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Bird completes New York Formula E sweep with second win

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RED HOOK, NY – Sam Bird completed a victory sweep of the New York Formula E race weekend by taking his second win in the space of 24 hours for DS Virgin Racing on Sunday afternoon.

Bird took his first victory of the season on Saturday, and followed this up by charging to pole position for Sunday’s race ahead of Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist.

Rosenqvist made a strong start from P2 on the grid to dive into the lead ahead of Bird at the first corner, but could not shake the British racer off at the front.

Bird was able to slide past and reclaim the lead at the same spot he had lost it on Lap 11, and was soon able to move clear and create a gap to Rosenqvist behind.

Mahindra pitted Rosenqvist and teammate Nick Heidfeld, running third, under a full course yellow just before half-distance, yet Bird stayed out, hoping it would be a lengthy caution period for teammate Alex Lynn’s stricken car.

Bird was able to pit and emerge still leading, with the race going back to green just seconds later, ensuring his advantage at the front remained intact.

Victory was Bird’s for the taking from that point on as he used his lap of extra energy to pull clear of Rosenqvist and Heidfeld, eventually crossing the line 11 seconds clear.

Rosenqvist moved up into second late on ahead of Heidfeld after two swaps of position, the Swede standing a slim chance of still winning the title at the season finale in Montreal.

Red Bull Formula 1 junior Pierre Gasly finished fourth ahead of title contender Lucas di Grassi, who will go to Montreal trailing New York absentee Sebastien Buemi by 10 points.

Nicolas Prost took sixth for Renault ahead of Tom Dillmann and Jean-Eric Vergne, while Robin Frijns and Jerome d’Ambrosio completed the points-paying positions.

McLaren almost back on schedule with 2018 F1 car after delay

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McLaren is almost back on schedule with its 2018 Formula 1 car development after losing two weeks due to a delay in deciding on its engine supplier, according to racing director Eric Boullier.

McLaren confirmed back in September it would be cutting ties with Honda at the end of the year after three difficult seasons, favoring a switch to Renault power units.

The decision was not taken lightly by McLaren, causing it to lose two weeks in the development of next year’s car, but Boullier confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the team is almost back on-track.

“Maybe we made the decision to change the engine manufacturer two weeks too late for our schedule, but these two weeks have almost been recovered,” Boullier said.

“Any big decisions are always difficult to take. The concept of McLaren winning with Honda was a dream for everybody, yes – it was a beautiful story.

“Today we have huge respect for them and we definitely don’t divorce with fights and screams and finger pointing. We are all very professional – and in the end it was a business decision, which they understand.

“There is a sadness that it didn’t work out like we wanted. McLaren-Honda in terms of brands was a good fit – in terms of results it didn’t work.

“That’s what it is in the end. Now we have to see that we get back to competitiveness – back to the top!”