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Berlin E-Prix: Evans leads Jaguar 1-2 in wild opening race

Mitch Evans made it back-to-back Formula E wins after taking victory in the opening Berlin E-Prix as team-mate Sam Bird made it a Jaguar 1-2.

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Mitch Evans made it back-to-back Formula E wins after taking victory in the opening Berlin E-Prix as team-mate Sam Bird made it a Jaguar 1-2.

The Kiwi made the pivotal move for the lead with four laps remaining, diving to the inside of poleman Sebastien Buemi with a decisive pass into Turn 1.

FEATURE: Why Jaguar is a genuine threat to Porsche in Formula E

Evans, who had started ninth and briefly led at the mid-point of the race as drivers used their Attack Mode activations, immediately pulled a gap on the Envision Racing driver as Bird also looked for a way through.

It took until the final lap for the Briton to get ahead with a late braking move into the Turn 5 hairpin around the outside, holding the line on the exit to give Jaguar its first 1-2 in the championship.

Buemi lost a further position on the final corner as Maximilian Gunther made contact and took third on the line despite losing the front wing on his Maserati MSG machine.

Buemi’s Envision team-mate Nick Cassidy incredibly finished fifth despite making a pitstop to replace a punctured tyre under the second of two safety car periods.

This was deployed mid-race after Stoffel Vandoorne and Dan Ticktum collided on the exit of Turn 3, with their damaged cars left stranded on the circuit.

Ticktum had led proceedings initially, the NIO 333 driver launching from fourth on the grid to challenge Buemi around the outside into Turn 1, before completing the pass with the inside line into Turn 2.

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The theme of not wanting to lead that had been on display at the previous round in Sao Paulo took place again at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, with the leading drivers using all four minutes of Attack Mode in the early laps to drop into the pack.

A pivotal moment in the championship battle came on lap 31 out of 43 when Jake Dennis – second in the standings prior to the race – attempted to make a move on Gunther into Turn 5.

The Andretti Autosport driver lost control and made contact with Antonio Felix da Costa ahead, breaking the Porsche driver's suspension while Dennis was also forced to retire with damage.

The collision allowed the leading four to pull out a slender gap on the rest of the field, with Buemi heading Bird, Evans and Gunther.
Bird made several attempts to take the lead over the following laps, but team-mate Evans was the one to make progress.

He moved into second with a pass around the outside of Bird at the Turn 9 right-hand hairpin on lap 39, before making the race-winning move moments later into Turn 1.

Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein finished sixth having started down in 15th, but the Porsche driver made steady progress throughout and was the last to use all of his Attack Mode power.

Jean-Eric Vergne finished seventh despite having been facing the wrong way at one stage after the DS Penske driver was knocked into a spin at the final turn by Andre Lotterer.

The Andretti Autosport driver had taken the flag in sixth but a 5s penalty for the collision dropped him to eighth at the flag.

Edoardo Mortara finished ninth for Maserati MSG after using more energy that most in the first half of the race having climbed from 11th, while Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland went under the radar to take the final spot in the points.

Berlin E-Prix: Full race one results:

 

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