Sport Berlin E-Prix IV: Da Costa wraps up FE title as Vergne wins
Berlin E-Prix: Points leader Da Costa clinches stunning pole position
Antonio Felix da Costa scored a critical third Formula E pole position for the first Berlin E-Prix with a stunning lap to beat his DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne .The points leader set the fastest time of the day with a 1m06.799s to pull a clear 0.322s margin over Vergne, who still snared his best qualifying result of the season in second.Despite missing the Turn 1 apex, da Costa recovered 0.02s in the opening sector and then close to a further two tenths in the second split in a session where his title rivals faltered.
Team orders permitted Antonio Felix da Costa to wrap up the Formula E title with second place in the fourth Berlin race behind DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Two orchestrated changes for position allowed the team to expertly manage the threat from Nissan e.dams to also seal successive constructors' championship for DS Techeetah.
With the second swap allowing polesitter and race leader Vergne to return to first place, he led a team 1-2 over da Costa by 0.497s to score his first victory of the season.
Check out Gordon Murray’s eclectic car collection
Check out Gordon Murray’s eclectic car collection
An equal launch for the top four on the grid spared a dramatic Turn 1, but the race was soon neutralised by a safety car after Saturday race winner Maximilian Guenther crashed.
The BMW Andretti driver, starting 21st on the grid, lost out to NIO 333 driver Oliver Turvey via a brilliant inside pass on the approach to Turn 2.
But as Sam Bird ran sluggishly through the Turn 3 apex, it forced Dragon Racing pilot Sergio Sette Camara to brake heavily and in-turn Turvey was forced to slow.
That left Guenther to lock up his front wheels and career into the back of Turvey, who was able to continue, but the German driver was eliminated on the spot.
Vergne maintained a 0.4s ahead of da Costa and then led cleanly away at the restart, but was not able to shake his stablemate or the chasing Nissan e.dams of Oliver Rowland.
Da Costa: Locked Formula E contract at BMW delayed qualifying form
Antonio Felix da Costa reckons his prolonged exit from a BMW Andretti contract before joining DS Techeetah for the 2019-20 season delayed his recent Formula E qualifying form .Prior to the fifth race of the season in Marrakech - which preceded the 158-day coronavirus hiatus - da Costa's best qualifying result had been fifth in the second Saudi Arabia E-Prix.This followed his 21st grid spot for the first race of the season, before he was 10th in Santiago qualifying and ninth in Mexico City - which he blamed on a lack of confidence in the new car.
On lap nine, Rowland and Buemi triggered an early use of their 35kW attack mode boost to fall back to the leading pair as Rowland joined briefly behind Mahindra Racing driver Alex Lynn.
He resumed the position on the next lap down the inside into Turn 6, as both DS Techeetahs responded by taking their first of two attack mode power boosts.
Although Vergne narrowly rejoined in first place, it hurt da Costa as he was knocked to fourth by Rowland and Lynn.
With one-minute more of the boost, da Costa regained his second spot after passing Rowland on the main straight into Turn 1 to quickly close back up to the rear of Vergne.
On lap 13, a radio message for da Costa to "swap and attack" with Vergne allowed him to maintain a constant margin of 0.4s through the middle phase of the race.
With both cars running with 1% less useable energy than the Nissans, the pre-emptive move gave da Costa a buffer to Rowland and Buemi.
Vergne: "Nightmare" Berlin Formula E race after tyre issues and power cut
DS Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne lamented a "nightmare" second Formula E race in Berlin, in which he struggled with tyre issues and a power cut to compound his misery .Vergne began the race in eighth on the grid, but quickly fell behind the battling duo of Sam Bird and Maximilian Guenther on the first lap.Guenther's robust assault on Bird, which awarded the German driver with a puncture, helped Vergne to make up the places that he had lost.
Although the Nissans did close in a top-five chain reared up by Nyck de Vries, Rowland in third did not attempt an overtake.
That meant on lap 30, DS Techeetah ordered another uncontested change for position on the approach to Turn 1, from where Vergne led to the spoils to climb to second place in the points - having been only 12th after race two at the Tempelhof Airport circuit.
Nissan also asked its drivers to swap over, with Buemi holding an energy advantage over Rowland, but as Buemi passed into Turn 6 he missed the apex to delay the pair and ease the pressure on the top two.
Buemi would retain his third place to the flag, as a late and aggressive lunge from de Vries on the final lap promoted him to fourth ahead of Rowland.
Lucas di Grassi was a remote sixth for Audi ahead of Jaguar's Mitch Evans and Andre Lotterer.
Lynn and Felipe Massa completed the top 10 ahead of Sam Bird, whose team-mate Robin Frijns failed to start the race after Envision Virgin Racing could not fire up the car.
Stoffel Vandoorne, after qualifying 20th, would climb to 12th ahead of Alexander Sims.
Berlin Formula E: Vergne takes pole as team-mate da Costa down in ninth
Defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne smashed his rivals to pole by half a second in Berlin as points leader and team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa could only manage ninth .A brilliant last run in superpole, where he was fastest in all three sectors, secured him a 1m06.277s effort to pull out a 0.495s advantage over BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Guenther.Vergne qualified second to da Costa for the first race on the reversed Tempelhof Airport circuit on Wednesday but was a distant eighth for the Thursday E-Prix.
Berlin E-Prix IV race results - 37 laps
|1||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah||DS||46m24.803s|
|2||Antonio Felix da Costa||DS Techeetah||DS||0.497s|
|3||Sebastien Buemi||Nissan e.dams||Nissan||1.392s|
|4||Nyck de Vries||Mercedes||Mercedes||3.791s|
|5||Oliver Rowland||Nissan e.dams||Nissan||5.018s|
|6||Lucas di Grassi||Audi||Audi||9.805s|
|21||Sergio Sette Camara||Dragon||Penske||36.315s|
|-||Robin Frijns||Virgin||Audi||Not started|
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Da Costa explains Berlin E-Prix FE qualifying drama .
Antonio Felix da Costa has explained the out-lap gaffe that meant he and three other Formula E champions did not set a qualifying time for the fifth Berlin race .The latest FE title winner was late to leave the garage for the group one shootout between the top six drivers in points, along with DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi and Audi's Lucas di Grassi.Held up initially by Maximilian Guenther as the BMW Andretti pilot tried to find tack space behind Jaguar's Mitch Evans, the four champions all failed to post a time when they crossed the line after the session had ended.