird overhauled Lynn before slicing past Abt at Turn 6 prior to the pit-stop phase, which Bird completed with ease.
Jean-Éric Vergne emerged as Bird's primary opponent after this, and a late Safety Car bunched the field, tough the Briton stormed clear at the restart and cruised to victory.
Vergne finished as runner-up for the third time this season, while Techeetah team-mate Stéphane Sarrazin inherited third spot when erstwhile leader Abt slowed on the final lap.
Lucas di Grassi recovered from 11th on the grid to take fourth, cutting Buemi's title advantage to 20 points with three races remaining this season.
Buemi, triumphant in six of the previous eight races, is absent from this weekend's round due to a clashing commitment in the World Endurance Championship.
Loic Duval was fifth, in front of Oliver Turvey, while debutant Pierre Gasly – filling in for Buemi at Renault e.dams – took seventh, rising from 19th on the grid, ahead of team-mate Nicolas Prost.
Robin Frijns and Adam Carroll completed the top 10, as Lynn ultimately slipped out of contention for the podium and retired when his driveshaft failed.
Both Mahindra drivers were on course for top six finishes but Felix Rosenqvist spun and hit the barriers, while Nick Heidfeld suffered a failure after running heavily over a kerb.
Sunday's second New York Formula E race will begin at 13:00 local time