Formula E - Lucas di Grassi lands victory at Tempelhof airport
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler secures 2d successive home win in German capital
In front of excited fans, Lucas di Grassi managed to achieve his 10th career victory in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Starting from third on the grid, the Brazilian made progress up the order in the early stages and managed to cross the finish line first.
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver made a clean getaway and stuck behind Stoffel Vandoorne in the opening laps, before making his move up the inside of the Turn 6 hairpin at the end of the long back straight. He mirrored the same manoeuvre only a handful of laps later to take the lead from Sebastien Buemi. Di Grassi managed his energy and maintained the gap to Buemi - eventually crossing the line to pick-up 25 points and an additional point for setting fastest lap.
Buemi started the race from pole position but didn’t have the speed to keep di Grassi behind. Despite still not being able to convert pole into victory, second place marks Buemi’s first podium finish for Nissan e.dams this season.
Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne continued his recent upturn in form to complete the podium positions. Vergne advanced through the field from eighth, pulling off a number of audacious lunges with late-braking into the popular overtaking spot at Turn 6.
Antonio Felix da Costa, Vandoorne and Daniel Abt exchanged paint and positions on track in a hard-fought race for fourth - with da Costa narrowly missing out on another podium place for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.
The British trio of Alexander Sims, Oliver Rowland and Sam Bird came home in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively ahead of Pascal Wehrlein in the final points-paying position.
The title contenders and lead group is starting to emerge as the season approaches the final stages. DS TECHEETAH driver Vergne remains at the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship drivers’ standings and extends his lead to six points. Second in the standings is Berlin race winner di Grassi followed by Andre Lotterer and da Costa. With the successful weekend in Germany, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler scored enough points to move ahead of Envision Virgin Racing in the teams’ championship standings and is now second behind DS TECHEETAH. Nissan e.dams and Mahindra complete the top-five.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to Switzerland next for the first edition of the Bern E-Prix on 22 June. Round 11 of the 2018/2019 season will be the last event of the European leg before the season finale in New York.
Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler:
„An amazing race for Audi. It was a very strategic race with a lot of energy saving and our cars seemed very efficient today, so I’m super happy. Before coming into this weekend I thought that with practice being on a different day on a track which isn’t normally very used - so it’s dusty - that it would’ve been pretty much impossible to qualify here in this position. It just shows that you have to work hard and do the best we can - surprises can come and this is a very nice surprise to me.“
Sebastien Buemi, Nissan e.dams:
"It feels good. I can’t believe it’s only my first podium after all the races we’ve had. I know everyone can say that they deserve to get more points, but I think from our side it’s been really frustrating because we’ve been leading so many races and in the end not scored points, so it’s good to finally see that we score points for the team and we are coming back. There are another three races and I hope I can score more but today I was not as quick as Lucas. I feel like we aren’t as efficient - we are good in qualifying - but we aren’t strong enough in the race so we need to try and work hard and see what we can do better."
Jean-Eric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH:
"It was really fun. It was a fantastic recovery from yesterday and I have to thank my team because yesterday I was more than one second off and I had a massive issue on the car which we couldn’t find during the day, they found it overnight. This morning in qualifying, I got into a brand-new car basically with new brakes and a new feeling. I’m very pleased with today’s result and I always like to leave the track knowing I have done the best and better was impossible.”
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