Berlin E-Prix: Rowland dominates for Nissan

Nissan's 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.

Berlin E-Prix: Rowland dominates for Nissan

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 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 to 16th after his disastrous qualifying. 

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

Lotterer 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 spun in an incident with  da Costa. The pair made progress through the field as they recovered from a 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 his Mahindra Racing machine to sixth, after an enduring battle with third-starting Neel Jani. The Porsche driver, who is expected to be replaced next season by 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 drive-through 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.  

 

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland
France DAMS 36 47'28.880
2 Netherlands Robin Frijns
United Kingdom Virgin Racing 36 47'30.783 1.903 1.903
3 Germany René Rast
Germany Team Abt 36 47'36.370 7.490 5.587
4 Germany Andre Lotterer
Germany Porsche Team 36 47'36.743 7.863 0.373
5 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
India Mahindra Racing 36 47'40.321 11.441 3.578
6 Switzerland Neel Jani
Germany Porsche Team 36 47'41.802 12.922 1.481
7 New Zealand Mitch Evans
United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 36 47'42.986 14.106 1.184
8 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara
Monaco Venturi 36 47'46.014 17.134 3.028
9 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
Germany Mercedes 36 47'47.829 18.949 1.815
10 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
France DAMS 36 47'48.611 19.731 0.782
11 United Kingdom Alexander Sims
United States Andretti Autosport 36 47'52.211 23.331 3.600
12 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 36 47'53.687 24.807 1.476
13 Brazil Felipe Massa
Monaco Venturi 36 47'56.655 27.775 2.968
14 Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Germany Mercedes 36 47'57.603 28.723 0.948
15 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara
United States Dragon Racing 36 48'00.012 31.132 2.409
16 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio
India Mahindra Racing 36 48'00.404 31.524 0.392
17 Switzerland Nico Müller
United States Dragon Racing 36 48'03.020 34.140 2.616
18 France Jean-Eric Vergne
China Techeetah 36 48'03.866 34.986 0.846
19 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey
United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 36 48'13.257 44.377 9.391
20 United Kingdom Sam Bird
United Kingdom Virgin Racing 36 48'15.471 46.591 2.214
21 Brazil Lucas di Grassi
Germany Team Abt 36 48'43.999 1'15.119 28.528
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
China Techeetah 35 46'30.053 1 Lap 1 Lap
Germany Daniel Abt
United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 33 44'09.647 3 Laps 2 Laps
Germany Maximilian Gunther
United States Andretti Autosport 4 48'04.771 32 Laps 29 Laps
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