Thanks to a pole position, a dominant 1-2 finish and the fastest race lap, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler became the first team to score maximum points on a race day of Formula E all-electric single-seater racing series. Daniel Abt secured his victory in the BMW i Berlin E-Prix in front of his home fans ahead of team-mate Lucas di Grassi at the circuit run around Tempelhof Airport.
The German led from the front after clinching pole position to pick-up his second win in the championship after standing on the top step in Mexico City earlier this year. Not only did Abt collect 3 extra points for posting the quickest time in qualifying but he also earned an additional point for the fastest lap – taking the spoils and gathering the maximum amount of points on offer.
Abt was barely troubled throughout the race – with only a slow pit-stop causing added pressure from behind when exiting the pitlane. He lost 3 seconds compared to his team-mate in the mid-race car swap, closing the gap to under a second when returning to track. Di Grassi had to settle for second place and couldn’t mount a serious challenge against Abt – who crossed the chequered flag over 6 seconds down the road.
It’s only the second 1-2 team finish in the history of Formula E, with TECHEETAH the only other team to manage the feat in Santiago earlier this season. With this impressive result, the German outfit has vaulted up the table and now sits second in the team standings in a bid to chase down TECHEETAH as the championship approaches its climax.
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne continued his consistent run of results – collecting another podium finish and extending his lead to 40 points over nearest rival Sam Bird. Vergne lost a place to the fast-starting Jerome D’Ambrosio, who took the long route around the outside of the sweeping section at Turn 1. However, he quickly made his way back past at the Turn 6 hairpin – only to drop two positions in quick succession. As di Grassi fought through the field putting a move on Vergne, the Frenchman ran off-line and allowed Sebastien Buemi to jump ahead.
The battle ensued once again approaching the mid-way point of the race, as Vergne banged wheels with Buemi through the long left-hander at Turn 1. Vergne forced his way through into fourth place only to be staring at the rear wing of Buemi once again exiting the pits. After the pair pulled past Oliver Turvey – who stopped one lap earlier than the leaders and was conserving energy in his second stint – Vergne dived down the inside into Turn 6 to claim the final podium spot.
Turvey couldn’t translate his pace in qualifying to the race but crossed the line in an impressive fifth after lining-up on the front row alongside Abt. Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans finished one position further back in sixth after surviving a near miss with team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr. pulling out the garage.
Bird struggled to close the gap at the top to Vergne and could only manage seventh – failing to finish on the podium for the first time in three races. The other driver in the championship hunt came away from Berlin without a point to his name, with Felix Rosenqvist running wide on the opening lap and ruining his race.
The Formula E teams packs their bags today to head to Zurich, bringing circuit racing back to Switzerland for the first time in over 60 years for Round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship which will be held on June 10.