Sebastien Buemi has reduced Lucas di Grassi’s lead in the FIA Formula E Championship to just a single point following victory in the BMW i Berlin ePrix.
Buemi’s first win since Punta del Este in December came after he battled his way past polesitter Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Virgin Racing) and built up a comfortable lead. This was reduced to nothing when the Qualcomm Safety Car was called out to retrieve the stricken Dragon Racing car of Loic Duval.
This gave the chasing pack a chance to close in, but Buemi timed his restart perfectly and pulled away to claim his third win of the season.
Daniel Abt scored his best result to date with an emotional second place, and received a terrific ovation from large percentage of the 15,000-strong crowd who made their way to the eVillage for the podium celebration.
After starting back in eighth place, di Grassi had to fight his way forward, battling hard with Vergne and Nico Prost in particular. He extended his energy an extra lap more than his rivals to lead a lap during the pitstops, which meant he had extra energy to play with in the closing stages, but it wasn’t quite enough to get close to Abt to allow his team-mate to let him through.
Prost held on to fourth to help Renault e.dams extend its lead in the teams’ championship. Vergne damaged his front wing on the chicane, requiring it to be changed, which dropped him to fifth.
After a poor qualifying, Andretti’s Robin Frijns drove a great race to fight his way into sixth place. Nick Heidfeld started at the back after his Mahindra Racing entry had its qualifying times removed for incorrect tyre pressures. Like Frijns he charged forward, collecting seventh place in the process.
Mike Conway recorded his best Formula E result to date for Venturi, while Simona de Silvestro was in the points again for Andretti in ninth. Despite being forced to start from the pitlane due to an electrical problem, Stephane Sarrazin maintained his record of scoring points at every race by taking 10th for Venturi.
Mahindra’s Bruno Senna, who lost his best-ever qualifying position of fourth for a similar tyre pressure infringement to Heidfeld’s, bagged the two bonus points for the Visa Fastest Lap.
The sell-out race was deemed a huge success, especially given the incredible short period in which it was arranged.
The championship concludes in London on July 2 and 3.
Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport – 141
Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams – 140
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing – 82
Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing – 64
Nico Prost, Renault e.dams – 62
Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi – 59