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Formula E New York City ePrix I

Jaguar drivers question decision not to restart New York race

Jaguar duo Sam Bird and Mitch Evans questioned Formula E's decision not to restart the red-flagged New York City E-Prix, feeling that conditions would improve enough to resume.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5, Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

As the rain picked up in intensity in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn, the circuit quickly became waterlogged and caused a flurry of incidents - with race leader Nick Cassidy dumping his Envision machine into the wall, where he was followed by Lucas di Grassi and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Meanwhile, Bird had been caught out by a stranded Pascal Wehrlein on the exit of the corner, but had managed to get rolling again.

The incidents had promoted a canny Evans into third place, behind brief race leader Robin Frijns and Edoardo Mortara, but as the FIA determined that the race would not resume, the results were counted back from the end of lap 29, relegating Evans to 11th - while Bird claimed ninth.

However, both drivers felt that the conditions should have been given a chance to improve - which they duly did as the rain stopped following the red flag - and Evans felt that race control could have offered some exploratory laps behind the safety car before resuming proceedings.

"I don't understand the call - why red flag it and then not resume the race?" Evans told Motorsport.com. "There was seven minutes of the race plus a lap left, so a lot of the race left to go. Conditions were only going to get better as the rain had stopped.

"So firstly, I think it was completely the wrong call - just have the safety car for a few laps, and sort of just scout out the situation in the conditions. Then we wouldn't be in this position where guys that have shunted and out of the race have now been reinstated.

"I get that rule has been around for a long time but it just seems wrong. In qualifying if you cause a red flag you lose your lap; I just think there's been a few things I think today, that I completely don't agree with and I just don't think it's a good look on the sport."

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5, Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5, Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Bird agreed with Evans' assessment and was arguably more effusive in his criticism of the decision not to resume the race.

He reasoned that the circuit had dried up completely within half an hour of the race being stopped, and felt that the fans in attendance at the New York City race could have been given a "proper conclusion" to the race.

"Firstly, look, we see that it's dry. The track's dry," said Bird. "We could have stopped for half an hour, cleared the carnage, gone out under safety car, and finished the race for the fans, for everybody, to have a proper conclusion.

"The guys first second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, I think all crashed. Yet, they're all the guys in the points. If you crash in qualifying and you cause a red flag, you lose your lap time. I get that this rule exists. But I'm really struggling with it today.

"Obviously, I'm one that doesn't luck in. So of course, I'm going to be a bit annoyed by it. But I just don't [understand it], especially when there's like nine laps to go. That's a big portion of the race, it's nearly a quarter of the race to go.

"I just don't think it was handled maybe the best today. That's about as strong as I can say without getting in trouble."

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