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Jaguar and DS Automobiles aim to attack on Porsche's home turf

After three completely new circuits, the world championship of electric single-seaters returns this weekend to the familiar track of Tempelhof in Berlin. Porsche, leader in the Formula E manufacturers' standings, will be keen to shine in front of its home crowd. Not sure that Jaguar and DS Automobiles will hear it that way.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Team Penske

Photo by: DPPI

The first five places in the teams' ranking are in fact occupied by only three manufacturers. Porsche, the strong leader, and customer team Andretti in fifth, while Jaguar is in third outpaced by its customer squad Envision Racing. Fourth place, just one point behind the British manufacturer, goes to the DS Penske team.

But DS Penske has scored the most points, 75, in the last three races, on circuits that everyone was discovering. The Franco-American team reaped the rewards of its work and took advantage of its experience in the discipline to score on unfamiliar ground.

In Berlin, all the teams will find a perfectly familiar circuit: the historic Tempelhof airport. This atypical, very convenient, and centrally located venue has hosted all the German races of the championship since its inception in 2014, with the exception of the 2015 edition which took place in the Mitte district, at Alexanderplatz.

Berlin is also a double-header, like this weekend, and the location was the scene of six consecutive races in 2020 amidst a health crisis. The track layouts were different and used in both directions, but the ultra-rough concrete surface will be the same this year.

However, as the Gen3s will be racing there for the first time, as will their new Hankook tyres, which are perceived as very different by the drivers compared to the Michelin tires of previous seasons, it still provides plenty of unknowns for the drivers.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Team Penske

Stoffel Vandoorne, Team Penske

Photo by: DPPI

DS Automobiles has good memories in Berlin

Porsche has never won a race at home, but last year the German manufacturer placed both of its cars in the points in the first race, and one in the second.

At that time, it was another German squad, Mercedes, which dominated the proceedings by placing its four cars (those of the factory team and those of its client Venturi) in the first four places of the second E-Prix.

Stoffel Vandoorne, now with DS Penske, was third on the podium for both races last year. In the Berlin opener last year, only the DS Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne, second at the finish, challenged the German domination when the Venturi of Edoardo Mortara won.

DS Automobiles has found memories of Berlin, because it was on the Tempelhof track that it won its second constructors' championship title in 2020, when Antonio Felix da Costa, then Vergne's team-mate, won the drivers' title ahead of Vandoorne.

Today Vandoorne is with DS Penske with Vergne, Da Costa is with Porsche with Pascal Wehrlein, while Sam Bird, a veteran of the discipline alongside Mitch Evans, dreams of being a champion at the wheel of his Jaguar.

This year, the Berlin E-Prix will take place almost a month earlier, with potentially different weather, and inevitably cooler than the last three E-Prix. Who will emerge victorious from this three-way match between Porsche, Jaguar, and DS?

Will they be challenged by Envision or Andretti, or by another team that has remained under the radar? And what about Maserati, which is not having the season it had hoped for and which might be able to put it all together in Berlin?

The answer will be given on Sunday evening at the end of the two E-Prix, which will also mark the changeover to the second part of the 2023 season.

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