Formula E zips around Berlin Tempelhof airport [w/videos + spoilers]

July 18, 2017 – 02:48 pm
Germany may have been dropped from the Formula One calendar this season, but the country did get to host a Formula E race on the tarmac of the Tempelhof airport. Still, the Berlin ePrix was not without its controversy.

After a pair of practice sessions topped by Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi – both former F1 drivers and Formula E race winners – it was Jarno Trulli (the most experienced grand prix driver on the grid) who took pole position. Di Grassi lined up beside him, followed by Buemi and Nick Heidfeld, Daniel Abt and Jerome d'Ambrosio, Nicolas Prost and Loic Duval, and Stephane Sarrazin and Jean-Eric Vergne filling out the top ten on the starting grid.

Trulli didn't manage to hold onto the lead for long, though, di Grassi slipping past him around Turn 3 of the opening lap. The Brazilian driver had opened up his lead to nearly two seconds by the end of that first lap, and over four by the end of the second.

Having expended too much energy trying to regain his position, Trulli was forced to reel it back, holding up Buemi and the rest of the field behind him. But Buemi had the FanBoost in store and used it to slip past Trulli and into second place. Defeated and depleting his batteries, Trulli dropped further and further down the grid.

After Abt spun at Turn 2, D'Ambrosio slipped into third before the obligatory pit stop. After swapping cars for fully charged batteries, D'Ambrosio emerged in second ahead of Buemi, and proceeded to whittle down di Grassi's lead – but never quite managed to catch up.

Di Grassi's car was on the fritz as the race drew to a close, but held on long enough for him to cross the finish line in first place. He took his victory lap at the end of a tow rope in front of his team's home crowd. That would have been enough for di Grassi to extend his lead in the championship standings if not for an irregularity discovered by the officials under post-race scrutineering. The stewards determined the Audi Sport Abt team had illegally modified his front wing and excluded his result from the race.

As a result, second-place finisher d'Ambrosio was handed the race win, Buemi elevated to second and Duval to third. That means Nelson Piquet, Jr. (who started thirteenth, finished fourth, and scored another couple of points for the fastest lap) is now in the lead in the driver's standings with 103 points. Buemi rests just behind with 101, ahead of di Grassi's 93, Prost's 78 and d'Ambrosio's 77. The e.dams-Renault team leads the combined standings with 179 points to 116 for Jay Penske's Dragon Racing and 115 for Abt.


Source: www.autoblog.com


 
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