Formula E returns to Switzerland
For the last race of the championships’ European leg
Last year’s race in Zurich marked an historic event as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship brought circuit racing back to Switzerland after an absence of over 60 years. The Swiss E-Prix of the 2018/19 season will take place in Bern. Round 11, which gets underway this weekend (22 June), will be the last event of the European leg before the season finale in New York City.
The circuit is new for all drivers, as Bern makes its first appearance on the calendar of the all-electric racing series. The 2.75 km long circuit takes the drivers on 14 turns counter-clockwise through the city centre, while featuring a spectacular view of the river Aare and the historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Last time out
The 2018 race in Zurich was won by Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi after starting from fifth position. Sam Bird of Virgin came second followed by Jerome d’Ambrosio in third. Jaguar’s Mitch Evans started from pole position and managed to hold the lead for 17 of the 39 laps. Technical problems meant that he was not able to fight back when he was overtaken by Lucas di Grassi in the first corner of lap 18. Di Grassi, who had overtaken several cars in the first half of the race to get to this position, managed to extend his advantage and crossed the finish line in first.
At the penultimate outing of the current season, there is still less than a race win (just 21 points) between the top five drivers in the championship standings. With only three races to go all drivers will try to capitalise on as many good results as possible. Reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne left Berlin topping the drivers’ championship standings and is thus currently in the best position to defend his title. However Lucas di Grassi is only six points behind, followed by Vergne’s DS TECHEETAH team mate Andre Lotterer in third with 86 points. The good results of the DS TECHEETAH driver pairing also mean that the team is leading the team championship standings with a margin of 25 points over Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler. Envision Virgin Racing follows in third with 137 points, Nissan e.dams, Mahindra Racing and BMW i Andretti Motorsport are fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
While none of the Formula E teams are based in Switzerland, there are two drivers racing under a Swiss flag: Sebastien Buemi, currently tenth in the drivers’ standings and Edorado Mortara two places behind him. Both will be eager to try and climb the top step of the podium in Bern in front of their home crowd.
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