BMW’s Max Gunther bounced back from a difficult double-header in Berlin (where he scored no points), to take a hard-fought win at Round 8. The 22-year-old beat out Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns by just 0.128 sec to take victory on home soil.
· Gunther climbs from 9th to 2nd in the championship
· Da Costa’s 4th place finish helps him retain his championship lead
· Vergne finishes on the podium
BMW’s return to form
BMW endured a string of bad results in the first two races at Berlin. However, the team appeared to be far more comfortable on the original layout of the Tempelhof Airport track used for Round 8.
Polesitter Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah) did a good job holding on to the lead in the first quarter of the race. Gunther, on the other hand, spent the first half of the race expertly saving energy. This allowed him to really close in on Vergne in the closing stages and he pulled off what would be a race-winning move on the run up the inside of Turn 7.
Vergne then lost another place to Frijns, who was on a late race charge after starting 5th. Using his 1 percent energy cushion, Frijns attempted to pass Gunther at Turn 9 and 10. But he was unable to find a way past the German driver and had to settle for 2nd place instead.
“It was a tough race and we managed it well and kept cool – taking the Attack Mode early on both occasions,” said Gunther after the race.
“We made the move on JEV [Vergne], and Robin [Frijns] was able to get a bit of a run on us but we held on. I knew the guys behind had slightly more energy than us, so I had to make the pass on Vergne as early as I could. I was never going to give the win up on the last lap!”
Da Costa holds on to championship lead
After taking dominant wins at the first two races in Berlin, Round 8 ended up being a more subdued affair for Antonio Felix da Costa. After spending most of the race running in 8th place, he started tearing through the pack and was soon up to 4th.
However, his Techeetah team mate Vergne was able to hold him off to secure the last podium spot. Vergne did report loss of energy during Attack Mode use, but a 3rd place finish is a major uptick in performance for the reigning Formula E championship, following his poor results in the previous two races.
Da Costa’s 4th place finish was enough for him to hold on to the overall lead. His advantage in the drivers’ championship stands at 68 points, while Gunther’s second win of the season elevates him from 9th to 2nd in the overall standings.
Porsche’s Andre Lotterer finished 5th, followed by Nissan’s Oliver Rowland.
Mahindra Racing unable to convert qualifying form into strong results
As has been the case in the past, Mahindra Racing enjoyed a strong performance in qualifying. Both, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Alex Lynn made it to the Super Pole shootout and qualified 3rd and 5th respectively.
Despite battling it out at the front in the opening laps, both drivers slipped down the order as the race progressed. D’Ambrosio ended up finishing 7th, while Lynn dropped all the way down to 18th place by the end of the race.
Audi’s Lucas di Grassi took 8th place after spinning out at Turn 1 while battling Felipe Massa earlier on. Massa was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident and finished in last place. Meanwhile, Jaguar’s Mitch Evans finally scored points in Berlin with a 9th place result.
After being involved in an incident with Geox Dragon’s Sergio Sette Camara, Jaguar’s James Calado and Porsche’s Neel Jani, BMW driver Alexander Sims recovered to secure the final points scoring position.
Round 9 of the 2019/20 Formula E championship will take place later today and will follow the same original track layout. You can head here for the complete schedule of the 2019/20 Formula E finale.
Berlin E-Prix (Round 8) results:
Antonio Felix da Costa
Lucas di Grassi
Nyck de Vries
Sergio Sette Camara
2019/20 Formula E: Da Costa takes clean sweep at first Berlin E-Prix
2019/20 Formula E: Da Costa makes it back-to-back wins in Berlin
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