Home victory in Berlin

ABB FIA Formula E Championship ran the tenth round of the 2018/19 season in Berlin.

The old Tempelhof airport was the place to host the race, being a near permanent feature in the Formula E calendar.

Sebastien Buemi had taken Pole Position in front of Stoffel Vandoorne and Lucas di Grassi. Gary Paffett and Alex Lynn occupied fourth and fifth position, followed by Daniel Abt who was the best local hero in P6.

Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne would start the race from P8, while the closest competitor – and teammate – Andre Lotterer had a bad qualifying and would have to start second to last, since he left the pits late and only had time for one flying lap, as opposed to two. ONly Robin Frijns was behind him for having a bad quali plus a five-grid penalty from Monaco due to a contact with a competitor.

Sebastien Buemi, Stoffel Vandoorne, Lucas di Grassi etc
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E

Buemi took the start, in front of Vandoorne and di Grassi. The start went well without any contact that we normally used to see in Berlin.

Lotterer was busy climbing up the field and was already up to P16 after the first couple of laps.

di Grassi quickly came up to second place and began to hunt down Buemi.

Gary Paffett had a bad lap when he lost a place to Lynn, and then both Abt and Antonio Felix da Costa also got past.

Oliver Turvey drove around with a damaged front wing, but he was already down in P17 anyway.

Ten minutes into the race, di Grassi took the lead and right away built up a big gap to Buemi.

Lynn continued the progress, when he dived past Vandoorne. The Belgian retaliated in the next corner, and Abt used the opportunity to also get past Lynn.

Berlin ePrix
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E

Stoffel Vandoorne, Daniel Abt, Sebastien Buemi, Antonio Felix da Costa and Felipe Massa were the five drivers with Fan-Boost in today’s race.

Fifteen minutes into the race, Vergne came up to seventh place by overtaking Paffett.

A war broke between Oliver Rowland, Alexander Sims and Pascal Wehrlein, for the last positions with points. Rowland pushed Wehrlein off a little so both him and Sims got past.

In this race, the drivers had to take a further way around than usual, in order to activate Attack Mode. It caused some interesting situations when both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Abt took theirs. First they lost a place, but they had the extra power to drive past the competitors again before the next corner.

Paffett was leading a train, with Rowland, Sims, Bird and Wehrlein all lining up behind him. Rowland started the overtake, and then the rest followed in the next half lap.

Antonio Felix da Costa came up to second place, but Buemi reclaimed the spot with the help of Attack Mode.

Vergne continued his progress when he drove past Abt and Vandoorne on the same lap. He tried to overtake Da Costa but couldn’t make it past the Portuguese driver.

Lucas di Grassi
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E

There was a Full Course Yellow when Alexander Sims parked his defected Jaguar in the middle of the straight.

The majority of the field used the chance to take their second Attack Mode, while di Grassi, Abt, Mitch Evans, Maximilian Günther and Frijns all wanted until one lap later, while there was still FCY.

When the race got restarted, Da Costa was right behind Buemi and gave the Swiss a couple of light pushes without getting past.

Seven minutes before the race ended, Andre Lotterer drove to the pits. The DS Techeetah team later found out that it was a problem with the battery.

His teammate Vergne came up to P3 almost a the same time and set his sight on Buemi ahead of him.

Andre Lotterer
Photo: ABB FIA Formula E

Lucas di Grassi won the race convincingly, in front of Sebastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne. Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne both finished in front of the best German Daniel Abt. The locals could still celebrate since di Grassi is driving for Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.

Vergne leaves Berlin as the championship leader, ahead of Lucas di Grassi, Andre Lotterer, Antonio Felix da Costa and Robin Frijns. These five drivers are within 21 points of each other – with a gap of 12 points to the next position.

But a lot of things can happen, when the next round is run in Bern, Switzerland on 22 June 2019.

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