Rosenqvist: NYC victory never on the cards

Photo: Lou Johnson/Spacesuit Media

Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist doubted he could ever win Sunday’s Formula E race in New York City despite leading early on and crossing the line second behind Sam Bird.

Bird dominated the New York weekend by winning both the Saturday and Sunday races, overcoming Rosenqvist in the latter after the Swede made a better start from second on the grid to seize the lead.

Rosenqvist led the opening 11 laps before Bird battled past, the DS Virgin Racing driver then shooting off into the distance.

Rosenqvist suffered a technical glitch on his car in the second stint that caused him to drop back and even allow teammate Nick Heidfeld to pass at one stage, with the positions being swapped back once the issue had been resolved.

Speaking to Current E after the race, Rosenqvist said he doubted victory was ever likely even without the issue on his second car given Bird’s pace at the front.

“I don’t think so. I think in the beginning it looked very good, the first stint, and then Sam put in another gear on the second stint,” Rosenqvist said.

“We had some technical issues with my car and at that point we decided to let Nick past, which was sort of the time when I lost connection with Sam.

“Me and Nick were pretty similar through the whole race. He was kind enough to let me past when I fixed my problem on my car. It was good teamwork. I think that made us go P2, P3, which was probably the maximum we could have done today.

“Obviously a bit disappointed to not challenge for the lead, but looking back at yesterday, I’m quite happy today.”

Rosenqvist is one of four drivers that can mathematically still win the Formula E drivers’ championship at the Montreal showdown, but the deficit to championship leader Sebastien Buemi remains so great that it is not a consideration for the Mahindra racer.

“I expect Sebastien to do well there, he’s always very strong. Anything can happen, but I’m trying to defend my third position,” Rosenqvist said.

“JEV and Sam are looking quite strong at the moment, even Nick. I have to do my best.”

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