|2017 Berlin ePrix I|
The revised Tempelhof Airport ePrix circuit.
|Date||10th June 2017|
|Official Name||2017 FIA Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix|
|Location||Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany|
|Lap length||2.277km (1.415mi)|
|Distance||44 laps / 100.188km (62.254mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Lucas di Grassi|
|Team||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport|
|Fastest Lap||1:10.224 on lap 16|
|Felix Rosenqvist||Lucas di Grassi||Nick Heidfeld|
|Winner Team||Mahindra Racing|
The 2017 Berlin ePrix I, otherwise known as the 2017 FIA Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix, is set to be the seventh round of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, held on the 10th June 2017. The race will see the return of Tempelhof Airport as host of the FE Championship, with the field using a revised layout of the 2015 Berlin ePrix circuit.
Qualifying would see Lucas di Grassi edge out José María López for pole, the pair separated by just one thousandth of a second after their runs in Super Pole. Felix Rosenqvist impressed on his way to third, having dominated the group qualifying, while Championship leader Sébastien Buemi had a mistake ridden run to claim fourteenth on the grid.
At the start it would be di Grassi who surged into an early lead, sprinting clear of Lopez as he fell behind a fast starting Rosenqvist. An equally quick start from Nick Heidfeld was enough to see the German sweep past Lopez too, relegating the Argentine to fight with his teammate Sam Bird for fourth, with the rest of the field making it through the long turn one without issue.
The following laps saw the pace gradually settle down, with some near misses up and down the field as drivers adjusted their re-gen settings. Buemi, meanwhile, began his slow campaign through the order, taking Stéphane Sarrazin and Adam Carroll early on, picking off his rivals with identical moves at turn nine.
As the pitstops approached Buemi moved into the top ten, while title rival di Grassi was struggling with battery temps, allowing Rosenqvist to sweep onto the back of him. Then, on the lap of the stops, Rosenqvist, having saved more energy than the Brazilian, managed to sweep around the outside of the ABT Schaeffler on the entry to turn one. The pair duly stopped at the end of the lap, with everyone bar the two Andrettis joining them.
After the stops it was Rosenqvist leading from di Grassi and Heidfeld, while Lopez ran on his own ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, although the Frenchman was to be penalised for an unsafe release. Nicolas Prost was in sixth after Sam Bird was dumped down the order after a poor stop, while Buemi sent his Renault e.Dams slithering down the inside of Daniel Abt just after to claim eighth.
The closing stages were all about Buemi, who picked off Bird and Prost before launching a sustained attack at Vergne, but to no avail. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, had an untroubled run to the flag to claim his, and Mahindra's first win, while di Grassi and Heidfeld completed the podium. Lopez was a lonely fourth ahead of Buemi, Prost, Bird and Abt, as the five second penalty for Vergne relegated him to ninth.
There were some significant changes to the entry list ahead of the seventh meeting of the 2016/17 season, with two teams fielding revised drive line-ups. The cause was Esteban Gutiérrez, who took the chance to replace Sébastien Bourdais in the Indy Car Championship after the latter's huge accident at the Indy 500. His decision left a vacant seat at Techeetah, although with reserve driver Ma Qing Hua having calendar clashes for the rest of the season an alternative solution was required.
That solution was to poach Stéphane Sarrazin from the Venturi Formula E Team, meaning the Frenchman left the team he had been competing with since the inaugural FE season. Sarrazin's departure meant that there was another vacant seat at the Monegasque squad, although they quickly confirmed that Tom Dillmann would step up for the second race in a row. Both Sarrazin and Dillmann were confirmed in their seats for the rest of the season.
Pole and victory combined in Paris had allowed Sébastien Buemi to enhance his lead in the Championship, the Swiss racer heading into the second half of the season with a 43 point advantage. Lucas di Grassi remained the only man seemingly capable of keeping Buemi in sight, with third placed Nicolas Prost a further 31 points away. Elsewhere, Nick Heidfeld had moved back into the top five, overtaking Jean-Éric Vergne on the way to fourth, while Dillmann's maiden points finish meant there were 21 scorers in the 2016/17 edition of the FIA Formula E Championship.
Renault e.Dams benefited from the double non-score of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in the French capital to extend their lead in the Teams' Championship, having left their home race with 190 points on the board. Their German rivals were 75 points away as the only other team in triple figures for the season, although they seemed set to finish at least as high as second. Third placed Mahindra Racing managed to pull away from the chasing pack, while Techeetah slipped behind DS Virgin Racing and NextEV NIO after a miserable day in Paris.
The full entry list for the 2017 Berlin ePrix I is displayed below:
The qualifying format remained unchanged in Berlin, with four groups of five randomly drawn drivers taking to the circuit in a six minute window. Once each member of each group had set a time, the top five were to be siphoned off to compete in the Super Pole shoot, with the rest of the grid based on the other drivers' times from the Group stage. Super Pole would see each driver get a completely empty circuit to try and set another quick time, with the fastest of the quintet starting from pole position.
Sam Bird headlined the first group of the session, the Brit once again among the favourites to make Super Pole with DS Virgin Racing. Daniel Abt was also expected to do well with the ABT Schaeffler effort, while Adam Carroll would hope to at least break the top ten in the ever improving Jaguar. Completing the quintet would be the two Andrettis of António Félix da Costa and Robin Frijns, who both aimed the break the top ten despite the team's poor form.
Bird would indeed do well in the first group, his time of 1:08.321 among the fastest set in either practice session. Abt ended the group second fastest, three tenths back, while Frijns got the better of Carroll, both over a second off of Abt's pace. Finally came da Costa, who was unable to set a full power lap and so ended the session slowest overall with a 1:11.147.
The second group of the day would see two Renault creations enter the fray, although it was Jean-Éric Vergne in the customer run Techeetah effort that was expected to get into Super Pole. Nicolas Prost would go into battle for the factory backed Renault e.Dams team but in the middle of a poor run of form, hoping to simply break into the top ten. That goal would be shared by the two Dragons of Loïc Duval and Jérôme d'Ambrosio, as well as Maro Engel in the first of the Venturis.
Vergne ultimately proved to be the class of the second quintet, although his time of 1:08.457 was slower than he had managed in practice. Prost, meanwhile, failed to beat Abt for Renault, and was only just ahead of d'Ambrosio's impressive effort as the Belgian edged out Engel. Duval, in-contrast, was less than spectacular as he qualified down in nineteenth once the rest of the field had run.
Into the third quintet and title pretender Lucas di Grassi got his shot in qualifying, needing a strong result to try and challenge the runaway leader Sébastien Buemi. The Brazilian would share the session with Felix Rosenqvist of Mahindra, as well as the second Virgin of José María López, both of whom would expect to challenge for the final session. That left Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jr. in the battle to make the top ten for Jaguar and NextEV NIO.
It was Rosenqvist who shot to the top of the overall timesheet in the third group, the young Swede recording the fastest time of the weekend at 1:08.171, two tenths faster than di Grassi. Indeed, the Brazilian would end the session in fourth overall, with Lopez managing to squeeze inbetween the ABT driver and his teammate Bird. Piquet would qualify outside of the top ten with a general lack of pace, while Evans was disappointed to only manage sixteenth after the final group had run.
Championship leader Buemi would get his shot at qualifying in the final group of the day, and was the standout favourite to get into Super Pole from the quintet. Nick Heidfeld was another expected to do well in front of his home fans, while Oliver Turvey also had the potential to do well. Stéphane Sarrazin was not expected to do as well as new teammate Vergne given that he had only tried the Techeetah Renault in practice that morning, while his Venturi replacement Tom Dillmann simply hoped to get into the top ten.
There was a huge shock during the final session, as Buemi failed to make it into Super Pole in his ill-handling Renault, complaining about a lack of grip. Such was the Swiss racer's lack of pace that he only just managed to beat the rookie Dillmann, ending the session in fourteenth overall, while Sarrazin put the sister car up in twelfth. Turvey, meanwhile, had a strong run to seventh overall, while Heidfeld booked himself a spot in Super Pole by splitting to two Virgins.
Having qualified fifth in the group stage it was di Grassi who hit the circuit first in Super Pole, although he would break the traditional trend in FE by beating his earlier time. The Brazilian recorded a 1:08.312, although his strong effort was also instantly beaten by Lopez in the first of the Virgins. Indeed, the Argentine seemed to have truly found his feet in Berlin, but would miss out on provisional pole by 0.001s.
With the equivalent of 5mm splitting the front two the pressure was on for Heidfeld, although the German driver's time would fade away after a strong opening sector. Bird went next but made a mistake early on, leaving him last of the group, before Rosenqvist hit the circuit after his record lap earlier in the day. Yet, the Swede was unable to match his earlier time and duly qualified third, meaning di Grassi took the three points for pole. It was also the closest ever gap between first and second in qualifying in FE history.
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Berlin ePrix I are outlined below:
|2017 Berlin ePrix I Qualifying Result|
|1st||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.312||—||1|
|2nd||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.313||+0.001s||2|
|3rd||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:08.395||+0.083s||3|
|4th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:08.650||+0.338s||4|
|5th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:09.724||+1.412s||5|
|1st||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:08.171||—||SP|
|2nd||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.321||+0.150s||SP|
|3rd||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:08.325||+0.154s||SP|
|4th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.349||+0.178s||SP|
|5th||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.387||+0.216s||SP|
|7th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:08.607||+0.436s||7|
|8th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.620||+0.449s||8|
|9th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:08.692||+0.521s||9|
|10th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:08.825||+0.654s||10|
|13th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:08.961||+0.790s||13|
|14th||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:09.010||+0.839s||14|
|16th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:09.219||+1.048s||16|
|18th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:09.898||+1.727s||18|
|19th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:09.923||+1.752s||19|
|20th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:11.147||+2.976s||20|
The final classification of the 2017 Berlin ePrix I is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2017 Berlin ePrix I Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||44||0:53:19.661||1:10.888||25|
|2nd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||44||+2.232s||1:11.070||21|
|3rd||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||44||+4.058s||1:10.948||15|
|4th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||44||+13.638s||1:11.224||12|
|5th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||44||+19.068s||1:11.117||10|
|6th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||44||+19.799s||1:11.241||8|
|7th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||44||+20.065s||1:10.949||6|
|10th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||44||+40.985s||1:11.787||1|
|12th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||44||+42.980s||1:11.574|
|13th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||44||+45.712s||1:11.822|
|14th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||44||+49.658s||1:11.687|
|15th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||44||+59.010s||1:12.207|
|16th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||44||+1:00.269||1:13.479|
|Ret||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||16||Suspension||1:10.224||1|
|DSQ†||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||44||Disqualified||1:10.963|
- Indicates a driver was awarded FanBoost during the race.
- * Vergne received a five second penalty after the race for an unsafe release.
- † Buemi was disqualified after the race for using illegal tyre pressures.
- Third Berlin ePrix.
- Second time that Tempelhof Airport has hosted an ePrix.
- Second pole position set by Lucas di Grassi.
- His margin over José María López was the smallest in FE history at just 0.001s.
- Maiden victory for Felix Rosenqvist.
- Mahindra Racing earned their first victory.
- Third podium in a row for Nick Heidfeld.
- Nicolas Prost became the only driver to have scored at every race in 2016/17.
- Maiden fastest lap set by Mitch Evans.
- Also the first to be set using a Jaguar powertrain.
- End of Sébastien Buemi's 22 race scoring streak.
Despite missing out to maiden winner Felix Rosenqvist in the race, Lucas di Grassi did manage to make a dent in Sébastien Buemi's Championship lead. The Swiss racer's advantage was still over twenty points, although the Swiss racer would need a perfect result in the second ePrix of the weekend to guarantee he would still lead after the visit to New York. Behind di Grassi there was a tight three way scrap for third in the standings, with Nicolas Prost, race winner Rosenqvist, and Nick Heidfeld covered by six points.
Renault e.Dams continued to lead the Teams' Championship after the first of the Berlin ePrix in 2016/17, with only minor damage made to their advantage. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport had reduced the gap to the French squad to 66 points, but with Mahindra Racing claiming a double podium finish, it seemed as if they would be looking over the shoulders in a fight for second. DS Virgin Racing held station in fourth ahead of NextEV NIO, while Venturi moved ahead of Dragon Racing at the foot of the table.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 'From Hong Kong to New York: FIVE NEW CITIES FOR THIRD FORMULA E SEASON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/from-hong-kong-to-new-york/, (Accessed 02/07/2016)
- ↑ 'New track layout revealed for Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/03/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/new-track-layout-revealed-for-berlin-eprix/, (Accessed 21/05/2017)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 'Di Grassi beats Lopez to pole by one thousandth!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/di-grassi-beats-lopez-to-pole-by-one-thousandth/, (Accessed 16/06/2017)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 'Red hot Rosenqvist hands Mahindra first win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/red-hot-rosenqvist-hands-mahindra-first-win/, (Accessed 16/06/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Buemi excluded from Berlin Race 1 result', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/buemi-excluded-from-berlin-race-1-result/, (Accessed 11/06/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 'Sarrazin to TECHEETAH, Dillmann joins Venturi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/sarrazin-to-techeetah-dillmann-joins-venturi/, (Accessed 03/06/2017)
- ↑ Scott Mitchell, 'Sebastien Buemi, Nico Prost extend Renault e.dams Formula E deals', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 09/06/2017), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/130003/buemi-prost-get-twoyear-renault-extension, (Accessed 11/06/2017)
- ↑ 'FanBoost opens for Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 05/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/fanboost-opens-for-berlin-eprix/, (Accessed 06/06/2017)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 'Formula E: Berlin, DE - ePrix Race Results', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/results/race-results/season/2022016/round/7, (Accessed 10/06/2017)
- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 'Buemi drawn in qualifying Group 4', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/buemi-drawn-in-qualifying-group-4/, (Accessed 12/01/2018)