Audi has become the second Formula E team in the history of the championship to score a one-two finish. Daniel Abt earned a perfect result for him and his team at home in the Berlin Eprix, leading team mate runs Lucas di Grassi to the chequered flag from pole position.
A hard-fourth third place for Jean-Eric Vergne saw the championship leader extend his margin over rival Sam Bird to 40 points.
Abt and second-placed Oliver Turvey got away cleanly, with an incident-free race start that saw Jerome D’Ambrosio – who had pulled off an amazing qualifying to start fourth – immediately overtake championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne for third place.
Turvey held on for 12 laps, however the NIO’s energy consumption struggles saw him overtaken by di Grassi as D’Ambrosio slipped back. Elsewhere the DS Virgin cars – including second-placed in the points Sam Bird struggled to hold on, Alex Lynn slipping to nearly the back of the grid with as-yet-unknown issues in his first car while Bird – despite initial gains – was overtaken by Mitch Evans.
Right at the back of the grid Andre Lotterer and Luca Filippi were playing a long energy strategy, both with more usable battery percentage than most and with Filippi pulling out laps comparable to the front-runners (1’13.305 on lap 15, when Abt made a 1’13.379) but seemingly unable to move up the order.
By lap 20, beleaguered Alex Lynn had slipped to dead last and the pit window began to open. All cars were swapped between laps 22 and 23 and for the first time since racing pit stops were introduced, there were no incidents.
Abt in particular had a good stop, cleanly re-entering in the lead while di Grassi, somehow four seconds quicker than his teammate, managed to trump Turvey – who had pitted a lap earlier – to hold on to second place.
This race took in the longest distance yet in Formula E and some racers played careful energy management games. With roughly 5% needed per lap, by the time we reached single digits of remaining laps Mitch Evans, caught out in Rome, was clearly conserving battery.
Tom Dillman, in at Venturi for Edoardo Mortara, looked set to take a point on his sub job but was heavily overtaken after running wide on lap 42, losing multiple positions. It offered an opportunity for the Mahindras to move towards the points – after being the only team to work out the tyres here last year their run of torrid luck continued.
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On the penultimate lap Jose-Maria Lopez and Nelson Piquet Jr both went wide, with Lopez spinning to point the wrong way on track at turn 3, losing places fast. Meanwhile Daniel Abt remained untouchable – taking a clean victory, pole and the fastest lap of the race for a 29-point perfect sweep.
After the race the normally chatty Abt said he had no words for such a perfect home win, not just for himself but for Audi with a historic one-two.
Vergne took third place, adding 15 points to his haul and widening the gap over Bird to 40 points. The DS Virgin racer could only manage seventh having qualified outside the top 10.
|1||Daniel Abt (Audi)|
|2||Lucas di Grassi (Audi)|
|3||Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah)|
|4||Sebastien Buemi (Renault)|
|5||Oliver Turvey (NIO)|
|6||Mitch Evans (Jaguar)|
|7||Sam Bird (DS Virgin)|
|8||Maro Engel (Venturi)|
|9||Andre Lotterer (Techeetah)|
|10||Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra)|
|11||Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra)|
|12||Nelson Piquet Jnr (Jaguar)|
|13||Tom Dillman (Venturi)|
|14||Nico Prost (Renault)|
|15||Antonio Felix Da Costa (Andretti|
|16||Alex Lynn (DS Virgin)|
|17||Luca Filippi (NIO)|
|18||Jose-Maria Lopez (Dragon)|
|19||Jerome D’Ambrosio (Dragon)|
|20||Stephane Sarrazin (Andretti)|
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Displaying Abt speechless after perfect home win.txt.
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16 comments on “Abt leads Audi to one-two in Berlin”
19th May 2018, 19:55
After all the news lately of these guys saying FE is excellent and the driver can really make a difference! I thought I’d tune in and give it a fair shot live. How incredibly boring…
I wonder if this was the cause? It very much seemed like a “fuel” saving race indeed. It was as though the drivers were only really afforded an overtaking opportunity or two with which they could increase their power consumption safely.
Add to that issues with the broadcast: muddy team radio being talked over and the overlays showing up late, the position overlay not being updated immediately as positions were being changed, and a thoroughly unenthused half of the commentary team… It all left a lot left to be desired.
Was fun watching Nico fang the next gen model for a few hotlaps though :) He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.
20th May 2018, 3:22
Congratulations Audi Volkswagen Group for not having the balls to join F1.
20th May 2018, 4:27
I watched the race from lap 15 onwards, the first time I’ve seen an FE race in over a year. It was pretty decent overall, as long as one doesn’t go in with any preconceptions. Some good battles, smart overtakes, wheel banging, and a lot of position changes in the last couple of laps. I’m not converted to a fan, but would definitely give another race a watch.
It was also interesting to note the crowds who were plentiful and quite enthusiastic (how do FE and F1 ticket prices compare, I wonder), and it was very amusing to see cans of beer making it into the Audi garage for celebrations before the winning cars even reached the podium! Hey, the race did happen in Germany!
Two things that confused me were – 1: no halo – I thought the FIA had rolled this out to the other formulae for 2018 as well; and 2: I remember reading the 2018 FE cars would go the whole race, but here there was a car swap at the midpoint. I’m not sure if I got my understanding wrong and that these changes were for next year.
– It was a bit disorienting to hear team radio without an indicator of who was speaking at times
– For those who hate the graphics they display on F1’s halo, you will be aghast at one type of graphic shown in FE – where they darken the whole screen to display an overlay that is extremely reminiscent of a computer racing/space sim game. Apart from detracting from seeing the race, I don’t think it adds as much value for the visual disruption it causes.
– Whenever they played replays of overtakes, they felt compelled to put in a music/rock soundtrack, which again sounded awful. And here I was complaining over the ‘boing’ sound when a fastest lap record was set in F1.
– In the podium ceremony, the flags of the 3 drivers were revealed on a large TV screen by a champagne bottle popping open. Given the importance of flag protocol, I’m surprised the FIA allows this, and to me, it doesn’t feel right. F1 does this more solemnly by directly displaying the flags.
@hazelsouthwell – Thank you for a nice write-up. Did you intend to display a picture instead of “Displaying Abt speechless after perfect home win.txt” at the end of the article?
Sundar Srinivas Harish (@sundark)
20th May 2018, 5:48
Formula E is introducing it on the second-gen car, for the 2018-19 season (they start the season in the last quarter).
The change is for the next year.
Talking about the race, Abt did do well. The two wins and heartbreak at HK he has this season might convince Audi to retain him after his very poor performances in previous years. Felix bungled it hard this race, and completely messed up any chance of a title, or even second place in the standings. I think JEV can drive a bit conservatively now, and nurse his car home to the title.
20th May 2018, 6:43
@sundark – thanks for clearing that up! I didn’t realize the FE season was offset from the calendar year.
It was interesting to hear that Abt’s father owns the team, so that must be a bit of vindication for the family, against the inevitable accusations of nepotism.
@skipgamer – fair enough. However, I’m personally not drawing any comparisons on the quality of racing with F1, since both formulae are so different, and it was just the second FE race I’ve seen altogether.
Sundar’s statement above shows just how little I know of FE, and it has now motivated me to read up a bit on it, and to definitely aim to watch the final three races. I don’t see myself giving up on F1 for FE anytime soon, but I might end up watching both alongside.
Sundar Srinivas Harish (@sundark)
20th May 2018, 7:02
Well, such accusations aren’t entirely misplaced. Comparing Abt’s performance to di Grassi’s over the last couple of years is an indication of the talent gulf between the two – something like Nico Prost and Buemi. The debut of Edoardo Mortara, currently driving for Venturi in FE and HWA-Merc in DTM, and previously an Audi DTM driver, sparked a lot of rumours that Abt would be shown the door. But it is more likely that Merc was warming Mortara up with his HWA teammate Engel for their factory team, which is supposedly using a Venturi powertrain. Hopefully peaking manufacturer interest will see a few more talented drivers like Lotterer entering FE.
@skipgamer They’re entitled to make claims of superior spectacles, since they’re fighting for a mindshare as well. It doesn’t have to be true :P
20th May 2018, 7:30
@sundark – Thank you for that context between the teammates.
Seeing as you’re familiar with FE, do you have any recommendations where I can start reading up on the powertrains? i.e. a bit of in-depth detail, not just the superficial info on the FE site.
Sundar Srinivas Harish (@sundark)
20th May 2018, 7:48
FE did a small feature on it. You’ll get news about FE from pretty much the same sources as every other motorsport XD
20th May 2018, 7:51
Many thanks @sundark
20th May 2018, 8:36
OK, that was a great read to quickly come to terms with where the FE powertrains are today, and where they came from.
20th May 2018, 5:53
You get the same amount throughout the midfield if not more in a typical F1 race than what was seen yesterday in FE… I just didn’t see the supposedly superior spectacle at all really.
20th May 2018, 10:53
Just to add a little bit more info, @phylyp, Formula-e is trying to build an audience; I don’t fully recall what the pitwalk, VIP area prices, or a grandstand ticket were like in other years, but in my memory it was about 25-35 euro’s, for the stands in Berlin. Since I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it, when I bought a ticket earlier this week for EUR 5, everything else was sold out. But, yeah, that’s quite a different class of price than most F1 races (though Austria isn’t expensive either with EUR90 weekend tickets).
I had a great time yesterday, though part of it is that it’s just so in the middle of the city where I live, no doubt; Berlin Tempelhof is a very nice location for an event, with the former grassy airfield accessible so one can sit there, have a picnic, and still hear the announcers. I also felt that the at-the-track sound was clearer, and the (in my opinion silly) music you mention wasn’t overly loud, as it was in the 1st year. Also, they at least had people (the german commentators) who knew racing and the series (again, 1st year, not so much)
I do agree on the frustration that the commentators speak through any team radio, which was highlighted when the team had Coulthard in their commentary box for the 2nd practice (I listened to periscope tv for that), and he was the only one not to do that (he also made a comment about it too, well done). But on the screen we do see a talking head with the name of the driver so we know who’s talking, didn’t you?
I have to say, though Nico Rosberg was a few seconds off the pace of the field in the old cars, his run in the new car made it seem a lot more nimble, agile. And he didn’t have any practice on the track or in that car, apart from running it through the city earlier this week, so I think next year will be quite interesting to see how fast they can go.
20th May 2018, 11:03
@phylyp The commentator said during the race that the cheapest tickets to the ePrix were 5€. That’s quite remarkable.
20th May 2018, 11:22
Thank you for that insight @bosyber and @huhhii , and good to hear that you were actually there, bosyber.
There were a few instances when this didn’t pop up, though the other times it did come up to show us who was talking on the radio.
20th May 2018, 14:29
Ah right – at the track we just couldn’t usually hear the radio, because the guys were talking through it …
22nd May 2018, 20:28
I think the whole thing is great!!
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