Vergne dedicates Formula E title to Jules Bianchi

Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne secures the ABB FIA Formula E title in New York. July 14 2018.
© FIA Formula E

Newly crowned ABB FIA Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne has dedicated his victory in this year's series to his friend Jules Bianchi.

“This season is for my friend Jules,” Vergne said after being told he was the fourth winner of the all-electric championship.

The Formula 1 driver died from injuries sustained while racing in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Vergne admitted that he has been lost for words when he crossed the line in fifth place at the end of the first of this year's New York City ePrix doubleheader races.

The Techeetah team was initially hesitant to confirm whether or not Vergne had done enough to seal the title over his sole remaining rival, Virgin's Sam Bird.

“When I crossed the line, I honestly didn’t know I had won," said Vergne. "My engineer told me, ‘I guess we have done it’. So I said, ‘What do you mean?’ Then [Andre] Lotterer went past me and clapped, so I knew something was up."

Eventually the numbers were crunched and word came down from race control. With Bird finishing in ninth, the Briton was no longer mathematically able to catch Vergne with one race remaining.

"When I found out, I was speechless," Vergne said. "I have waited the whole season for this.

"I have no idea what it means to me to be champion," he admitted. "I need more time to take it all in! All I know is that it’s a good feeling but to know the full extent of winning the championship, I don’t know yet."

Vergne had been forced to battled his way from the back of the grid because of technical infringement in qualifying.

"I enjoyed the race, but obviously, it was very tough. Some drivers were quite hard and over-consumed energy to try and not let me by. It was actually really complicated - a real fight unlike in Zurich. Today, the drivers were tougher."

Although he's clinched the drivers title for himself, the team championship remains up in the air after Audi's 1-2 success on Saturday. It all comes down to Sunday's season finale.

"I guess still having the race tomorrow, I cannot completely relax," he acknowledged. "I can't go crazy tonight, so on the Sunday night, whenever everything will be over, I will be able to enjoy it to the full extent."

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