Felipe Massa has branded Jean-Eric Vergne's overtake in Race 1 of the New York City E-Prix as "kamikaze," condemning the championship leader for a final lap pileup in Brooklyn.
Starting from 20th on the grid, Massa fought his way into the top 10, running in eighth position when heading into the final tour of the 45-minute + 1 lap race, on-track for his seventh points finish of the season.
Vergne, who was involved in an early pileup, fought his way back through the field to recover to the top 10 and challenged Massa into Turn 1 on the final lap.
Late on the brakes, the Frenchman cleared Massa, however, the pair banged wheels while the latter Brazilian forced Vergne into the inside wall of Turn 2, causing a pileup which saw a number of drivers including Jerome d'Ambrosio and Andre Lotterer get caught up in the late-race mess.
This incident meant that both Massa and Vergne missed out on a top 10 finish and while a post-race investigation found the collision to be a racing incident, Massa believed that the reigning champion was at fault for the clash:
"The race was going well," said Massa. "I managed to overtake some quick cars, I avoided some collisions – even if there were a few little touches that meant for half the race the steering wheel was not straight!
"I got to the second to last lap in P8 all the way from a P20 start, with a good gap in front of Vergne – but then he tried a kamikaze move on the brakes at the end of the main straight.
"When I saw him coming, I knew he would not be able to stop. In the end it created a huge accident. He destroyed my race and destroyed his Championship.
"We start from zero [in Race 2]. I hope we can have a good Qualifying and start from a better position – but you know that the race will for sure also be crazy, so, as always we need to be ready for anything."
While Vergne missed out on the top 10, victory for Sebastien Buemi, second place for Mitch Evans and fifth for Lucas di Grassi ensures that Formula E will see a four-way title fight in the final race of the season.
With Vergne holding 130 points, di Grassi is the Frenchman's nearest challenger 22 points adrift while Evans and Buemi trail by 25 and 26 points respectively with 29 points still available for collection.