Formula E: Points battles to watch at Battersea in London


This is one of the busiest weekends of the year for motorsports beyond NASCAR, with IndyCar, the TUDOR Championship, Pirelli World Challenge, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb all going on.

Additionally, the FIA Formula E Championship concludes its inaugural season in London with its first ever double race weekend at Battersea Park.

Here’s some of the points battles that could be changing hands this weekend:


A three-way battle between points leader Nelson Piquet Jr. (128), Lucas di Grassi (111) and Sebastien Buemi (105) will commence, although with Piquet in the driver’s seat it’s his title to lose. If Buemi can wrest the title away, he’ll have a very unique distinction: he’ll be champion of two FIA championships simultaneously, as he’s currently the reigning FIA World Endurance Championship driver’s champion. Although fourth-placed Nicolas Prost is not mathematically eliminated (82), he will be if he’s more than 30 points back after the first race of the weekend.


Prost leads a quartet of drivers within just more than a race win’s gap (27 points) of drivers fighting for best of the rest behind the top three. Jerome d’Ambrosio and Sam Bird are fifth and sixth, with Jean-Eric Vergne seventh heading into the weekend. Prost, d’Ambrosio and Bird have a win apiece this year while Vergne, one of the fastest drivers this year, has been unlucky not to score one himself.


Just 17 points – one less than a second-place finish – separates ninth-placed Daniel Abt from Jarno Trulli in 20th. There may not be huge movement here but given the tightness in this group, expect positions nine to 20 to get shaken up a bit at the end of two races.


The e.dams Renault team pretty much has the team’s championship locked up, with a 44-point gap over Audi Sport ABT entering the weekend. However, the ABT team will have to hold off two to three other teams for second, as the gap from second to fifth is just 39 points. NEXTEV TCR and Dragon Racing have their sights set on catching ABT, and Andretti FE could move up courtesy of a strong weekend.


Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.