Berlin E-Prix 2024: Track changes and driver mix-ups await

The 2024 Formula E season is past the halfway point as it heads to the city of Berlin for Rounds 9 and 10 of the championship

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Dan Ticktum leads the way in the second 2023 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E / Simon Galloway / LAT Images
Dan Ticktum leads the way in the second 2023 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E / Simon Galloway / LAT Images

Formula E returns to familiar stomping grounds as it heads to the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit in Berlin, Germany. This unique circuit has been a stalwart presence on the Formula E calendar since the series’ inception — in fact, 2016 is the only year in which the Berlin E-Prix was not held at Tempelhof Airport. 

The iconic circuit has had a shake-up ahead of the 2024 edition of the race, in order to better suit the speed and characteristics of the current Gen3 cars. Spanning 2.343km, the amended Tempelhof circuit sees the introduction of five new turns, including a tight hairpin at the centre of the circuit. 

Changes to the circuit aside, the abrasive surface of the Berlin track is a challenge for the drivers in and of itself. Utilising the original concrete of the disused airport, low grip and high tyre wear will pose a threat to the teams.

Changes to the driver pairings

In addition to track changes, the driver line-up will look a little different this weekend. A clash between the Formula E and World Endurance Championship calendar means that there will be a handful of drivers missing from this year’s Berlin E-Prix

Most notable is the absence of the two Envision drivers. Due to contractual obligations, neither Robin Frijns nor Sebastien Buemi were able to shirk their WEC duties. As a result, both drivers will be missing the race in Berlin in favour of the 6 Hours of Spa.

Envision has brought in Joel Eriksson and Paul Aron to compete in Frijns and Buemi’s place. Whilst Eriksson has experience as Jaguar‘s test and reserve driver, Aron is a new addition to the Silverstone-based team. It’ll be a tough weekend for the Envision team, who are looking to bounce back after a disappointing outing in Monaco. 

ABT Cupra driver Nico Muller will also be absent from the Berlin E-Prix as he heads to Spa-Francorchamps too. Kelvin Van der Linde is set to replace Muller, marking the German-South African’s return to Formula E after he replaced an injured Frijns during the 2023 season. 

Nyck de Vries is racing for Toyota in WEC, so will be replaced by Jordan King at Mahindra.

In addition to the WEC-induced absences, McLaren’s Sam Bird will continue to sit on the sidelines after he sustained a wrist injury during Free Practice at the 2024 Monaco E-Prix. Bird was replaced by McLaren’s reserve driver, Taylor Barnard, who finished a respectable P14 on his Formula E debut. 

What to expect in Berlin

After its 1-2 finish in Monaco, Jaguar could be in for another successful weekend. The 2023 Berlin E-Prix saw back-to-back victories for the Jaguar powertrain. Saturday’s race went the way of Mitch Evans, whilst Nick Cassidy – who was driving for Envision at the time – took the chequered flag on Sunday. 

The home crowd will have their eyes on German drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Maximilian Gunther, the latter of whom enjoyed a strong weekend last year. Porsche will be hoping for a victory in Berlin, after the podium eluded the German team in both rounds last year.

Success in Berlin will be of particular importance for Wehrlein, as the Porsche driver seeks to defend his seven-point championship lead over Nick Cassidy.

James Barclay, Nick Cassidy, Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne celebrate on the podium at the 2024 Monaco E-Prix | Formula E
James Barclay, Nick Cassidy, Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne celebrate on the podium at the 2024 Monaco E-Prix | Formula E

Berlin E-Prix 2024 Schedule

The on-track action gets underway from Friday 10 May with Free Practice 1 at 15:55 BST. Free Practice 2 is scheduled for the following day, commencing at 06:55 BST on Saturday 11 May. 

Qualifying for Round 9 is set to take place at 09:20 BST later that day, with the race following just a few hours later at 14:03. 

The drivers will have two shots at victory in Berlin, with the second round of the Berlin E-Prix set to take place on Sunday 12 May. You can catch Free Practice at 08:00 BST, whilst qualifying follows at 10:20 BST – and then it’s lights out at 15:00 BST.

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