Last Saturday, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler celebrated their first ever one-two finish with home hero Daniel Abt scoring his second win of the season. Following an eventful weekend for Formula E, we have a look at five things that we can learn from the BMW I Berlin ePrix.
The Gen 2 Car Looks Stunning On The Track But It Will Be Tougher To Drive
When the second generation Formula E car was launched a few months ago, it took the internet by storm and most people were fascinated by its futuristic looks. Everyone wondered whether it would look as good on the track as it did in the pictures and on Saturday, we got the answer.
2016 Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg drove the car around the Berlin Tempelhof Airport Circuit in its first public demonstration and the car looked absolutely brilliant. The higher top speed and better acceleration made it a pleasure to watch on the track but the drivers will have a tougher task next season.
The current generation of Formula E cars are tough to master with the lack of aerodynamic grip but the Gen 2 car can prove to be an even bigger challenge for the drivers. Although the car will have more downforce, the increased speeds means that drivers will have to be more effective in braking and accelerating out of corners. Nico Rosberg, a former Formula One World Championship himself faced a lot of difficulty in fully understanding the way the car operates.
As a result, he made a couple of mistakes on the track, including locking up and going straight on at one of the hairpins. Club the harder braking with the necessity to regenerate energy and you get a really challenging car to master. Good job Formula E; you’ve built a masterpiece!
Audi And Daniel Abt: The Untouchables
In Berlin, Daniel Abt pleased his home crowd by completing the first ever Grand Slam in Formula E history; Daniel lead every lap, set fastest lap, took pole position and won the race, giving him a massive 29 points, the highest a driver can achieve in a Formula E single-race weekend. His performance here can be compared to Felix Rosenqvist and Mahindra’s performance at the same track a year ago, only this time the figures were all the more impressive.
For the last three seasons, many doubted Audi’s decision to have Abt on board but this season, Daniel Abt has been repaying his team’s faith in him. Also, Audi have picked themselves up in a spectacular way after a disappointing start to the season. Their display in their home race at Berlin was one of the best team performances in Formula E history and championship leader Jean Eric Vergne even called them ‘untouchable’ this weekend.
Audi have now taken control over second place in the Constructors’ World Championship, 21 points ahead of third placed DS Virgin Racing. A championship win would be highly unlikely for the German team but this year, they have shown us that they should never be ruled out, even in the worst of situations!
Jerome D’Ambrosio’s Show Of Skill
In the first couple of seasons of Formula E, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Dragon Racing used to be frontrunners but a failed partnership with Faraday Future in Season 3 brought the end of the good days. The calamitous partnership ended and the effects seemed to stay with Dragon Racing and D’Ambrosio at the start of Season 4, with the team clearly being the slowest of the grid.
However, the tables turned somewhat after Hong Kong and since then Dragon Racing have gone on to achieve 26 points till date. This number doesn’t tell the whole story though. Jose Maria Lopez and Jerome D’Ambrosio have been performing very well but several technical issues are preventing them to get the best out of their car. In Berlin for instance, D’Ambrosio’s Dragon had brilliant one-lap pace and the Belgian made it to superpole for the first time this season.
In the race, the powertrain showed signs of flakiness with a battery issue causing the Belgian to plunge down the order. D’Ambrosio did a commendable job by taking his car to superpole and also by fighting the others off in the race but he was on a sinking ship; there was nothing he could do about it.
Over the season, we have seen that Dragon Racing’s drivers can be frontrunners and a stronger powertrain next season can massively help their cause. Dragon Racing have got their work cut out for Season 5 and from the progress they have showed this season, much better performances can be seen from the team headed by Jay Penske. D’Ambrosio though was fabulous in Berlin; all credits to the Belgian for potentially outstanding result.
Championship Dream Postponed To Season 5 For Mahindra?
At the start of the season, Mahindra Racing’s championship challenge looked very strong, with the Indian team scoring two wins out of the first three races. As the championship entered its South American leg, things started to go wrong for them. Rosenqvist had to retire from the lead twice and the team encountered some really tough times including Saturday’s race in Berlin.
Rosenqvist, Mahindra’s only championship contender, started sixth and a failed move around the outside caused him to spin and demoted him way down the order. Eventually, Heidfeld and teammate Rosenqvist were the 10th and 11th respectively to finish the race. This pretty much marks the end of Mahindra’s championship challenge, with Rosenqvist having around half the points of championship leader Vergne and the team being fourth in the championship standings with gap of 97 points to the leaders Techeetah. With only four races to spare, it is still mathematically possible but the reality shows otherwise.
Mahindra will be looking forward to end a bittersweet season on a high and set up a positive mood in the team while heading into a new era of the championship. They have proved at multiple occasions that they are team which can challenge for race wins and in the off season, Team Principal Dilbagh Gill will surely be working along with his team to be more consistent. The championship dream isn’t over for Mahindra, it is just postponed to the next season and judging on their potential, next year could really be their year.
The Reason Why Emily Ratajkowski Drove The Formula E Car
Every race, Formula E invites celebrities and social media influencers to be guests at their races and have a feel of the sport. A host of celebrities including Idris Elba, Orlando Bloom and also Chris Hemsworth. These iconic personalities are given an exquisite experience with the aim that these celebrities will influence their millions of fans and try and get them to watch the series.
In Berlin, popular supermodel and actress Emily Ratajkowksi was given the opportunity to drive the current generation Formula E car around the Tempelhof Airport Circuit. Emily also uploaded a picture of her in a racing suit, promoting the series and spreading knowledge about Formula E. With millions following her on social media, they see photos and videos of the series, opening a door for them to start watching it on a regular basis.
This is one of Formula E’s smart tactics to get more fans onboard and help the series grow. I feel that this is a very clever and effective tactic for which Formula E does deserve a lot of appreciation. I do not see a valid reason why other racing series should not follow this method to aid their cause of attracting more fans.
Kudos Formula E!
Media Credits: ABB FIA Formula E