Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi started on pole in Berlin on Saturday, but no driver has yet managed to turn first into victory this season, and today the trend continues.
Dan Tiktum, the driver of the NIO 333, took the lead into the first corner, started fourth, started well and made good use of the outside lane. Buemi rolled back to second position, which naturally provoked him, and he immediately tried to overtake the Briton.
But he couldn’t do it in the early laps, as he was chased by Sam Bird himself. It was he who was one of the first to activate Attack Mode to get ahead of Buemi, but he was only able to do this when the Swiss himself decided to use the increased power mode. As Tiktum did the same, the leader of the race temporarily changed, i.e. for a short time it was Bird, but soon the status quo was restored.
Tiktum was back in front, followed by Buemi, and Bird closed out the top three. But behind them there was an active exchange of positions, in particular Jake Dennis made his way to 5th, ahead of Max Gunther.
But on lap 8, Buemi and Tiktum again decided to use attack mode, which led to another permutation in the group of leaders: Stoffel Vandorn took the first position and started third, and Edoardo Mortara made his way into second position.
But on the 10th lap, yellow flags appeared on the track due to a collision between Sergio Sette-Camara and Rene Rast. At the same time, the German McLaren was seriously damaged and slowly had to return to the pits. As the track was littered with debris, an electric safety car drove away.
After the restart, the situation in the leading group changed several times, but after a few laps it stabilized for some time, although before that first Buemi, then Jake Dennis, Andretti driver, then Mitch Evans, Bird’s partner in Jaguar, in first position. Most of the changes were not so much related to overtaking as to Attack Mode, which the riders took turns using, although Evans took the lead thanks to a more dynamic restart.
But on lap 19 there was another collision, this time between the cars of Vandorn and Tiktum. The Belgian complained on the radio that the opponent was pushing him straight forward. The suspension of both electric cars was broken, the track in the area of the 3rd and 4th turns was again littered with debris, causing the safety car to deploy for the second time. The stewards decided to investigate this episode after the finish of the race.
Besides, the DS Penske and NIO 333 racers were already figuring things out on the sidelines, leaving the cockpits of their broken cars behind, and it was clear that the conversation was going on with voices raised. Judging by the frames of the video replay, Tiktum is more wrong, but we are waiting for the decision of the judges. In general, Dan is known for being somewhat overly aggressive and stubborn, but Vandorn, the reigning World Champion, has a neat flying style on the contrary, and this was his first retirement from the New York round of 2021.
When the track battle resumed, Evans again applied the high power mode, which required him to leave the trajectory first, which is why Buemi took the lead. However, Evans easily overtook the Swiss.
But these were temporary problems and Sebastien managed to recover. On lap 28 he took the lead again, with Sam Bird second and Mitch Evans third. On the next lap, the Briton was able to take advantage of Buemi’s inattention and take the lead.
On the 30th lap, Jake Dennis stopped, who even reached first position at one point, but his car’s brakes failed. When she flew off the track in turn 1, she hit Antonio Felix da Costa’s Porsche, damaging her front fender, and the Portuguese also had to return to the pits.
On lap 34 Bird was leading with Buemi second and Evans third. Braking for corners, Sebastien slowed clearly later, close to Sam’s car and soon overtook him. As Bird and Evans are Jaguar team mates it was unclear if the team would allow them to compete on track as both have the option to climb the podium.
With five laps to go, Buemi remained in the lead, with Bird just a few tenths behind, followed by Evans by about half a second, and the trio pulled slightly away from the rest of the pack. In the 38th round, Bird went on an attack on the Swiss, which failed, but Evans very cleverly took advantage of the situation, first neatly in front of his partner, and at the start of the next round, Buemi.
As soon as he took the lead, he immediately started to build up the lead, as he was able to save some energy in the early stages of the race. In the last lap Bird actively put pressure on Buemi and in the 6th turn he managed to get ahead of his opponent! In addition, the Swiss car ran out of energy, so he simply could not resist, and then Gunther also walked around him, after which he climbed to the 3rd step of the podium. Some consolation, albeit doubtful, for Sebastien was perhaps another Formula E record: 500 lap leadership during the years of performance in the electric series.
Thus, the Jaguar team celebrated a double victory, a reward for hard work, especially after a long period of failure. It should be emphasized that this period ended in the previous stage, because Mitch also won the previous race in Sao Paulo.
But even two wins in a row did not allow him to become the leader of the championship, and after the first race in Berlin he climbed to the 4th line of the individual standings, and Pascal Wehrlein remained in first place, which was not special noticeable today, but earned points for 6th place.
By the way, the race was a record for number of leader changes – today it happened 23 times! And in just 55 minutes e-Prix, 190 overtakes were recorded on the track built on the old airfield of Templehof – such amazing statistics are given by the organizers of the World Electric Car Racing Championship.
The second race of the Berlin weekend, ie. The 8th stage of the season will take place on Sunday and the weather forecast doesn’t rule out rain, so things will be interesting.
Source: F1 News
I am Christopher Clyde, an experienced journalist and content writer with a passion for sports. I have been writing about Formula 1 news for the past five years and am currently employed as an author at athletistic.com, one of the top sports websites in the US.