Germany is set to host an extended conclusion to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as the series returns to action for nine days in the capital. It is a finale that will feature no fewer than six races and during which the drivers’ and teams’ titles will be decided.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is preparing to return to Berlin for the sixth time in as many years since the inception of the all-electric street racing single-seater series. In fact, Berlin is the only capital city that can boast having featured on the Formula E calendar every year since the series was created. With this year’s Berlin E-Prix featuring three double-headers, all held at the Berlin – Tempelhof airport complex, the twenty-four drivers will be contesting a whopping six races. A historical building, the Tempelhof complex is of course a former airport and remained in operation until 2008 before being converted into a recreational site. As Formula E uses temporary circuits, designed specifically to meet its requirements, the FIA and the promoter were able to rise to the challenge of creating three different tracks for each of the double-headers scheduled, in spite of the extremely tight deadlines involved in switching from one version to another. This is especially true as the local tarmac, previously used by aeroplanes, provides an almost limitless array of possibilities. The first double-header (5-6 August) will thus be contested in the opposite direction to usual on the Tempelhof track (2.355km), before competitors tackle the circuit in its standard configuration for part two of the finale (8-9 August). The last two races (12-13 August) will be contested on a brand new, more technical 2.505km-long track, which is expected to mean that cars will need to adopt a different energy management strategy.
Last time out
With a one-two finish in season 4, and then a win for Lucas Di Grassi last year, the Berlin E-Prix has recently been a happy hunting ground for the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team. Whilst there can be no doubt that team principal Allan McNish will be determined for his outfit to keep up their impressive run at home, their fellow Germans at BMW i Andretti Motorsport, Mercedes-Benz EQ and Tag Heuer Porsche – who have never won in Berlin – will clearly not want to be left out, nor will the other eight teams taking part in the championship.
The first five rounds of the 2019-2020 season produced five different winners, confirming the unpredictable nature of the championship: after Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing) and Alexander Sims (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) won the opening two races in Diriyah, Maximilian Günther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) triumphed in Santiago, before Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) grabbed victory in Mexico. Despite a heroic fightback from the back of the grid in Marrakesh, during which he made up some eighteen places to finish sixth, Mitch Evans nonetheless relinquished the championship lead at the last round to Antonio Felix Da Costa, who claimed his first win of the season for DS Techeetah.
Thanks to a twin podium for its drivers (a win for Antonio Felix Da Costa and third place for Jean-Eric Vergne) in Marrakesh, DS Techeetah – the reigning champions – moved ahead of BMW i Andretti Motorsport in the teams’ standings, whilst Panasonic Jaguar Racing lie third overall. However, with six races still to go out of a total of eleven on the revised 2019-2020 calendar, plenty of twists and turns may lie ahead at this year’s the Berlin E-Prix before the outcome of the drivers’ and teams’ titles are decided.
Several driver changes have been made for this innovative and unprecedented conclusion to the season. Replaced at Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler by Rene Rast, who contested the Berlin E-Prix with Team Aguri during the 2015-2016 season, Daniel Abt will now race for NIO 333. Changes are equally afoot at Mahindra Racing, where Alexander Lynn, the former DS Virgin Racing and Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver, will now race alongside Jérôme d’Ambrosio. Meanwhile, Geox Dragon boasts a new driver pairing of Nico Müller and Sergio Sette Camara, who was impressive in finishing second overall at the Marrakesh Rookie Test.
Driver Championship standings
1. Antonio Félix DA COSTA DS Techeetah 67pts
2. Mitch EVANS Panasonic Jaguar Racing 56pts
3. Alexander SIMS Bmw i Andretti Motorsport 46pts
4. Maximilian GÜNTHER Bmw i Andretti Motorsport 44pts
5. Lucas DI GRASSI Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 38pts
6. Stoffel VANDOORNE Mercedes-Benz EQ 38pts
7. Edoardo MORTARA ROKiT Venturi Racing 32pts
8. Jean-Éric VERGNE DS Techeetah 31pts
9. Oliver ROWLAND Nissan e.dams 30pts
10. Sam BIRD Envision Virgin Racing 29pts
11. Sébastien BUEMI Nissan e.dams 27pts
12. André LOTTERER Tag Heuer Porsche 25pts
13. Nyck DE VRIES Mercedes-Benz EQ 18pts
14. Pascal WEHRLEIN Mahindra Racing 14pts
15. Robin FRIJNS Envision Virgin Racing 10pts
16. James CALADO Panasonic Jaguar Racing 10pts
17. Daniel ABT Nio 333 8pts
18. Jérôme D’AMBROSIO Mahindra Racing 3pts
19. Felipe MASSA ROKiT Venturi Racing 2pts
20. Brendon HARTLEY Geox Dragon 2pts
21. Oliver TURVEY Nio 333 0pts
22. Nico MÜLLER Geox Dragon 0pts
23. Neel JANI Tag Heuer Porsche 0pts
24. Ma Qinghua Nio 333 0pts
Team Championship standings
- DS Techeetah 98 pts
- Bmw i Andretti Motorsport 90 pts
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing 66 pts
- Nissan e.dams 57 pts
- Mercedes-Benz EQ 56 pts
- Audi Abt Schaeffler 46 pts
- Virgin Racing 39pts
- ROkit Venturi Raciung 34pts
- Tag Heuer Porsche 25pts
- Mahindra Racing 17pts
- Geox Dragon 11pts
- Nio 333 0pts
Source : Fia