Penalty hands Sebastien Buemi Berlin ePrix Race 2 win

With Formula E returning for the second time this weekend in Berlin, Chris Soulsby looks at the race which took place, with Sebastien Buemi winning after the Mahindra Racing pair tripped up.

After storming away to secure his first ever Formula E win yesterday, Felix Rosenqvist was in a prime position to repeat such a feat in the second race of the weekend at the Berlin ePrix, securing pole position in the Super Pole 2 qualifying session this morning. After having a difficult day yesterday which ended in disqualification, Sebastien Buemi qualified alongside Rosevqvist, and was looking to extend his championship lead over Lucas Di Grassi after having it slashed in Race 1.

Penalty hands Sebastien Buemi Berlin ePrix Race 2 win

When the lights went out, Rosenqvist shot out of his grid slot ahead of Buemi to lead into turn 1 while third placed starter, Jose Maria Lopez, had a slower getaway, dropping into the clutches of his DS Virgin Racing team mate, Sam Bird.

As the middle of the pack bunched up in the first lap, there was quickly a flurry of carbon fibre across the track, with a number of midfield runners being caught up in an accident. This allowed Race 1’s third place finisher, Nick Heidfeld, to progress up the field, making up four positions in the first lap after starting in last place. By the fourth lap, Heidfeld continued to make up position after position, overtaking the 2014-2015 champion, Nelson Piquet Jr, and passing Adam Carroll, putting himself up into 14th place.

On lap 4 Heidfeld was not the only driver moving up the running order, with Lucas Di Grassi overtaking Oliver Turvey for sixth place as his team mate, Daniel Abt, also followed though, moving the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport pair further up the field.

After a momentary pause, Heidfeld’s overtaking masterclass at Tempelhof continued, passing Robin Frijns, Antonio Felix da Costa, Jerome D’Ambrosio, and Mitch Evans to put his Mahindra Racing car inside the points paying positions in tenth place.

With third placed Lopez struggling for pace, the Spaniard began to fall into the clutches of Sam Bird once again and this gave the Brit a chance to overtake, attempting to pass his team mate around the outside of turn 1. This proved to be a bad decision however, with Lopez having a snap of oversteer as his team mate was passing, clipping Bird and forcing him wide, allowing Jean Eric Vergene and Lucas Di Grassi to move into fourth and fifth at the start of lap 17.

From there, the DS Virgin Racing pair began to struggle, with Bird being overtaken by Daniel Abt on the same lap as his collision and Lopez being passed by Vergne on lap 18, Di Grassi on lap 19, and Abt on lap 20, dropping the driver down to sixth place after previously being in third.

As the pit stop window began to open at half race distance, Buemi began to close in on Rosenqvist at the front, and followed him into the pits on lap 23 along with the rest of the field. It was in the pitstop phase that a seemingly flawless race from Rosenqvist began to unravel, with an unsafe release causing the two Mahindra drivers to trip over one another in the pit lane, leading to the Swedish driver being investigated for the incident.

After the pit stop phase, the battle for the final step of the podium erupted between Vergne and Di Grassi, with Vergne defending heavily into the hairpin from the Brazilian driver before losing the podium position on lap 32 by running wide into turn 1 when put under pressure. After this mistake, Abt once again tried to follow his team mate through by using fanboost on Vergne. Although contact prevented the initial pass on lap 33, Abt eventually overtook, moving into fourth.

Felix Rosenqvist and Mahindra then paid the price for their unsafe release on lap 34, with the race leader being slapped with a ten second time penalty which would move him behind Sebastien Buemi in the overall race time.

Jean Eric Vergne’s struggles then continued on lap 39, when Lopez tried overtake the Techeetah driver, later taking fifth place away from the Frenchman on lap 40. This then made Vergne vulnerable from Sam Bird, although the British driver failed to convert numerous attacks into an overtake.

On the 46th lap, Felix Rosenqvist crossed the finish line in first place for Mahindra to take what would have been the second win of his career. Through his penalty however, it meant that Buemi took the win, with the 12th victory of his Formula E career being handed to him on a plate. The subsequent penalty meant that Rosenqvist finished in second place, just ahead of Lucas Di Grassi who finished in third after starting from seventh place.

Daniel Abt crossed the line behind his team mate to make it a Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport 3-4 while Jose Maria Lopez crossed the line in fifth followed by Vergne in sixth, Bird in seventh, Nico Prost in eighth, Turvey in ninth, and Nick Heidfeld rounding out the points paying positions in tenth.

Formula E will return for the New York ePrix where the ninth and tenth rounds of the 2016-2017 Season will be held. The race is set to be exciting, and with Sebastien Buemi competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, meaning that we could see a change at the top in the Drivers’ Championship.

Results from the Berlin ePrix Race 2:

  1. Sebastien Buemi,  Renault e.dams, 25 points
  2. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 18 points
  3. Lucas Di Grassi, Abt Schaffler Audi Sport, 15 points
  4. Daniel Abt, Abt Schaffler Audi Sport, 12 points
  5. Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing, 10 points
  6. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah, 8 points
  7. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 6 points
  8. Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, 4 points
  9. Oliver Turvey, Nextev Nio, 2 points
  10. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 1 point
  11. Antonio Felix Da Costa, Andretti Formula E, 0 points
  12. Nelson Piquet Jr, Nextev Nio, 0 points
  13. Jerome D’ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, 0 points
  14. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi Formula E, 0 point
  15. Tom Dillmann, Venturi Formula E, 0 points
  16. Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 0 points
  17. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 0 points
  18. Robin Frijns, Andretti Formula E, 0 points
  19. Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, Ret
  20. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E, Ret

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