Jean-Eric Vergne said he felt "speechless" after winning his first major title in eight years by clinching the Formula E drivers' championship with one race to spare in New York on Saturday.

Ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Vergne finished fifth in the opening leg of the New York race weekend to move into an unassailable lead at the top of the standings ahead of Sunday's season finale, with his sole remaining rival, Sam Bird, ending the race down in ninth position.

Vergne had to fight from P18 on the grid after his qualifying times were deleted after using too much power, caused by a software glitch on his Techeetah car.

"I can't believe it - what a crazy race - God, it feels good! Really I have no idea what it means to me to be champion," Vergne said after the race.

"I need more time to process it – all I know is that it’s a good feeling. I guess still having the race tomorrow - I cannot completely relax. I can't go crazy tonight, so on the Sunday night when everything will be over, I will be able to enjoy it to the full extent.

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

"hen I found out I was speechless. I enjoyed the race, but obviously, it was very tough. Some drivers were quite hard and overconsumed energy to try and not let me by.

"It was actually really complicated, a real fight unlike in Zurich - today, the drivers were tougher!"

Vergne dedicated his title win to his friend, the late Jules Bianchi, upon crossing the line in New York.