Berlin E-Prix: Da Costa survives energy issues for dominant victory

Antonio Felix da Costa survived late energy issues to score victory on Formula E's return in Berlin as DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne slumped from second to 20th

Berlin E-Prix: Da Costa survives energy issues for dominant victory

Da Costa sealed back-to-back series wins with a 5.5-second advantage over late beneficiary Andre Lotterer, despite crossing the line with marginal useable energy remaining.

A fine start for both DS Techeetah machines left them unchallenged into Turn 1 as a superb launch from Sebastien Buemi forced Lotterer to defend with his Porsche.

That gave da Costa and Vergne clear breathing space of 2s at the end of the opening lap in an otherwise processional first phase of the race.

But Robin Frijns brought out the safety car on lap 9 after shunting his Envision Virgin Racing car into the wall on the outside of Turn 2 after trying to battle past Maximilian Guenther.

Although Frijns continued in an attempt to return to the pits, he ran over the kerbs to cause terminal suspension damage and force his retirement.

After the safety car, again the DS Techeetah duo were unmatched at the restart, and although Lotterer was able to hang on, he missed the attack mode activation zone.

Having run off-line in an attempt to collect the boost, he lost ground to the leading pair, which looked set to give DS Techeetah a 1-2 - despite complaints over radio from Vergne that da Costa was ignoring team strategy to manage the pace at the front.

In an effort to pass da Costa, Vergne then opted to activate his higher power attack mode but this became a wasted opportunity after the race was neutralised by a full-course yellow after Felipe Massa crashed at Turn 6.

As the race resumed, Vergne began to fall back suddenly, allowing da Costa to run home clear with fastest lap to his third FE triumph.

Added to his bonus points for topping his qualifying group, superpole and for snaring fastest lap - the first ever FE clean sweep - da Costa now leads by 41 points.

Lotterer was able to fight past Sam Bird - on his own remarkable recovery - to score a late second position for Porsche.

Bird had only lined up seventh on the grid, but took the strategic decision to delay taking his attack mode, which put him on a late climb up the order.

Vergne's woes were compounded by a collision with the Mercedes of Nyck de Vries - both of whom took the knee prior to the race start - at Turn 1, which combined with his late energy woes, meant the reigning champion could only scrap a point-less 20th.

De Vries hung on in fourth ahead of a strong return for Mahindra Racing, led by Jerome d'Ambrosio, with Vandoorne progressing from 15th to an eventual sixth. Buemi was seventh.

Guenther was a fortunate eighth, after he tagged Mitch Evans - who was recovering to track position after battling Buemi - with the Jaguar driver spinning into the wall and down to 15th.

Alexander Sims - entering the race third in the points behind Evans - was a quiet 10th, one place ahead of double DTM champion Rene Rast.

Berlin E-Prix results - 36 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah DS 47m08.261s
2 Andre Lotterer Porsche Porsche 5.445s
3 Sam Bird Virgin Audi 6.526s
4 Nyck de Vries Mercedes Mercedes 6.911s
5 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra Mahindra 13.212s
6 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes Mercedes 13.654s
7 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams Nissan 14.926s
8 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 17.311s
9 Alexander Sims BMW BMW 17.673s
10 Rene Rast Audi Audi 18.852s
11 Neel Jani Porsche Porsche 21.039s
12 Alex Lynn Mahindra Mahindra 21.603s
13 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 22.482s
14 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams Nissan 23.208s
15 James Calado Jaguar Jaguar 28.906s
16 Oliver Turvey NIO NIO 31.116s
17 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Mercedes 38.765s
18 Daniel Abt NIO NIO 39.282s
- Maximilian Guenther BMW BMW Disqualified
- Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS Not classified
- Sergio Sette Camara Dragon Penske Disqualified
- Nico Muller Dragon Penske Not classified
- Felipe Massa Venturi Mercedes Accident
- Robin Frijns Virgin Audi Accident

shares
comments
Envision Virgin first FE team awarded carbon neutral status
Previous article

Envision Virgin first FE team awarded carbon neutral status

Next article

Berlin E-Prix: Guenther disqualified after energy limit breach

Berlin E-Prix: Guenther disqualified after energy limit breach
Load comments
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Plus

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Plus

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Plus

Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 6, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Plus

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-2022 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams Plus

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021