|2017 Berlin ePrix II|
The new "Tempelhofring" for 2017.
|Date||11 June 2017|
|Official Name||2017 FIA Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix|
|Location||Tempelhofring, Berlin, Germany|
|Lap length||2.277km (1.415mi)|
|Distance||46 laps / 104.742km (65.084mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Felix Rosenqvist|
|Fastest Lap||1:09.509 on lap 14|
|Sébastien Buemi||Felix Rosenqvist||Lucas di Grassi|
|Winner Team||Renault e.Dams|
|Berlin I||New York I|
The 2017 Berlin ePrix II, otherwise known as the 2017 FIA Formula E BMW i Berlin ePrix, was the eighth round of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, held on the 11 June 2017 at "Tempelhofring". The race, which was added to the calendar after the cancellation of the Brussels ePrix, would be the fourth ePrix to be staged in Berlin and the second to be held in the German capital that weekend.
Having taken his maiden victory the day before, Felix Rosenqvist was the man to sweep to pole position for the second race of the weekend, despite going half a second slower than he had in FP2. Sébastien Buemi would line-up alongside him, with the correct tyre pressures this time, while title pretender Lucas di Grassi slipped from pole on Saturday to seventh on the grid on Sunday.
It was grid order as the field shot away from the start line, with Rosenqvist sweeping into the first corner unchallenged by Buemi. Behind Buemi there was a concertina effect as the field plunged into the tightening turn one, with some minor contact in the mid-pack as they all squeezed to use the same piece of apron.
A scruffy opening lap saw Maro Engel pick up terminal damage on his first car, while several runners at the back of the field picked up minor front wing damage. Fortunately the drivers would calm down on the second tour, allowing Nick Heidfeld to begin his climb from the back of the grid having suffered an electrical issue in qualifying. The German's rise through the order saw him ultimately breech the top ten just before the stops, having methodically picked off his rivals one-by-one.
Elsewhere, Oliver Turvey proved to be a moving chicane in the top ten, being quickly dispatched by di Grassi, Daniel Abt and Nicolas Prost. The two DS Virgins of José María López and Sam Bird, meanwhile, were getting increasingly aggressive in their fight for third and so there was little surprise when the two almost came together on the eve of the pitstops. Lopez ran his teammate wide through turn one, leaving Bird to scramble across the dust and debris on the outside of the corner, meaning Vergne, di Grassi and Abt slithered past.
Unfortunately for Lopez the move did little to help his campaign, for he was picked off by the same trio just before the field swept into the pits for the car change. That was bad news for race leader Rosenqvist, who almost lost his lead when Mahindra released his car from the garage, straight into the path of teammate Heidfeld. Only quick thinking from Heidfeld prevented contact, although the team were instantly placed under investigation for an unsafe release.
After the stops it was Jean-Éric Vergne who took the spotlight, as the Frenchman fought off the two ABT Schaefflers and the Virgins for the rest of the race, ultimately slipping behind di Grassi, Abt and Lopez. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, was slapped with a ten second penalty for his unsafe release, a decision which handed victory to Buemi. The Swiss racer duly inherited the victory at the chequered flag, while Rosenqvist just maintained an eleven second advantage over di Grassi to finish second.
The second Berlin ePrix of the 2016/17 season was proposed after issues arouse around the Brussels ePrix, which was originally scheduled to take place in late June. Rather than drop a round, however, Formula E Holdings and the FIA decided to add a second race in the German capital, held on the same weekend. This meant that there would be minimum disruption for teams, as cars and equipment no longer needed to be transported 500 miles, and ensured that a twelve race calendar survived.
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.
The full entry list for the 2017 Berlin ePrix II is displayed below:
The standard qualifying procedure was retained for the second Berlin ePrix of the weekend, with the drivers randomly drawn into four groups of five ahead of the session. Each group would get six minutes on circuit, allowing all twenty drivers to set a single 200kW lap, before the top five overall were siphoned off into Super Pole. Those five would then go out one-by-one to try and claim pole position, while the rest of the field was sorted based on their group phase time.
The opening group of the session would feature Saturday winner Felix Rosenqvist, joined by teammate Nick Heidfeld in their Mahindras. Also in action would be season one Champion Nelson Piquet Jr., as well as the Venturi of Maro Engel. Completing the quintet would be Stéphane Sarrazin in his Techeetah.
Rosenqvist did indeed lead the timesheets at the end of the group stage, the Swede recording a 1:08.035 to go half a second faster than closest challenger Engel. Rosenqvist's teammate Heidfeld was well off the pace, with the German unable to set a full power lap after an electrical issue half way around. His demise meant that Sarrazin and Piquet were up in the top five, although the gap between them and Rosenqvist suggested that they would be heading further down the field.
Into the second quintet and Championship leader Sébastien Buemi would headline the group, joined on circuit by his Renault e.Dams teammate Nicolas Prost. They would have to fend off the immediate attentions of Daniel Abt at arch-rivals ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, with all three considered genuine contenders for Super Pole. Joining them would be Adam Carroll of Jaguar and Tom Dillmann in the second Venturi.
An ultra calm lap from Buemi would see the Swiss racer just edge out Rosenqvist at the top of the overall standings, a 1:08.022 his official time. Abt was next after a small mistake, ending the group three tenths off the Renault, while Buemi's teammate Prost found himself on the bubble already, going fourth overall. Carroll was disappointed with his effort, a second and a half slower than Buemi, while Dillmann got ahead of Sarrazin to go fifth overall.
Buemi's main title protagonist Lucas di Grassi would be the standout name in the third group of the afternoon, the Brazilian needing to gain pole to continue to close the gap in the Championship. He would be joined by Super Pole contender José María López for DS Virgin Racing, while Oliver Turvey was a dark horse for the fast five. António Félix da Costa and Mitch Evans, in contrast, were simply aiming for top ten spots at best.
López would move to the top of the overall standings during the third group, the Argentine recording an excellent effort of 1:07.854 to put himself effectively into Super Pole. Turvey caused a stir by going fourth fastest overall, just ahead of di Grassi, meaning the Brazilian was in danger of missing out on Super Pole after going fifth. Evans also did well to slot in between Abt and Prost, while da Costa was, as ever, down in the bottom half of the field.
The fourth and final quintet would see Sam Bird and Jean-Éric Vergne finally join the fight for Super Pole, with both considered to be serious contenders to get through. They were joined by the two Dragons of Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Loïc Duval, as well as Robin Frijns of Andretti. Their efforts would be hampered by the fact that the track temperature had continued to climb throughout the day to effectively put the tyres out of their optimal operating window.
In spite of the worsening conditions, Bird would be the standout name in group four, shooting to the top of the timesheet with a 1:07.805, half a tenth faster than teammate López. That effort knocked di Grassi out of Super Pole, before Vergne relegated the Brazilian further down the field as he put the Techeetah into third. Elsewhere, Frijns did well to beat teammate da Costa by half a second, while Duval snuck ahead of his teammate d'Ambrosio.
Rosenqvist would go first in the Super Pole shootout having slipped to fifth overall, completing a clean lap to record a 1:08.208, although he was disappointed by the time itself. Buemi went next but was a tenth off after the second sector, ultimately crossing the line behind the Swede by the same margin. Vergne followed the Swiss racer out to challenge the Swede, but a lock-up at turn four saw him throw away his chance of taking pole.
López went next having missed out on pole by 0.001s on Saturday, although a minor mistake on his lap saw him fall two tenths shy of Rosenqvist at the finish. Bird went next but also lacked the composure to beat the Swede, with a similar mistake to Vergne's leaving him almost half a second off Rosenqvist's effort. He duly slid into fourth on the grid ahead of Vergne, leaving Rosenqvist to celebrate his second pole of the season.
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Berlin ePrix II are outlined below:
|2017 Berlin ePrix II Qualifying Result|
|1st||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:08.208||—||1|
|2nd||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:08.306||+0.098s||2|
|3rd||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.454||+0.246s||3|
|4th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:08.688||+0.480s||4|
|1st||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:07.805||—||SP|
|2nd||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:07.854||+0.049s||SP|
|4th||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:08.022||+0.217s||SP|
|5th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:08.035||+0.230s||SP|
|6th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:08.142||+0.337s||6|
|7th||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.223||+0.418s||7|
|8th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:08.348||+0.543s||8|
|9th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:08.356||+0.551s||9|
|10th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:08.465||+0.660s||10|
|11th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:08.483||+0.678s||11|
|12th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:08.552||+0.747s||12|
|17th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:09.085||+1.280s||17|
|18th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:09.149||+1.344s||18|
|19th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:09.543||+1.738s||19|
|20th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:11.267||+3.462s||20|
It was a very warm 28°C at the Tempelhofring as the field assembled on the grid, with the concrete apron of the former airport reaching 33°C in the sun. As such, most of the teams were concerned with both tyre wear and battery temperatures, with the excessive heat ensuring that all parts of the car would be under heat related stress. Regardless, all twenty qualifiers would be wheeled out for the start, with no major changes to the grid after qualifying.
Felix Rosenqvist made a perfect getaway from pole position to lead into turn one, with Sébastien Buemi sweeping in behind him to claim second. Indeed, the Swiss racer almost misjudged his line into turn one and had to check-up on the brakes, allowing Sam Bird to attack teammate José María López as the Argentine had to hesitate behind the Renault e.Dams. They scrambled through with López still ahead, with the rest of the field barging in behind them through the tightening first corner.
There would be more significant contact later around the lap in the middle of the pack, with Robin Frijns picking up front wing damage into turn four. A few yards on and Maro Engel threw a huge lunge up the inside of Loïc Duval into turn six, only to get out of shape on the apex and slap into the side of the Dragon. Duval seemed to escape without issue, while Engel had to limp back to the pits with a terminal case of suspension damage, putting him in his second car to try and set fastest lap.
Out front, meanwhile, Rosenqvist would complete the opening tour almost a second clear of Buemi, who was already pulling clear of the two DS Virgins. Next up was Jean-Éric Vergne ahead of Oliver Turvey, while Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt ran nose to tail. Behind them came Nicolas Prost and Mitch Evans, while Nick Heidfeld had a productive start to the race, a lunge past Tom Dillmann at the start of lap two putting the German into sixteenth from last on the grid.
The race was quick to settle down after the opening lap, with Heidfeld again drawing the eye with a dive up the inside of Nelson Piquet Jr. into turn one. Ahead, López was proving to be a cork in the bottle with Bird and Vergne right behind, while Turvey was likewise holding up di Grassi, Abt, Prost and Evans. The latter group would not remain in that order for much longer, however, with di Grassi sliding past the NextEV NIO in turn one at the start of lap four, while Abt dived past the Brit in turn nine later on the same lap.
Prost would copy di Grassi's move on Turvey at the start of the following lap, while Heidfeld went diving past António Félix da Costa for twelfth a few seconds later. A few laps later and the German was mixing up his repertoire of attacks with a dive past Jérôme d'Ambrosio into turn nine, putting his Mahindra into eleventh. A few more laps would pass before Heidfeld made another move into turn one on Evans, although in doing so the German would fall almost a lap behind race leading teammate Rosenqvist in terms of his energy use.
Back with the fight for third and Bird was looking set to make a move on teammate López, ultimately deciding to try a move around the outside of the Argentine into turn one on lap seventeen. Unfortunately for him, López would not only see the move coming but would decide to run the Brit out onto the dust, with the pair actually touching front-right to front-left, spitting the Brit out even further. Bird was immediately on the radio to complain about his teammate's antics, rejoining behind both Vergne and di Grassi in the López queue.Bird's race was further hampered when Abt went charging past into turn nine later in the lap, while López opted not to defend when Vergne drove around the outside of him into turn one on the very next lap. Bird would again lose out when Prost went darting past into turn nine on the same lap, while Heidfeld's charge seemed to be coming to an end as he was passed by Evans into turn one. Indeed, the German was now having to save energy after his early charge, and so was struggling just to make it to the halfway mark.
Indeed, it seemed as if both of the Virgins were now having issues, with López falling behind di Grassi at the end of lap nineteen, with Abt following through into turn one. That left the Argentine with just Prost between himself and his teammate Bird as the pitstops loomed, with Prost attacking the #37 car into turn six. That gave Bird a chance to pass the Frenchman prompting Prost to abort his attack while, a few seconds back, Heidfeld slipped behind both d'Ambrosio and da Costa as he tried to squeeze another lap out of his energy reserves.
By the end of the 23rd lap the entire field, bar Duval, was sweeping into the pits to swap their cars, with Rosenqvist a second or so ahead of Buemi out front. However, as the Swede went to pull out of his garage, teammate Heidfeld was just about to swing into his own, meaning Rosenqvist almost T-boned the German as he emerged. Quick thinking from Heidfeld saw him drag his car out of the way within a couple of seconds, allowing Rosenqvist to rejoin just ahead of Buemi, who had to wait for the Swede to pass his garage.
Unsurprisingly, Rosenqvist was immediately placed under investigation for an unsafe release, prompting him to try and sprint clear of Buemi early in the stint. Elsewhere, Bird had managed to jump back ahead of Prost, leaving him on the tail of López, while di Grassi had got into striking position behind Vergne. Indeed, it seemed as if the Frenchman was lacking pace in his second car, and would had to defend heavily from the Brazilian into turn nine, with Abt, the Virgins and Prost joining the queue.
Ultimately, di Grassi's pressure forced Vergne into a mistake entering turn one on lap 32, the Frenchman running wide onto the marbles while looking in his mirrors. That opened the door for di Grassi to squeeze into third, with Abt almost getting his nose alongside only to have Vergne move back ahead of him. On the next tour Abt used FanBoost to pull past the Techeetah into turn one, only to try and squeeze Vergne to the inside wall. Unfortunately for him, Vergne was unwilling to relent, with the Parisian duly running the German wide in turn one to repay the favour.
As their fight continued news came through that Rosenqvist had been slapped with a ten second time penalty for an unsafe release, prompting Buemi to end his assault for the lead. Indeed, the Swiss racer had already thrown a couple of challenges at the Swede, although they had been easily swatted aside by the Mahindra. However, now that Rosenqvist was set to fall behind him Buemi changed his game plan, deciding instead to let Rosenqvist keep ten seconds clear of third placed di Grassi, his main title rival.
As one Mahindra had its wings trimmed the other was on the move, for Heidfeld went diving past da Costa into turn one as the Portuguese racer hit the re-gen. That put the German back into eleventh, before almost immediately inheriting tenth as d'Ambrosio was slapped with a drive through penalty for ignoring the minimum pitstop time. The Belgian ultimately went on the offensive after that point and went past Turvey into turn six, before serving his penalty with five laps to go.
Back with Vergne, and the Frenchman finally relented to the pressure of Abt with ten laps left, the German squeezing inside the Techeetah into turn one. That left Vergne to defend from López, Bird and Prost, with López catching Vergne out with a move around the outside of turn nine, despite the Frenchman's robust defence to that point. That left Bird and Prost to find their way past the Techeetah, although Vergne simply drove in the middle of the track to block any potential moves.
With that the race was won, with Rosenqvist winning on the track before Buemi inherited the win after the Swede's penalty was applied. However, the Swede was still far enough ahead of di Grassi to retain second, meaning the Brazilian effectively lost ten points to Buemi in the title fight. Abt was fourth ahead of López, while Vergne defended well enough from Bird on the final lap that the Brit actually had to defend from Prost into the final corner to hold onto seventh. The final points would go to Turvey and Heidfeld, while Engel claimed the fastest lap.
The final classification of the 2017 Berlin ePrix II is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold.
|2017 Berlin ePrix II Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||46||0:56:02.155||1:11.294||25|
|2nd*||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||46||+7.195s||1:11.328||21|
|3rd||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||46||+10.862s||1:11.507||15|
|4th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||46||+13.631s||1:11.701||12|
|5th||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||46||+20.324s||1:11.840||10|
|7th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||46||+21.959s||1:11.850||6|
|8th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||46||+22.155s||1:11.593||4|
|9th||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||46||+34.949s||1:12.062||2|
|10th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||46||+35.814s||1:11.378||1|
|11th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||46||+44.057s||1:11.785|
|12th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||46||+44.439s||1:11.921|
|13th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||46||+47.336s||1:11.906|
|16th||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||46||+1:05.426||1:11.881|
|17th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||46||+1:07.018||1:11.815|
|Ret||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||33||Retired||1:09.690|
- Indicates that a driver was awarded FanBoost during the ePrix.
- * Rosenqvist was awarded a ten second penalty after the race for an unsafe release after his pitstop.
- Fourth Berlin ePrix.
- Third time that Tempelhof Airport has hosted an ePrix.
- Second pole position for Felix Rosenqvist.
- Twelfth victory for Sébastien Buemi.
- It was the Swiss racer's sixth of the season, meaning he had won half of the season's rounds.
- Renault e.Dams triumphed for the fifteenth time.
- Maro Engel claimed set fastest lap for the first time.
Inheriting victory meant Sébastien Buemi managed to extend his lead in the Championship to 32 points, leaving him vulnerable to Lucas di Grassi should the Brazilian have a strong weekend in New York, the double header that Buemi would miss. The Brazilian could establish an eighteen point advantage if he claimed victory in both races on the streets of Brooklyn, meaning the Championship fight would go to the final round. Elsewhere, Felix Rosenqvist moved into the top three after claiming second place, and was still mathematically in the title fight, Nicolas Prost dropped to third, while Nick Heidfeld completed the top five.
ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport had only managed to take two points out of Teams' Championship leaders Renault e.Dams, meaning the French squad still had a healthy 58 point advantage. Mahindra Racing were instead threatening the German squad for second, the gap coming down to 22 points after the Berlin double header, with the Indian backed squad over 50 points clear of fourth placed DS Virgin Racing. Techeetah sat in fifth ahead of compatriots NextEV NIO, while Venturi pulled up to a season high eighth place with another point.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- KAgamemnon, 'File:Sam Bird (DS Virgin) at 2017 Berlin ePrix.jpg', commons.wikimedia.org, (WikiMedia: Commons, 11/06/2017), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sam_Bird_(DS_Virgin)_at_2017_Berlin_ePrix.jpg, (Accessed 22/05/2018)
- ↑ '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)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 'All-new track as Berlin double header replaces Brussels ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/all-new-track-as-berlin-double-header-replaces-brussels-eprix/, (Accessed 10/03/2017)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 'Rosenqvist lands Tempelhof pole', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/rosenqvist-lands-tempelhof-pole/, (Accessed 17/06/2017)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 'Buemi gifted win by Mahindra pitstop confusion', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/buemi-gifted-win-by-mahindra-pitstop-confusion/, (Accessed 17/06/2017)
- ↑ 'Fan Boost opens for Berlin Race 2', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/fan-boost-opens-for-berlin-race-2/, (Accessed 17/06/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 '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/8, (Accessed 10/06/2017)
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 'Mahindra drivers drawn in qualifying Group 1', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/mahindra-drivers-drawn-in-qualifying-group-1/, (Accessed 22/05/2018)
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 ABB Formula E, 'Qualifying Highlights Berlin ePrix 2017 (Race 2) - Formula E', youtube.com, (YouTube: ABB FIA Formula E Championship, 11/06/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMpZh2urPn8, (Accessed 22/05/2018)
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 9.32 9.33 9.34 9.35 9.36 9.37 9.38 9.39 9.40 9.41 9.42 9.43 9.44 9.45 9.46 9.47 9.48 ABB Formula E, 'Formula E Full Race Show: 2017 Berlin ePrix - Sunday', youtube.com, (YouTube: ABB FIA Formula E Championship, 11/06/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goiPgcMlN48, (Accessed 22/05/2018)