ABB Formula E – Berlin ePrix – Race
Hallo MiniE Fans!
The Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit in Berlin plays host to round 10 of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Did you know that Tempelhof was a fully functioning airport until 2008. Strangely Tempelhof’s replacement, Brandenburg Airport, is still under construction.
The race begins with Jean-Eric Vergne leading the drivers’ standings by just one point from team mate Andre Lotterer. In truth though, any of the top seven drivers could be leading the championship at the end of the race. Despite that, it’s one of the guys who outside the top ten who took pole position; Sebastian Buemi. Nissan have taken 40% of pole positions this season, however the Japanese manufacturer has yet to win a race. Stoffel Vandoorne lines up 2nd ahead of Lucas di Grassi. Gary Paffett will start the race from 4th – meaning an excellent qualifying for HWA Mercedes – ahead of Alex Lynn in 5th.
As they got underway and the order settled down, there were unusually no changes of position within the top six drivers. However, that’s when it started to get a little crazy – and I don’t believe I have ever seen a race like this before. One of the characteristics of this circuit is super wide-entry corners which does allow for lots of overtaking. Resultantly, if you’re within around 0.8s of the car ahead, you can effectively “dive-bomb” and take a position. The impact of this is that everyone was basically ignoring the traditional racing line and hugging the inside considerably more than usual. Despite this, there were a number of overtakes, and in my mind this could be the Formula E race with the most overtakes ever. It was a fantastic battle of racecraft, and strategy too with attack mode playing a big part in the battles.
It was Lucas di Grassi who came home to win his second race of the season ahead of Sebastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne. In truth, Di Grassi dominated. Once he got clear, he always looked like winning. Antonio Felix da Costa finished 4th for BMW ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne 5th and last year’s race winner, Daniel Abt, 6th. Alexander Sims finished 7th which will make BMW very happy with both cars in the top seven. Oliver Rowland ended up 8th ahead of Sam Bird and Pascal Wehrlein who grabs the final point.
For the first time all season, we’re starting to see a gap open up in the drivers’ championship. Jean-Eric Vergne retains the lead with 102 points. That’s six points ahead of Lucas di Grassi (2nd) and 16 points ahead of Andre Lotterer (3rd). Meanwhile Techeetah still lead the teams’ championship with 188 points. Audi are 2nd on 163 points.
With only three races to go, who do you think will take the titles? It’s still close, but not as tight as it was previously. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.