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Formula E Berlin ePrix

Second Berlin E-Prix "going to be very difficult" if wet with Hankook tyre

Formula E drivers have raised concerns with how the Hankook tyres will cope if the second Berlin E-Prix is held in wet conditions on Sunday.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Jake Dennis, Andretti Autosport, Porsche 99 X Electric Gen3, Dan Ticktum, NIO 333 FE Team, NIO 333 ER9, the rest of the field

The Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit is holding a double-header this weekend in Berlin, with Mitch Evans taking victory and Jaguar securing a 1-2 in the opening race.

While Saturday’s event was held under perfect blue skies and bright sunshine, rain is expected for the second contest which will be the first time the Hankook tyre has been called into action during a wet race.

The South Korean manufacturer became the sole tyre supplier to the championship this year, replacing the previously used Michelin rubber, and has been criticised by some drivers for being too hard and not offering enough grip.

Sam Bird, who finished runner-up in Saturday’s opening Berlin E-Prix, believes that the new-for-2023 tyres will pose problems if the race is held in the wet due to the compound and the unique nature of the track surface.

“Hankook I think generally has created some incredible races this year,” he said.

“If it’s wet tomorrow, it’s going to be very difficult. I can’t say anymore. It really will be a test to keep the car moving in the direction that you want it to at all times, but we will work with the engineers tonight to come up with a plan if that’s the case.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, 2nd position, on the podium

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, 2nd position, on the podium

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

“We know what to do when it turns wet, or we’ve got some ideas. If it’s wet, it’s wet, it’s the same for everybody else.”

One positive outcome of a wet race would be the need not to save as much energy in the slower conditions, which race-winner Evans described as “on another level” in Saturday’s race.

Jake Dennis, though, also expressed concerns about the Hankook tyres, believing they would perform “not great” if the race is held on a wet surface.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult for them and it’s not going to supply much grip for us out there but that’s what we’re paid to do and just try and drive around as quickly as possible,” he said.

“I don’t think energy will be too much of an issue if it’s wet tomorrow, so we can just drive a bit more with less energy limitations.”

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