This weekend, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returned to the only city that has been on the calendar since the very beginning, with this year’s edition introducing a brand-new layout that promised new challenges and faster action. Asian Motorsport reviews all the action from the first race of the double-header in Tempelhof. 

By Seb Tirado

Free Practice 1 & 2

Sérgio Sette Câmara during FP1 | Credit: Formula E

FP1 would see Sérgio Sette Câmara of ERT put in a barnstorming lap near the end of the session of a 1:02.417 to put him in 2nd overall, whilst his teammate Dan Ticktum would finish in 9th with a 1:02.691. Jehan Daruvala would finish in-between them in 5th, also putting in an impressive fastest time of a 1:02.529. The Nissans of Oliver Rowland and Sacha Fenestraz would finish in 11th and 20th with a 1:02.741 and a 1:03.410 respectively. In-between them would come the two Mahindras of Edoardo Mortara in 14th and FE debutant Jordan King in 19th with a 1:02.952 and 1:03.266 respectively.

Jehan Daruvala during FP1 | Credit: Formula E

Before FP2, Maserati MSG Racing would change Daruvala’s rear gearbox, exceeding the allowed limit and causing him to be penalised with a 20-place grid penalty. In FP2, he would finish in 10th with a 1:02.464. Ahead of him would be Mortara in 4th and Rowland 7th with a 1:02.272 and a 1:02.300 respectively, with their teammates finishing 15th and 17th with a 1:02.635 and a 1:02.801. Sette Câmara would finish in 13th with a 1:02.580 with Ticktum finishing in 21st with a 1:03.157.

Qualifying

Group A would have Daruvala, Ticktum, Mortara, Fenestraz and King. Daruvala and Mortara would progress through to the duels in 1st and 4th with a 1:02.619 and a 1:02.801 respectively. Ticktum, King and Fenestraz would be eliminated in 7th, 9th and 10th and ultimately qualify 12th, 14thand 16th.

Group B would have Sette Câmara and Rowland. The Brazilian driver would progress through in 4th with a 1:02.761 and the Briton would be eliminated in 8th with a 1:02.948. Rowland would ultimately qualify in 15th, ahead of his teammate Fenestraz.

Daruvala would be eliminated in his quarter-final against Mortara, and Sette Câmara would progress through after beating fellow countryman Lucas di Grassi. The Indian driver would qualify 22nd on the grid and with an additional 10-second stop-and-go penalty. In the semi-finals, Mortara would beat Jean-Éric Vergne whilst Sette Câmara would be eliminated in his duel against Stoffel Vandoorne and qualify 4th on the grid. 

The final would see Mortara beat the DS Penske driver and take Pole Position with a 1:01.741, scoring Mahindra’s first points of the season and achieving his third career pole position.

Berlin E-Prix

Edoardo Mortara leading the field on the opening lap | Credit: Formula E

Before the weekend, Formula E would reduce the total amount of Attack Mode to a total of 6 minutes for Race 1 and 4 minutes for Race 2.

The start of the race would see strong defences from both Mortara and Sette Câmara into T1 whilst Rowland and Ticktum would both make up 3 positions during the first lap. Daruvala would come in at the end of the lap to serve his stop-and-go penalty, emerging well behind the rest of the field. 

By the start of Lap 3, Fenestraz would climb up to just behind his teammate whilst race leader Mortara would take his first Attack Mode along with Ticktum, with both drivers electing for a 2-4min strategy. 

Sette Câmara, Rowland and Daruvala would all take their first 2 minutes of Attack Modes a lap later, with Fenestraz taking his own first 2 minutes on Lap 5. Rowland and Daruvala would both elect to take a very early second activation on Lap 6 whilst King would take his first Attack Mode, electing for a 4-2min strategy. Fenestraz would also take his second Attack Mode early on the subsequent lap. 

By Lap 10, Fenestraz and Rowland would climb their ways into 10th and 8th respectively. A Full Course Yellow and a Safety Car would soon follow on Lap 11 as Envision debutant Joel Eriksson stopped on-track with suspension damage, allowing Daruvala to get back with the pack.

After a lengthy recovery period, the race would restart on Lap 17. Mortara would immediately launch a battle with Pascal Wehrlein and Jean-Éric Vergne for 2nd heading through the first sector, eventually settling for 4thby the end of the lap behind António Félix Da Costa. Rowland would also make his way up to 6th by the end of the lap but would soon be overtaken by Mitch Evans into T1. Both Mahindras would take their second Attack Modes on Lap 19, with Sette Câmara taking his own second activation a lap later as Mortara launched another attack for 2nd against Vergne in the second half of the lap. By the end of the lap, Mortara would once again settle back into 4th behind Da Costa.

On Lap 21, Fenestraz would be forced wide on the exit of T4 by di Grassi and fall from 9th and 12th. The ABT Cupra driver would soon be spun round by Ticktum in T7 and given terminal damage, with the Briton being handed a 5-second penalty. Fenestraz would manage to recover up to 9th again whilst Mortara would pass Wehrlein for 2nd heading into T12. Mortara would take the lead from Wehrlein’s teammate on Lap 22 as he went into Attack Mode, with Ticktum also taking his second activation. 

However, Mortara’s newfound lead would not last for long as he soon began to fall down the pack, moving down to 8th by Lap 25 with Rowland among those overtaking him.

Maximilian Günther would hit the back of Mortara on Lap 29, breaking his front wing and crashing into the outside barriers of T9, causing the second Safety Car of the race. The restart at the end of Lap 33 would see Rowland would attack Wehrlein for 2nd and then dive down the inside of Evans on T6 to momentarily take the lead. Daruvala, who had been slowly making his way through the field until the second Safety Car, would make his way into 10th on Lap 35 and challenge race weekend debutant Paul Aron for 9th. The Indian driver would soon capitalise on Jake Dennis locking up into T6 on the next lap and pushing Mortara out wide, slipping into 7th and then into 6th behind Da Costa by the start of Lap 37.

Sacha Fenestraz with his broken front wing | Credit: Formula E

Cassidy would clip the front wing of Fenestraz on the run down to T1, causing it to break and send him down from 8th to 16th. Daruvala would overtake Da Costa for 5th on Lap 38 through T10 and into T11 to make an impressive total of 17 gained positions in the race. This would not last for long however, as he slipped down to 8th by the end of Lap 40, with Mortara among those overtaking him.

Their battle would come to a head on the next lap as Daruvala clobbered the back of Mortara into T9, forcing him to pit for a new front wing, sending him down to 16th. After making up the lost ground, Fenestraz would battle Aron on the last lap for 9th, ultimately getting past the Estonian driver.

Oliver Rowland’s podium finish would move Nissan up to 3rd in the Teams’ Championship | Credit: Formula E

Rowland would take his fifth podium of the season in 3rd and his second consecutive ABB Driver of Progress award after gaining 12 positions in the race. Mortara would cross the line in 8th to give Mahindra a total of 7 points from Round 9, just ahead of Fenestraz in 9th. His finish would also move Mahindra up to 5th in the Manufacturers’ Trophy and ahead of Electric Racing Technologies.

King would finish a respectable 12th in his E-Prix debut whilst Ticktum and Sette Câmara would finish in 14th and 16th for ERT. Despite being on track for a top 10 finish in the race, Daruvala’s mistake on Lap 41 ultimately meant that he would finish in 17th and a lap down to the rest of the field.

Formula E Drivers’ Championship Top 10

  1. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar) – 121
  2. Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) – 112
  3. Oliver Rowland (Nissan) – 103
  4. Jake Dennis (Andretti) – 89
  5. Mitch Evans (Jaguar) – 89
  6. Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Penske) – 83
  7. Maximilian Günther (Maserati) – 65
  8. Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske) – 43
  9. Sam Bird (McLaren) – 38
  10. António Félix Da Costa (Porsche) – 34

Formula E Teams’ Championship Top 5

  1. Jaguar TCS Racing – 210
  2. Tag Heuer Porsche – 146
  3. Nissan – 129
  4. DS Penske – 126
  5. Andretti – 113

Formula E Manufacturers’ Trophy

  1. Jaguar (Jaguar/Envision) – 239
  2. Porsche (Porsche/Andretti) – 227
  3. Nissan (Nissan/NEOM McLaren) – 183
  4. Stellantis (DS Penske/Maserati) – 179
  5. Mahindra (Mahindra/ABT Cupra) – 26
  6. Electric Racing Technologies (ERT) – 23

Header image credit: Formula E

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