Lucas di Grassi took the victory at the Berlin ePrix with a dominant performance, moving himself back into championship contention with only three races to go in the 2018/2019 season.
Despite running in the first qualifying segment, Audi driver Lucas di Grassi secured a place in the superpole group, becoming the only one driver from the first six drivers in the Drivers’ Standings to do so. The Brazlian made a mistake on his superpole lap with missing the ideal braking point into the first corner, but secured the third sport on the grid. With a dominant performance during his shoot-out lap, Nissan driver Sebastien Buemi grabbed the pole position in front of the HWA driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Di Grassi controlled the race
After the red lights went out, the 2016/2017 champion made quick progress to overtake the Beglian driver for second place at Turn 6, before making a similar move on the Swiss rival to snatch the lead six laps in.
Di Grassi could pull clear of the field and quickly built a lead of just over a second. Behind the Brazilian, a long queue was formed. Sebastian Buemi, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alex Lynn, Daniel Abt, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Vergne were fighting for the top positions, running in close proximity for most of the race.
As Alex Lynn’s Panasonic Jaguar stopped just after the Turn 10 on the racing line, full course yellow was deployed.
Championship leader Vergne only started from the ninth place, but he charged through the order. The Frenchman puledl off a bold manoeuvre on Antonio Felix da Costa to snatch away the final podium spot. Vergne also tried to overtake Buemi for second place after the FCY, but the Swiss driver could withstand the pressure and secure the podium finish after what has been a rather difficult season with the Nissan e.dams outfit.
Outside the front of the order
Despite starting the race from the promising fourth place, the second HWA driver Gary Paffett was continously losing places from the very beginning of the race. In the end, the reigning DTM champion finished the race in the 16th place.
The Mahindra outfit completed a rather unsuccessful race. Former championship leader Jerome d’Ambrosio finished the ePrix 17th while his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the top ten to grab only the final point on offer.
Vergne’s team-mate Andre Lotterer was one of the two drivers to retire from the race. The German’s day was curtailed due to a technical issue.
Standings after the Berlin ePrix
Di Grassi also took the extra point for the fastest race lap. The Brazilian achieved this while using his second attack mode in the second half of the ePrix.
Points leader Vergne could maintain his lead he had before the race, but di Grassi moved up to second place with just six points behind the Frenchman. The Championship continues on June 22 with the inaugural Bern ePrix before the fields head for the season-ending double-header in New York.