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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