Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of round six and seven of the ABB Formula E Berlin ePrix that was held across the 5th and 6th of August 2020.
Race Weekend Predictions
I felt as if he would be fighting back to prove his worth.
Looking back at my predictions, I fell awfully wrong when it came to superpole. I believed that it could have been an BMW or Mercedes and in fact, it was Antonio Felix da Costa in the DS Techeetah that took superpole both times. Although, neither Mercedes or BMW found themselves on the podium this weekend, both teams had a good run. Mercedes found their drivers in 4th and 6th while BMW managed 9th and a DNF from Max Guenther. However, in round seven, BMW and Mercedes each took a DNF with Guenther and de Vries alongside Vandoorne taking 5th for Mercedes and Sims taking 19th for BMW. They didn’t have the greatest first few rounds, especially round seven, but they managed to take some points.
With Daniel Abt’s change of cars, I felt as if he would be fighting back to prove his worth however, he barely managed to break last place. In round six, he took 18th and was the last to finish while in round seven, he took 16th which was four places above last. I hope he has a much better last few rounds to really prove his worth. As I’ve mentioned prior, I believed Mercedes and BMW could take a decent sum of points but ultimately, DS Techeetah would take the most and I was correct. DS Techeetah took two wins, two poles and a fastest lap this weekend with da Costa while Vergne DNF’d in his first race and finished just in the points with 10th in the second race.
the american team has been far more disappointing
I made a guess for the pole position and I said Buemi will take round 6 and Evans for the other. In the end, Buemi qualified 4th and Evans qualified 17th. I was vastly wrong and definitely severely underrated how fast Techeetah would be.
I mentioned both da Costa and Vergne to take one of the wins. Turns out, the Portuguese driver took both of them with relative ease. I didn’t realise that the Chinese team had so much more pace than the rest of the grid and how talented he really is to bring that car to the front in both qualifying and the races. I also mentioned Sims and Günther, but the American team has been far more disappointing in the revisited season campaign. They were mightily strong and challenging for the championship in the first 5 rounds, but they really lacked pace in Berlin with their best result being 9th in Round 6. I mentioned Lucas as another potential challenger and he brought a fight for the podium position for 3rd in round 7.
For outside the top finishers, I said to look out for Rowland and Camara. Rowland took 15th and 7th, which is fairly decent, but definitely improved in the following two rounds. Camara made his full FE debut with 19th and 18th in the races. Perhaps not incredible results, but good ones nonetheless as a brand new entry into the sport.
With Techeetah winning two races and two pole positions, it gave them 59 points, setting them way ahead of BMW who managed to only claim 2 that weekend. I said I wanted Nissan e.DAMS to do well. They ended up gathering 31 points with 25 of them being Buemi’s.
As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, 50% believed that Mitch Evans would be the one taking superpole but it was the 25% who guessed Antonio Felix da Costa that were correct. The results followed through with 50% guessing correctly that da Costa would win the race. When we then looked at runner up, nobody predicted Lotterer would take the podium however, 25% predicted Sam Bird who went on to take third. With that being said, nobody predicted Sam Bird to take third. As we then looked at fastest lap, nobody predicted da Costa who went on to take the point with a 1:08.965.
It was a shock to see the German DNF
For round seven, nobody predicted da Costa would take the superpole position as apposed to the 25% from round six. With that being said, 25% did believe he would go on to win the race and were correct. Buemi went on to take runner up which 25% of the audience did predict. In terms of third place, 50% predicted Vergne but it was di Grassi who took to the podium. As we looked at fastest lap, 50% said Vergne once again but it was Vandoorne who took the point with a 1:08.635.
With surprising driver; Rast, Guenther, D’Ambrosio and Evans each took 25%. Rast went on to take his first point during round six, his first race this season, and went on to take 13th in round seven. It was impressive to see the new comer in the points during his first race period. Guenther’s race weekend was a surprise in a darker light. He was on top of the world before the lockdown period, with wins and podiums beneath his belt, so it was a shock to see the German DNF in both races. D’Ambrosio found himself in fifth during round six but DNF’d in round seven. He put up a good fight in both races and it was ashamed to see how it ended. Regarding Evans, myself and many others believed he would find himself on the podium so it was a surprise to find himself 13th and 12th this weekend, just shy of the points.
To finalise, we looked at the teams taking the most points with BMW taking 50%, DS Techeetah and Mercedes taking 25% each. DS Techeetah ended up finishing the weekend on top with 59 points while Mercedes took 31 and BMW took 2 after two DNF’s.
Prove your worth.
We went on to summarise each race in three words, highlighting key moments of the race. My round six three words were Prove Your Worth. Sam Bird and Nyck de Vries both have had a very on and off season this year with Bird winning his first race and barely pushing for a podium since. Both drivers became overlooked with de Vries struggling for points yet being one of the most talked about drivers to step foot on the grid before dropping from the limelight. This weekend, both drivers proved that they are worth being the conversation with their qualifying and race pace. Bird managed to take his first podium since round one while de Vries just missed out.
Jess’ three words were Antonio’s Non Stop. 1st in group qualifying, 1st in superpole and then 1st in the race followed by 1st in superpole and 1st in the race. That is how overly dominant he was over the weekend and how him and the team work hard and cooperatively to provide him the best of chances to get the most amount of points.
Antonio’s Non stop
A few of the three word reviews we got from the audience consisted of the return of Formula E. Even with all of the hustle and bustle of the weekend, wins and loses, the main talking point will always be the return of the season. We left off in February, moments before the pandemic took a major toll on the world, without a matter of knowledge of when or if we would see the finale of the Championship. It had been a long wait but the drivers participation in virtual sporting helped ease the wait and before we knew it, the six races at Berlin were announced and we finally had the finish line in sight. It’s been a long wait, a championship left in the depths of the unknown, and to know we’re finally back is truly the best feeling you could experience.
Looking at the round seven, my three words were Back on Top. The most talked about man of the weekend, Antoni Felix da Costa, found himself winning his second Berlin Grand Prix of 2020 after taking his first the day prior. da Costa managed to cross the line 3 seconds against runner up, Nissan e.dams Sebastian Buemi. Words truly can’t be used to express the insanity that is Antonio Felix da Costa. Across the two days, he’d taken superpole twice, won twice and took a fastest lap. He’d left Marrakesh with a win and found himself scoring a further two. The man is truly a sporting legend.
Jess’ three words sat with Lucas is Back. He ended up always wavering in and out of the points during the race, fighting drivers, but this time he managed to get 3rd, ahead of Robin Frijns. This was his first podium since the second round of Diriyah, back in November 2019. That Audi car can be driven to perfection if given the opportunity and di Grassi highlights that.
Similar to Jess and I, the audience shared the same appreciation we held towards da Costa. Between the varied responses, we summarised to one we saw most frequent: Da Costa Masterclass. I must admit that at first I had that written down as one of mine. As we’ve said before, Antonio dominated not only the round but the entire two day stint.
Lucas is back
Regarding highlights, for round six my personal highlight was the Mercedes battle. De Vries finished the race 0.4 seconds off of a podium and managed to fight his way to secure himself some points. He had always been a personal favourite of mine during Formula 2 and it’s been great to see him in Formula E. His season hadn’t started out the way he’d wished and I held little to know faith in him finding a way to the podium for the remainder of the season. He proved me wrong, held his own and defended his position. He out qualified his teammate by ten positions but Vandoorne fought his way up the grid from 15th to 6th, proving that Mercedes can dominate no matter which sport they involve themselves in. Nyck managed to cross the line seven seconds ahead of fifth place, showing a dominate pace the entire race with Stoffel pushed himself and the car to the points and two places behind his teammate.
For round seven, a highlight of mine had to be the dominance from da Costa. People believed that after round six, da Costa couldn’t do much better. He’d pulled out a win, pole and fastest lap so what else could he possibly do? The answer to that, to win with a three second gap. The Portuguese dominated round seven, dominated round six and dominated the Championship. Antonio Felix da Costa was a “weekend” highlight fullstops.
Jess’ round six highlight was René Rast. It was his first race in the championship, coming from DTM, which is vastly different since it is a Touring Car and not a single seater. In his first race, he managed to finish 10th to bag his first point in his first race, which she thought was incredible considering how difficult Formula E is.
Jess’ round seven highlight was Robin Frijns after managing to fix the string of bad luck with a 4th since previously it was mostly retirements and out of points positions. It’s fully well deserved as he’s an incredible driver so seeing him back where he belongs is a lovely sight.
The audiences highlights for round six mainly revolved around the dominance of da Costa and his clean sweep. It’s very rare that a driver will take a clean sweep, teams leaving a certain percentage to push for fastest lap for the extra point but da Costa managed to pull it off. For round seven, a lot of people found their highlight to be some of the earlier up front battles. The battle for third between Lynn, de Vries, Frijns and di Grassi across the first 10 laps was an incredible battle with a lot of side by side racing and unexpected overtakes. The one battle mentioned most was the Dutch battle between de Vries and Frijns which gave Frijns the lead ahead of de Vries.
The dutch Battle
Overall, the first two rounds we have returned with have been interesting. da Costa sits proudly on top, dominating the field while the middle of the pack were swapping places like no tomorrow.
This weekend Wednesday, as you’re reading this right now, we have returned to Berlin for the final two rounds of Formula E to finalise the 2019 to 2020 Season. da Costa has bagged the title but who will be accompanying him at the top? Keep an eye out to see how the season pans out and for our Formula E Yearly Review.