|2015 Berlin ePrix|
Berlin Formula E Circuit
|Date||23rd May 2015|
|Official Name||DHL Berlin ePrix 2015|
|Location||Templelhof Airbase, Berlin|
|Lap length||2.47km (1.53mi)|
|Distance||33 laps / 81.51km (50.65mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Jarno Trulli|
|Driver||Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|Fastest Lap||1:24.435 on lap 20|
|Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Sébastien Buemi||Loïc Duval|
|Winner Team||Dragon Racing|
After Lucas di Grassi was disqualified for using an illegal front wing, Jérôme d'Ambrosio claimed victory, the first for the Belgian in Formula E. That was after Jarno Trulli claimed his first pole position since his F1 days, although he would plummet to nineteenth in the race. Sébastien Buemi and Loïc Duval filled the podium, as Nelson Piquet, Jr. climbed to the top of the Championship.
Heading into Berlin, Lucas di Grassi holds a four point lead in the Drivers' championship, despite Sébastien Buemi's victory in Monaco. The Swiss driver was up to third, with ten points separating him from the Brazilian, with Nelson Piquet, Jr. sat in second, four behind his main rival. Nicolas Prost and Sam Bird round out the top five in the Championship ahead of the Berlin ePrix, with another potential 30 points on offer for the driver who has the perfect weekend.
Prost and Buemi's three combined wins, and monumental points total of 160 points meant e.dams-Renault held a clear lead over the rest of the field in the Teams' Championship. Audi Sport ABT were the only other team in treble figures for the season, while NEXTEV TC's meteoric rise through the table over the last two rounds had seen them close to within a point of Virgin Racing in third. Venturi were off the foot of the table for the first time since Punta del Este, having overtaken the Trulli Formula E Team last time out.
The full entry list for the 2015 Berlin ePrix will be displayed below:
Qualifying in Berlin was to use the familiar four group format used throughout the season, with the draw for the groups made just after Practice Two. Qualifying commenced at 12:00 local time, with each group getting 10 minutes to post a competitive time.
The Trulli duo of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Jarno Trulli were to lead out Group One and open qualifying, joined by Nelson Piquet, Jr., Bruno Senna and António Félix da Costa. Current form suggested that Piquet should emerge from the session near the front row of the grid, if not on it, with the rest of the Group set to be in a battle to get into the top ten.
Yet, flying in the face of form, it was the two Trulli machines that ended the 10 minute session on top, with Trulli himself almost half a second quicker than team mate Liuzzi in second. Pole favourite Piquet found himself trailing by over eight tenths of a second, with Senna and da Costa rounding out the group, and looking set (like Piquet) to tumble down the order.
Headlining Group Two were the Andretti Autosport aces in Scott Speed and Jean-Eric Vergne, particularly as Vergne had already taken two pole positions so far. Jaime Alguersuari, Stéphane Sarrazin and Salvador Duran also found themselves in the second group, although they were expected, like most of the first group, to be battling for the lower end of the grid.
But, again, the twisty nature of Tempelhof's new circuit threw the form book away, with none of Group Two able to beat Trulli's time. Vergne only just beat Liuzzi's time, (a feat that Speed could not achieve), and found himself behind Sarrazin as well. A dissapointing session was rounded out by Alguersuari and Duran, who both managed to beat the times of da Costa and Senna.
Action looked to be on the horizon in Group Three, as two title contenders in Lucas di Grassi and Nicolas Prost looked set to do battle for pole. Nick Heidfeld (at his home race) and Jérôme d'Ambrosio were also considered to be dark horses for the top end of the grid, while Charles Pic would hope to beat his best quali position since joining NEXTEV TCR four rounds earlier.
Form seemed to have found a foothold in Group Three, although di Grassi still fell short of Trulli's time, almost a tenth slower. Heidfeld slotted in immediately behind di Grassi, as did d'Ambrosio, both ahead of Prost who was disappointed in fifth as it stood. Pic, as predicted, found himself in the second half of the standings, and looked set to fall even further after Group Four got their turn.
Rounding out qualifying in Berlin were three drivers who had experienced either pole or victory (or both) during the season. Sébastien Buemi had the winds of history behind him after his Monaco performance, while Sam Bird and Daniel Abt would have to call on earlier promise to aid their ole bids. Loïc Duval and Karun Chandhok would round out the group, with both looking to have a good session to get higher into the points.
Buemi fell short of his pole goal, ending the session in third after being unable to beat di Grassi's time as well. Abt slotted into fifth (like Heidfeld, enjoying his home race), while Duval earned himself eighth after a strong lap. Drama for Bird saw him throw away one of his full power laps with a spin at the very first corner, meaning he only managed fifteenth, with Chandhok well down the order in last.
The final result from qualifying is shown below:
|2015 Berlin ePrix Qualifying Result|
|2||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||1:21.623||2|
|5||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||1:21.754||5|
|6||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:21.861||6|
|8||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:21.917||8|
|10||27||Jean-Eric Vergne||Andretti Autosport||1:22.015||10|
|12||28||Scott Speed||Andretti Autosport||1:22.096||12|
|13||99||Nelson Piquet, Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||1:22.310||13|
|14||3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||1:22.395||14|
|15||2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||1:22.437||15|
|16||77||Salvador Duran||Amlin Aguri||1:22.444||16|
|17||88||Charles Pic||NEXTEV TCR||1:22.464||17|
|18||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||1:22.575||18|
|19||55||António Félix da Costa||Amlin Aguri||1:22.586||19|
|20||5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||1:22.803||20|
|Max Qualifying Time: N/A|
No changes were made to the grid order after qualifying, despite Stéphane Sarrazin's complaints over Jaime Alguersuari. The results of the FanBoost vote were released two hours before the race began, with Nelson Piquet, Jr., Sébastien Buemi and Charles Pic given an extra 30kw/h of boost for five seconds.
Jarno Trulli's years of Grand Prix racing from pole flooded back to him off the line, as he immediately swept into the lead of the race, ahead of Lucas di Grassi. It was a clean get and through turn one, with Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne in particular making good progress. However, the fairly calm start was about to come to an end at turn three.
First, Trulli locked up his right rear brake, send him out wide and almost into a spin, the result of which gave di Grassi a clear gap to take the lead, with Trulli slotting back into second. His slide caused the pack to brake heavier than expected, a fact which caught Daniel Abt out as he locked up his entire rear axle, throwing himself into a spin. Everyone behind him did manage to avoid his car, although Nelson Piquet, Jr. did get pushed slightly into the wall by Bird when they went to the inside of the corner to avoid the Audi Sport ABT machine.
It soon became clear that di Grassi had the pace to win the ePrix with ease, as he set four fastest laps on the trot, with Trulli an increasingly distant second. Buemi had a queue of cars behind him, although excessive energy use for Trulli hampered his pace, meaning the Buemi backlog were soon on his tail. Buemi used FanBoost to take second away, with Nick Heidfeld following him through, before the Italian really started to plummet down the order.
As Trulli fell down the order, so did Nicolas Prost, as he was mugged by Sam Bird and António Félix da Costa in short order, before the Portuguese man pulled an impressive move on the Brit for ninth place. D'Ambrosio found himself in third after a speculative dive down the inside of Heidfeld at turn nine, before the pair, along with Buemi, came into the pits. Only Piquet and Pic stayed out longer than the majority of the field, a fact that would come to the fore over the second half of the race.
As d'Ambrosio jumped Buemi in the pits, Amlin Aguri fell foul of the minimum pitstop time, releasing both da Costa and Salvador Duran too early. The resulting drive through penalties arguably cost da Costa some solid points, while Duran slipped into a battle with Trulli and Karun Chandhok at the back of the field. Meanwhile, at the front, Piquet was a man on a mission, with FanBoost and an extra seven percent of energy available to push further into the top ten.
As d'Ambrosio set about trying to eat into di Grassi's ten second lead, Buemi and Heidfeld were locked into a duel for third, soon joined by Loïc Duval and Stéphane Sarrazin. This allowed Piquet, who had quickly got past Vergne and Bird who had been in an increasingly physical battle for seventh, to catch up to the final podium spot. Heidfeld looked to have taken third into turn nine, but tactical driving by Buemi allowed him to slot back into the position out of the corner.
That allowed Buemi to pull a small gap to the rest, while Heidfeld got caught off guard twice in the space of two laps. First, Duval caught the German sleeping into turn three, just three laps before the end, before Piquet, who had swept past Sarrazin with the aid of FanBoost a lap earlier, pulled exactly the same move into turn nine. He now had two laps to take Duval and attack Buemi to get onto the podium, while Heidfeld was left to fend off his team mate for sixth.
Back at the very front, di Grassi calmly crossed the line with a 7.5 second lead over d'Ambrosio, taking his second win of the season. Piquet failed to get past Duval, meaning he finished fifth, behind the Frenchman (who took his best finish) and third placed Buemi. Heidfeld held off Sarrazin for sixth, while Liuzzi claimed the final point for Trulli, after a promising day four hours earlier was wiped out with Trulli entering the pits two laps from the end.
However, after the race, the FIA disqualified di Grassi, excluding him from the race result, meaning d'Ambrosio was handed the victory. The front wing on the Brazilian's car had been modified, illegally, by the Audi Sport ABT team, although they claimed that the modifications were repair scars. The FIA disagreed, although the team opted not to appeal the decision.
The final classification of the 2015 Berlin ePrix is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2015 Berlin ePrix Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Nat.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||33||48.26.566||1:25.150||25|
|3||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||33||+3.508s||1:24.762||15|
|4||99||Nelson Piquet, Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||33||+3.975s||1:24.435||14|
|7||27||Jean-Eric Vergne||Andretti Autosport||33||+13.678s||1:25.063||6|
|8||2||Sam Bird||Virgin Racing||33||+14.055s||1:25.166||4|
|11||55||António Félix da Costa||Amlin Aguri||33||+16.797s||1:24.758|
|12||3||Jaime Alguersuari||Virgin Racing||33||+20.594s||1:25.029|
|13||28||Scott Speed||Andretti Autosport||33||+21.149s||1:25.204|
|14||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT||33||+23.688s||1:24.909|
|15||88||Charles Pic||NEXTEV TCR||33||+25.491s||1:25.100|
|16||77||Salvador Duran||Amlin Aguri||33||+44.157s||1:25.532|
|17||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||33||+46.257s||1:25.203|
|18||5||Karun Chandhok||Mahindra Racing||33||+52.703s||1:25.136|
|19||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli||31||+2 laps||1:25.452||3|
|DSQ*||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT||33||Disqualified||1:25.391|
- * di Grassi disqualified from the race result for an illegal front wing.
Lucas di Grassi's post race disqualification had a dramatic effect on the Championship, with the Brazilian tumbling to third, and fellow countryman Nelson Piquet, Jr. taking the lead. Sébastien Buemi split the two South American racers, trailing Piquet by two, while severe damage was done to most of the other potential title contenders. Nicolas Prost now found himself with a 25 point shortfall to the top (bearing in mind he effectively lost that number at the first race), while Sam Bird actually fell behind race winner Jérôme d'Ambrosio, with the Belgian taking over Bird's position as the dark horse for the title.
There was also a seismic shift in the Teams' Championship, as Dragon Racing leapt up to second from sixth, now a point ahead of Audi Sport ABT. NEXTEV TCR remained in fourth as Virgin Racing fell to fifth, with the former also making it past to 100 point mark for the season. But, at the front, e.dams-Renault still proved to be the class of the field, now just 21 points away from the 200 point barrier, and over 60 points ahead.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 'Di Grassi excluded from DHL Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/di-grassi-excluded-from-dhl-berlin-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 'Spotters guide to Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/spotters-guide-to-formula-e-berlin.aspx, (Accessed 21/05/2015)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 'DHL Berlin ePrix: Qualifying groups', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/dhl-berlin-eprix-qualifying-groups.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 'Trulli storms to pole in Berlin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/trulli-storms-to-pole-in-berlin.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Piquet, Buemi and Pic get #FanBoost', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/piquet-buemi-and-pic-get-fanboost.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 'Di Grassi flies to Tempelhof win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/di-grassi-wins-in-berlin-to-extend-title-lead.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)