Felix Rosenqvist took his first FIA Formula E career victory in the first Berlin ePrix of the weekend as Lucas Di Grassi made slight inrodes into Sebastien Buemi’s championship lead.
The Sweedish driver swooped to the outside of Turn 1 to relieve pole-sitter Di Grassi of the lead at half-distance before extending his advantage after the pit stops to score Mahindra’s first win of the season.
“To be honest these guys made such a fantastic car for this weekend that I don’t feel exhausted. Nothing went wrong, I was able to enjoy the whole race, it was fantastic.” said Rosenqvist.
His team-mate Nick Heidfeld made it three straight podium finishes in third, with DS Virgin’s Jose Maria Lopez and standings leader Buemi rounding out the top five.
It could have a race of contrasting fortune for Lopez, who lost out on pole by 0.001 seconds, but a poor start threw away his chances of challenging for the win.
DS Virgin looked to have a strong engine package, but crucially their advantage seemed to fall short in the areas of the circuit that lean towards overtaking moves.
Conversely, Buemi suffered a nightmare qualifying after his Renault e.dams machine struggled for pace around the Tempelhof Airport circuit, but consistent progress through the field allowed him to minimize the loss in points to Di Grassi – even more significant as the Frenchman looks set to miss a race at the season finale in New York later this year due to his World Endurance Championship commitments.
He was aided by team-mate Nico Prost, who dutifully allowed him to pass, as well as a five-second penalty for Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne for overusing energy.
With Berlin serving as the first double-header event in Season Three, teams will now have a chance to evaluate the data from the first ePrix before qualifying and the second race tomorrow.