A sensational strategic performance from Jaguar’s Mitch Evans earned the New Zealander victory in the first Formula E race of the 2023 Berlin E-Prix weekend, with his teammate Sam Bird completing a one-two for the team.
Envision’s Sebastien Buemi took pole position earlier on Saturday, a record 16th in Formula E, and his second of the 2023 season, after beating out Bird in the Jaguar.
There were a Formula E record 23 lead changes in the race and eight different leaders over the course of the E-Prix, with Buemi, Bird and Evans, who came from ninth on the grid, eventually cementing their place at the front as the race evolved.
The slipstream effect in Formula E has seen drivers reluctant to lead the races for prolonged periods of time as it increases the amount of energy used significantly.
In the final 10 laps Buemi led the Jaguar pair with Evans sitting ominously in third, before making his move first on Bird then the Envision car to move into first for the final three laps, eventually bringing the car home to the delight of the team principal James Barclay.
“Anything is possible in this category,” Evans said after the race. “Especially with a race like that.
“I found myself in the lead a little too early, with 17 laps to go. I felt like I had good pace, but it was just a little too long.
“I half tried to break the tow a bit, but it wasn’t possible so I just re-thought my strategy. It was a very hard race to manage.”
Maxi Guenther pipped Buemi on the line to bag Maserati‘s first ever podium in Formula E, in a thrilling race at the Tempelhof Circuit to take the final podium position. Nick Cassidy in the second Envision was fifth.
Dan Ticktum, who earned a sensational fourth pace on the grid, surged to the front of the pack in the opening lap and as leading the race for the majority of the opening stages.
But a coming together with DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne took both drivers out, which led to a heated exchange on the edge of the track.
Jake Dennis tried an ambitious move on Guenther, overshooting Turn 6 and swiping the front of Antonio Felix da Costa’s Porsche.
Rene Rast in the McLaren tagged Sergio Sette Camara, who also lost his front wing after a collision with Guenther.
Berlin E-Prix 2023 – Round 7 Results
|7||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Penske||+9.191|