Berlin E-Prix V: Rowland dominates from pole for first FE win – F1

Oliver Rowland expertly controlled the fifth Berlin race to score his maiden Formula E victory over Robin Frijns, as Rene Rast just crept onto the podium with a last-lap overtake.

Rowland built a 1% useable energy advantage on the extended Tempelhof Airport circuit to control proceedings over Envision Virgin Racing driver Frijns.

He led from lights to flag to seal a 1.9s win in a 36-lap race, even though the timing screens had to reset after scoring the classification one tour prematurely.

Frijns drew his car’s nose alongside into Turn 1 at the start, but Rowland had the inside line to lead by 0.4s at the end of the opening lap as newly-crowned champion Antonio Felix da Costa jumped from 21st – having failed to set a lap in qualifying – to 16th.

With Frijns activating both of his 35kW attack mode boosts before Rowland, the Briton never dropped from first place and with Jean-Eric Vergne failing to score points, Rowland jumped from ninth in the championship standings up to second.

Audi driver Rast scored a last-ditch podium, having harried the rear of Andre Lotterer’s Porsche for much of the closing third of the race.

The FE newcomer took his second and final attack mode later than Lotterer, but he failed to put it to use as he remained in fourth as the four-minute advantage ran out.

Instead, he bullied his way up the inside through the second sector and the pair remained rubbing side-by-side for a string of corners until Rast held the inside line at the Turn 15 hairpin.

But Rast, who replaced Daniel Abt at the Audi team for the Berlin races, remains under investigation for the manoeuvre.

Similarly, team-mate Lucas di Grassi was handed a 5s penalty after he span in an incident with da Costa.

The pair made progress through the field as they recovered from their group-one qualifying blunder, but as di Grassi passed into Turn 1 he cut across the DS Techeetah car’s nose and slid.

Di Grassi was given the blame and classified 21st, while a late car failure dropped da Costa from the points down to 22nd.

Alex Lynn took the Mahindra Racing machine to fifth, after an enduring battle with third-starting Neel Jani.

The Porsche driver, who is expected to be replaced next season by Mahindra refugee Pascal Wehrlein, had been a strong but distant third until he lost out through the attack mode cycles and fell to sixth – but still enough for the team’s best FE combined finish in its debut season.

A strong recovery and two late uses of attack mode allowed Mitch Evans into seventh for Jaguar ahead of the Venturi Racing car of Edoardo Mortara.

Stoffel Vandoorne edged ninth for Mercedes after a late deployment of his fanboost relegated Sebastien Buemi – stablemate to Rowland – down to 10th.

Behind Alexander Sims, Jaguar stand-in Tom Blomqvist looked set for a points finish on his series return until a late collapse dropped him to 12th.

A drivethrough penalty for Vergne for an over-cooled battery on the grid meant he wound up 18th in DS Techeetah’s second non-score of the season.

Results – 36 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 47m28.880s
2 Robin Frijns Virgin 1.903s
3 Rene Rast Audi 7.490s
4 Andre Lotterer Porsche 7.863s
5 Alex Lynn Mahindra 11.441s
6 Neel Jani Porsche 12.922s
7 Mitch Evans Jaguar 14.106s
8 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 17.134s
9 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes 18.949s
10 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 19.731s
11 Alexander Sims BMW 23.331s
12 Tom Blomqvist Jaguar 24.807s
13 Felipe Massa Venturi 27.775s
14 Nyck de Vries Mercedes 28.723s
15 Sergio Sette Camara Dragon 31.132s
16 Jerome d’Ambrosio Mahindra 31.524s
17 Nico Muller Dragon 34.140s
18 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 34.986s
19 Oliver Turvey NIO 44.377s
20 Sam Bird Virgin 46.591s
21 Lucas di Grassi Audi 1m15.119s
22 Maximilian Guenther BMW 32 Laps
Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah Retirement
Daniel Abt NIO Retirement

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