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A good result for DS Penske in Berlin

After finishing second on Saturday, Jean-Éric Vergne scored a Formula E top-10 finish on Sunday, confirming the high level of performance of his DS Penske.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

Photo by: DPPI

Jaguar and Porsche remain the two brands to beat for DS Automobiles, the only French manufacturer entered in the championship.

The same old, same old. Or almost. On this Sunday at Berlin-Tempelhof airport, we can expect to see debates on a track that has evolved, with teams working hard overnight to refine their energy strategy for the second race of the weekend.

At the front of the grid, the surprise came from Andretti. Having started from the last places on the previous day, the Porsche-powered cars were on the first two rows, alternating with the two Jaguars. Vandoorne [DS Penske], second at the start the day before, was initially fifth after losing out to Norman Nato [Andretti] in the quarter-finals, but eventually started eighth, just ahead of team-mate Vergne.

The French driver missed out on the quarter-finals by just 0.009s. 

With 38 laps to go - two less than the day before - the energy strategy was somewhat different. With the exception of Nick Cassidy [Jaguar], the whole of the second half of the grid went into attack mode just one lap after the lights went out. The field seemed more stretched out, but the pace was higher. As in Monaco, two weeks earlier, the cars were paired up: Jaguar, Porsche [including Andretti], and DS Penske locked up the top of the order.

Turn 2, where the Attack mode is triggered, always results in a loss of three to five places. At the end of the first third of the race, the DS E-TENSE FE23s consumed slightly less energy than the average of the field and had two percent more energy in their batteries. But then the first safety car arrived after Maximilian Günther's Maserati went off the track.

An unexpected end to the race

On the restart, the battle between the four Porsche-powered cars, the two Jaguars and now the two Nissans had to be won.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

Photo by: DPPI

The DS Penske drivers were playing a 'placed' game, taking advantage of the good performance of their single-seaters. But contact between Vandorne and Sacha Fenestraz [Nissan] caused some damage.

The Belgian driver was forced to pit, which in Formula E unfortunately complicates any hope of points. A second intervention by the safety car, this time to recover Fenestraz's Nissan after contact with NATO, nevertheless revived the proceedings.

Entering the final third of the E-Prix, the race directors add three laps to be covered, compared with six the day before.

Most of the cars bore the bruises of the numerous collisions that had taken place and, as on the previous day, the final phase was a hard-fought affair. It was an opportunity for Vergne to add to his points tally when several cars in the middle of the field crashed into the final bends.

It was then that the French driver used his experience to protect himself from the attacks of drivers who seemed to have nothing to lose, and scored the point for 10th place. Formula E is undoubtedly a discipline where overtaking is very common, as is touch-and-go driving...

The next meeting with the Formula E world championship will take place for the first time on the Shanghai circuit in China and is once again for a double-header with races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.

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