Lucas di Grassi storms to dominant victory at Berlin E-Prix for Audi
Lucas di Grassi stormed to a dominant victory at the Berlin E-Prix, standing on the top step of the podium for Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.
While it was Nissan e.dams' Sebastien Buemi who took pole position, di Grassi started from third on the grid, the long-term rivals split by HWA Racelab's Stoffel Vandoorne who started on the front row.
Securing a strong start from the second row, di Grassi maintained third on the opening lap of the 45-minute + 1 lap affair while Buemi held the lead, with Vandoorne settling into second.
Four minutes into the race, di Grassi was on the move, overtaking Vandoorne into Turn 6 to take second before setting the fastest lap of the E-Prix - a result that handed the Brazilian one bonus point in his championship fight.
Three minutes after clearing Vandoorne, di Grassi closed onto the back of Buemi who continued to lead, darting up the inside of the Swiss racer into Turn 6 to snatch first.
Remaining out in front, di Grassi remained unchallenged, with Buemi failing to mount a convincing attack on the Season 3 champion in the closing stages of the race.
Taking the chequered flag, di Grassi secured his second victory of the 2018/19 campaign and ensured that Audi would once again reign in Berlin, building upon a competitive 2018 showing in the German capital where the reigning champions took a 1-2 result.
Buemi took second for Nissan e.dams to secure his first podium of the season and a second consecutive top-three finish for the Franco-Japanese squad.
Jean-Eric Vergne, who started from eighth on the grid after a difficult qualifying for DS Techeetah, stood on the final step of the podium to further strengthen his lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship, the Frenchman carving his way through the field to secure 15 points.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Antonio Felix da Costa narrowly missed out on a podium in the German marque's home race, taking fourth while Vandoorne completed the top five, unable to defend his second-placed starting spot.
Daniel Abt failed to make any progress during the Berlin E-Prix, finishing in sixth after starting in sixth in the second Audi while Alexander Sims made a return to the top 10 in the second BMW, taking his first points finish since Santiago in seventh.
In the second Nissan IM01, Oliver Rowland took eighth place after starting from 12th while Sam Bird ended his streak of four consecutive non-points scoring finishes, delivering Envision Virgin Racing with ninth place and two points.
Pascal Wehrlein completed the top 10 for Mahindra Racing, holding off Venturi's Edoardo Mortara at the chequered flag with the Monegasque squad failing to register any points for the fourth time this season.
Mitch Evans followed Mortara in 12th while the Kiwi's team-mate, Alex Lynn, failed to finish, having a peculiar retirement with 16 minutes of racing remaining while running competitively inside the top six.
Robin Frijns struggled to make progress in Berlin, finishing in 13th while Maximilian Gunther and Felipe Massa followed, the Brazilian completing the top 15.
Gary Paffett dropped from fourth on the grid to 16th at the chequered flag while Jerome d'Ambrosio was 17th, with Oliver Turvey heading a NIO 18-19 result as the Chinese squad struggled for pace at the Flughafen Tempelhof Circuit.
GEOX Dragon's Jose Maria Lopez was the final classified finisher, over 46 seconds behind race winner di Grassi.
Andre Lotterer joined Lynn in retirement, with the DS Techeeteah driver experiencing an apparent battery problem in the dying stages of the race.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship will continue on June 22 in Switzerland for the inaugural Bern E-Prix as the all-electric single seater series heads to its penultimate venue of the 2018/19 season.
Berlin - Race Result
|1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||25|
|2||Sebastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||1.856||18|
|3||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah Formula E Team||2.522||15|
|4||Antonio Felix da Costa||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||5.845||12|
|5||Stoffel Vandoorne||HWA Racelab||6.336||10|
|6||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler||6.551||8|
|7||Alexander Sims||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||8.235||6|
|8||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||10.781||4|
|9||Sam Bird||Envision Virgin Racing||13.153||2|
|10||Pascal Wehrlein||Mahindra Racing||14.846||1|
|11||Edorado Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||15.377||0|
|12||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||17.688||0|
|13||Robin Frijns||Envision Virgin Racing||21.197||0|
|14||Max Gunther||GEOX Dragon||26.154||0|
|15||Felipe Massa||Venturi Formula E Team||26.684||0|
|16||Gary Paffett||HWA Racelab||27.718||0|
|17||Jerome d'Ambrosio||Mahindra Racing||27.729||0|
|18||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||32.117||0|
|19||Tom Dillmann||NIO Formula E Team||33.706||0|
|20||Jose Maria Lopez||GEOX Dragon||46.895||0|
|21||Andre Lotterer||DS Techeetah Formula E Team||DNF||0|
|22||Alex Lynn||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||DNF||0|