Formula E Berlin R8-9 ePrix 2020

Formula E are holding it’s Season 6 finale in Berlin on three double headers. This is the second set of coverage of the Formula E finale. The drivers are back in Berlin again on the track of the Tempelhof Airport circuit. This time the drivers will be racing it in the traditional way, like it has been since the track was introduced during the 2014-2015 season.

Qualifying – Round 8

Vandoorne takes the provisional pole with a 1:06.714, which beat Da Costa by 0.224 seconds. In group two, Vergne takes it from the Belgian driver with a 1:06.597. Vergne wasn’t the only one who managed to slot into the top 6 from group one, with Günther taking 3rd, Lotterer taking 4th and Rowland slotting into 6th. Jérôme d’Ambrosio pushes Da Costa out of superpole, putting his car into third. De Vries manages to sit 6th in the standings before also being pushed out by Frijns in third. Rookie driver, Câmara, sets a lap capable of putting him into 11th, a personal best for the Brazilian. Alex Lynn takes 3rd from Frijns to put him into superpole.

For superpole, we have Jean-Éric Vergne, Maximilian Günther, Robin Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne, Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Alex Lynn. Günther sets the benchmarch time with a 1:06.772. None of the drivers could challenge the time set by the German driver, but Vergne takes a stab, setting a 1:06.277 to take it from him.

The qualifying grid is as follows:
1. Jean-Éric Vergne
2. Maximilian Günther
3. Jérôme d’Ambrosio
4. Stoffel Vandoorne
5. Alex Lynn
6. Robin Frijns
7. André Lotterer
8. Nyck de Vries
9. António Félix da Costa
10. Oliver Rowland
11. Lucas di Grassi
12. Sérgio Sette Câmara
13. Felipe Massa
14. Edoardo Mortara
15. Sébastien Buemi
16. Alexander Sims
17. James Calado
18. Neel Jani
19. Mitch Evans
20. Sam Bird
21. René Rast
22. Daniel Abt
23. Nico Müller
24. Oliver Turvey

Round 8 (Race 1)

This time, Vergne sits on pole, instead of championship leader Da Costa. The French driver gets off the line well to keep first, whilst d’Ambrosio manages to take 2nd from Günther and was already being challenged for 3rd by Lynn. Stoffel Vandoorne didn’t manage to get a good start compared to his competitors around him, dropping to 7th already. Behind, Sérgio Sette Câmara takes 10th from di Grassi after having an amazing start off the grid. Calado, in 15th, was not getting it easy as Mortara overtakes him, but the British driver doesn’t go down without a fight and retakes the position from the Swiss driver. Alexander Sims is another driver who originally fought for the title, but was further down the grid. He manages to take 17th from Neel Jani, whilst behind Bird overtakes Rast for 20th.

A lap later, Günther finally overtakes Jérôme for 2nd, whilst the Belgian driver has 1% more than the German and also the British driver of Alex Lynn behind him. Robin Frijns took no time in making some moves, taking 4th from Lynn. The Brit managed to get the switchback, but didn’t have a good enough exit to keep the position from the driver from Maastricht. This allowed Vergne to create a gap between them and pull out a lead. Lower down the grid, Mortara lost positions to drop to 18th, allowing Sims and Jani to move up. The BMW driver managed to take 16th from the Swiss once again. Meanwhile, for Frijn’s teammate Bird, he took 20th from René Rast.

Di Grassi and Müller were the ones who took the first attack modes out of the grid. The Brazilian managed to get past Massa for 10th, but the Venturi driver wasn’t making it easy for him and retaking the position. He gave a tap onto the side of the Audi car, spinning Lucas around, dropping him to 13th. For Nico, he had an advantage against Bird, who didn’t have the power boost, allowing him to easily take 20th from him. Just ahead of the Swiss was Mitch Evans, who was within championship contention, but was currently driving in 19th. He managed to make a move on Mortara to seal 18th for the time being.

Sims tried to make a move on Sérgio, but he gave a late brake to defend his position. James Calado was caught up in this and got hit. Câmara tried move away from the Jaguar car, swerving to the right. Unfortunately, Evans was there avoiding the same car, meaning the Brazilian driver drove into the side of him, making his car immobile. Jani had no time to react to this and went into the rear left of his wheel, ending his race too. Debris was scattered all around the track meaning the safety car was pulled out to retrieve them and the broken cars. James Calado came in to retire his car as well.

After 7 minutes of moving the cars and debris, racing resumed on the Berlin track. Günther was now on the rear of Vergne’s car because of the safety car and was alerady challenging him. He decides to take attack mode to increase his chances of overtaking him, dropping to 5th behind Frijns and Vandoorne. For d’Ambrosio, he was struggling on the battery saving, already 2% down on the race leader.

There was a train of drivers with d’Ambrosio, Rowland, Vandoorne, Lynn, Da Costa and Lotterer, all within 1 seconds of each other, but none had attack mode. Vandoorne ended up falling out of the battle after receiving a puncture, which ended his race there. This allowed Rowland to get up to 6th after starting 10th. Da Costa wanted to make a move on Lynn, but had to settle behind him since he kept closing the door. A lap later, the British driver drops to 8th since both Da Costa and Lotterer overtake him into the same corner. Behind the train was di Grassi, who was fighting Buemi for positions. He uses his fan boost to try and get closer to him to make a move and manages to with a late lunge on the Swiss driver for 10th. Not long after, Evans caught up to the Brazilian and takes 10th from him.

Vergne finally takes his attack mode to defend from Günther. Because of where attack mode is situated, the German managed to get ahead of him, but Jean-Éric managed to pull the switch back to keep the lead, but he was not going down without a fight.

Massa gets a drive through penalty for the collision with di Grassi, dropping him from 6th to 20th. Meanwhile, Oliver Rowland takes 4th from d’Ambrosio. Mitch Evans was going up the ranks, now taking 8th from Lynn. For Alexander Sims, the season restart was not going his way, dropping down to 13th after being overtaken by di Grassi and Rast. Meanwhile for Müller, he went up a position to 14th ahead of Buemi.

Günther constantly pressuring Vergne to make a mistake and was on the rear of his car. He tried to make a move, but the Frenchman remained defensive. Max made a move into turn 7 to take the lead with only 4 minutes of the race to go. Vergne now had to start energy saving as drivers around him had more. Frijns was on a move with 2% more energy compared to people ahead of them, whilst da Costa takes 4th from Rowland. The Dutchman managed to slide past the Techeetah car of Vergne to take second and now within the hunt to Günther. The other DS Techeetah car of da Costa was starting to push for third against his teammate, but he keeps ahead. Robin ended up 0.2 seconds behind the German driver, but ended up crossing the line in second.

The first race’s results are:
1. Maximilian Günther
2. Robin Frijns
3. Jean-Éric Vergne
4. António Félix da Costa
5. André Lotterer
6. Oliver Rowland
7. Jérôme d’Ambrosio
8. Lucas di Grassi
9. Mitch Evans
10. Alexander Sims
11. Sébastien Buemi
12. Nico Müller
13. Sam Bird
14. Edoardo Mortara
15. Daniel Abt
16. Nyck de Vries
17. Oliver Turvey
18. Alex Lynn
19. Felipe Massa
20. DNF René Rast
21. DNF Stoffel Vandoorne
22. DNF James Calado
23. DNF Neel Jani
24. DNF Sérgio Sette Câmara

Qualifying – Round 9

Da Costa sets the intial fastest lap and benchmark time with a 1:06.708, beating Evans by 0.151 seconds. Vergne managed to set a 1:06.484 which was 0.224 seconds faster than his teammate. Rowland also sets the exact same time, past the thousandths. Frijns pushes out Sims by setting a lap to put him 4th. Buemi goes faster than da Costa, putting himself in 3rd and pushing di Grassi into 7th. De Vries takes a lap of 1:06.575 to slot him into 3rd. Massa sits almost 0.2 seconds out of Vergne’s lap, but was faster than Buemi meaning Frijns goes out of superpole. René Rast manages to set a personal best, slotting himself into 7th, but was pushed to 8th since Lynn went 0.033 seconds faster.

The drivers that went into superpole were: Jean-Éric Vergne, Oliver Rowland, Nyck de Vries, Felipe Massa, Sébastien Buemi and António Félix da Costa. Da Costa sets the first time of 1:06.247. Buemi gave a lap that was 0.317 seconds out. The rest of the drivers couldn’t compete with the Portuguese driver except for his teammate. Vergne managed to set the fastest sector 2 and 3, allowing him to claim pole with a lap of 1:06.107.

The qualifying grid is as follows:
1. Jean-Éric Vergne
2. António Félix da Costa
3. Oliver Rowland
4. Sébastien Buemi
5. Nyck de Vries
6. Felipe Massa
7. Alexander Lynn
8. René Rast
9. Jérôme d’Ambrosio
10. Robin Frijns
11. Mitch Evans
12. Lucas di Grassi
13. Edoardo Mortara
14. James Calado
15. Nico Müller
16. Alexander Sims
17. Sam Bird
18. André Lotterer
19. Oliver Turvey
20. Stoffel Vandoorne
21. Maximilian Günther
22. Neel Jani
23. Daniel Abt
24. Sérgio Sette Câmara

Round 7 (Race 9)

It was announced prior the race that Frijns had a powertrain issue on his car and couldn’t make the start of the grid.

Formula E is known for its chaotic starts, but once again, it was relatively calm. Vergne, da Costa and Rowland all come off the line and slot in behind each other to keep their positions. Rowland took a fancy against the Techeetahs, but backed off. Lynn manages to take a position off Massa into turn 1. Mortara managed to send an ambitious move on Calado for 12th. Meanwhile for Günther, his race ended already within the first few corners after he hits the back of Turvey, sending him into the barriers and ending his race there and then. Because of that, the safety car was called out to move the BMW car away to safety.

With 35 minutes left to go on the clock, the green flag was waved once again. There was a slight bit of rain, but not significant enough to cause chaos within the race. Vandoorne and Jani kept continually switching for positions in 18th, whilst Evans made a move on Rast but was unable to overtake since the German driver closed the door on him. Di Grassi was now advancing on the two drivers ahead.

Rast takes the first attack mode on the grid to fight against Evans for positions. With the extra power boost, he takes 8th from the Kiwi and then 7th from the Brazilian of Massa. De Vries takes attack mode in retaliation to Lynn, however he lost a position to Lynn because of going out the racing line. Rowland and Buemi take attack mode together with team orders, dropping the Brit into 4th and the Swiss into 6th. Massa goes wide to allow Rast to take 7th, whilst Sims takes 13th from Calado.

Like the Nissan team, Techeetah sends both their drivers to attack mode together. Vergne manages to keep ahead at the front but Lynn and Rowland got ahead of his teammate, dropping him to 4th. However, Lynn loses attack mode, meaning da Costa overtook him easily to retake 3rd. De Vries comes to join the battle for the front in 5th. The Dutch driveer was catching Lynn in 4th.

Lower down the grid, Bird takes 14th from Müller. Meanwhile Rast loses 8th to Evans since he went wide and lost time. Di Grassi spends no extra time in making moves and also manages to overtake his teammate for 9th. D’Ambrosio came to join the fight, but didn’t manage to overtake, only hitting the rear of his car. Da Costa was battling for 2nd from Rowland, but since the British driver didn’t have attack mode, it was a breeze. With some team orders, he also takes the lead of the race.

Edoardo was struggling down in 13th, but managed to take 12th from Calado, pushing him to 13th and within the grasp of Sims. Just prior that, Sims managed to get ahead of Bird with attack mode. The Briton tried to overtake Calado, but was unable to and had to sit behind. Both of them ended up getting ahead of Mortara eventually since he took his attack mode. The London born driver takes attack mode too in retaliation, but loses 3 positions to Mortara, Lotterer and Calado, however, he was already going up positions, taking 14th from Calado once more. Müller and Bird were fighting for 16th, where the Swiss managed to take it from him, but lost it to the experienced Briton.

Da Costa has a 0.4 second gap to Vergne, but they were all in it for the championship and working as a team. Nissan e.DAMS followed similarly in 3rd and 4th, however their energy usage was much more efficient than theirs. In 6th, Massa and Lynn were battling each other, constantly switching positions, but eventually Lynn took the position. Meanwhile, Jérôme pushed René Rast to take 10th from him, whilst Jani takes 18th from Müller.

The battle for first continued when Rowland and Buemi both take attack mode together. Rowland keeps 3rd whilst Buemi loses 4th to de Vries who also has attack mode. Oliver now has free air to try and catch the two Techeetah’s. That was until they took attack mode the following lap. Buemi retakes 4th from the Dutch driver after his extra boost of power ran out.

Away from the front, di Grassi and Massa are fighting for 7th. The experienced and season three champion di Grassi kept ahead of him to take 7th. Massa now was within the arms of Evans, who also manages to overtake him. Di Grassi took 6th from Lynn, pushing him to 7th. Massa wanted to increase his championship points and lurked for a move on the Briton. After a couple of failed attempts, Evans could start pushing and getting closer to the Brazilian. Meanwhile, Lotterer sits in 11th, whilst Mortara sits behind. Rast overtook Sims for 14th and then Mortara for 13th, putting him behind Lotterer. The German driver had ended up saving enough energy to keep pushing and got 9th after sending a late lunge against Lynn.

Vergne retakes the lead from da Costa under team orders. Because of that, Rowland started catching the back of them and challenging the Portuguese for 2nd. Nissan decided to do something similar though with Buemi and Rowland by switching them since the Swiss driver had more energy. Buemi kept pushing until the final lap, whilst Rowland ended up losing 4th to de Vries.

The second race’s results are:
1. Jean-Éric Vergne
2. António Félix da Costa
3. Sébastien Buemi
4. Nyck de Vries
5. Oliver Rowland
6. Lucas di Grassi
7. Mitch Evans
8. André Lotterer
9. Alex Lynn
10. Felipe Massa
11. Sam Bird
12. Stoffel Vandoorne
13. Alexander Sims
14. Edoardo Mortara
15. Jérôme d’Ambrosio
16. René Rast
17. James Calado
18. Daniel Abt
19. Neel Jani
20. Nico Müller
21. Sérgio Sette Câmara
22. Oliver Turvey
23. DNF Maximilian Günther
24. DNS Robin Frijns

In terms of Formula E coverage, we’ll be back on Wednesday for another post for Round 6-9’s race reviews. On Thursday, we’ll be posting our Formula 2 and 3 race revews on the 70th Anniversary GP. Keep an eye out on our social media pages to see how you can get involved in our next posts.