Berlin E-Prix: Da Costa dominates frantic race on FE return

Matt Kew
·4 min read

Da Costa sealed back-to-back series wins with a 5.5-second advantage over late beneficiary Andre Lotterer, despite crossing the line with marginal useable energy remaining.  

A fine start for both DS Techeetah machines left them unchallenged into Turn 1 as a superb launch from Sebastien Buemi forced Lotterer to defend with his Porsche. 

That gave da Costa and Vergne clear breathing space of 2s at the end of the opening lap in an otherwise processional first phase of the race.  

But Robin Frijns brought out the safety car on lap nine after shunting his Envision Virgin Racing car into the wall on the outside of Turn 2 after trying to battle past Maximilian Gunther. 

Although Frijns continued in an attempt to return to the pits, he ran over the kerbs to cause terminal suspension damage and force his retirement. 

After the safety car the DS Techeetah duo were unmatched at the restart, and although Lotterer was able to hang on, he missed the attack mode activation zone. 

Having run off line in an attempt to collect the boost, he lost ground to the leading pair, which looked set to give DS Techeetah a 1-2 - despite complaints over radio from Vergne that da Costa was ignoring team strategy to manage the pace at the front. 

In an effort to pass da Costa, Vergne then opted to activate his higher power attack mode but this became a wasted opportunity after the race was neutralised by a full-course yellow after Felipe Massa crashed at Turn 6. 

As the race resumed, Vergne began to fall back suddenly, allowing da Costa to run home clear with fastest lap to his third FE triumph.

Added to his bonus points for topping his qualifying group, superpole and for snaring fastest lap - the first ever FE cleansweep - da Costa now leads by 41 points.

Lotterer was able to fight past Sam Bird - on his own remarkable recovery - to score a late second position for Porsche.  

Bird had only lined up seventh on the grid, but took the strategic decision to delay taking his attack mode, which put him on a late climb up the order.  

Mercedes' Nyck de Vries hung on in fourth ahead of a strong return for Mahindra Racing, led by Jerome d’Ambrosio, with Vandoorne progressing from 15th to an eventual sixth. Buemi was seventh. 

Gunther was a fortunate eighth, after he tagged Mitch Evans – who was recovering to track position after battling Buemi – with the Jaguar driver spinning into the wall and down to 15th. 

Alexander Sims - entering the race third in the points behind Evans - was a quiet 10th, one place ahead of double DTM champion Rene Rast.  

Vergne began rapidly losing places in the final leg of the race and eventually fell to 20th after being pitched into a spin by Audi's Lucas di Grassi, who finished in ninth place.

Berlin E-Prix - Race results:

1

13

Portugal

Antonio Felix da Costa

DS E-TENSE FE20
China

Techeetah

47'08.261

2

36

Germany

Andre Lotterer

Porsche 99X Electric
Germany

Porsche Team

47'13.706

3

2

United Kingdom

Sam Bird

Audi e-tron FE06
United Kingdom

Virgin Racing

47'14.787

4

17

Netherlands

Nyck de Vries

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
Germany

Mercedes

47'15.172

5

64

Belgium

Jérôme d'Ambrosio

Mahindra M6Electro
India

Mahindra Racing

47'21.473

6

5

Belgium

Stoffel Vandoorne

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
Germany

Mercedes

47'21.915

7

23

Switzerland

Sébastien Buemi

Nissan IM02
France

DAMS

47'23.187

8

28

Germany

Maximilian Gunther

BMW iFE.20
United States

Andretti Autosport

47'24.434

9

11

Brazil

Lucas di Grassi

Audi e-tron FE06
Germany

Team Abt

47'25.572

10

27

United Kingdom

Alexander Sims

BMW iFE.20
United States

Andretti Autosport

47'25.934

11

66

Germany

René Rast

Audi e-tron FE06
Germany

Team Abt

47'27.113

12

48

Switzerland

Edoardo Mortara

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
Monaco

Venturi

47'29.026

13

18

Switzerland

Neel Jani

Porsche 99X Electric
Germany

Porsche Team

47'29.300

14

94

United Kingdom

Alex Lynn

Mahindra M6Electro
India

Mahindra Racing

47'29.864

15

20

New Zealand

Mitch Evans

Jaguar I-Type 4
United Kingdom

Jaguar Racing

47'30.743

16

22

United Kingdom

Oliver Rowland

Nissan IM02
France

DAMS

47'31.469

17

51

United Kingdom

James Calado

Jaguar I-Type 4
United Kingdom

Jaguar Racing

47'37.167

18

3

United Kingdom

Oliver Turvey

NIO FE-005
United Kingdom

NIO Formula E Team

47'39.377

19

33

Germany

Daniel Abt

NIO FE-005
United Kingdom

NIO Formula E Team

47'42.543

20

25

France

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS E-TENSE FE20
China

Techeetah

47'45.176

 

6

Brazil

Sergio Sette Camara

Penske EV-4
United States

Dragon Racing

47'53.678

 

7

Switzerland

Nico Müller

Penske EV-4
United States

Dragon Racing

50'10.716

 

19

Brazil

Felipe Massa

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
Monaco

Venturi

29'17.314

 

4

Netherlands

Robin Frijns

Audi e-tron FE06
United Kingdom

Virgin Racing

9'39.944

View full results