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Team-Mate Battles – Berlin ePrix

The inaugural Formula E season may have seen several drivers come and go, but it doesn’t make beating your team-mate any less important. As the season reaches it’s conclusion we’ll be finding out who the main candidates for a drive in season two are, but who had the upper hand on their colleague in Berlin? Let’s go through the field and hand out the Team Mate Battle points!

These are the rules to which the drivers are being judged.

Points system:

  • 1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster race lap.
  • 
3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.
  • 
5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best during the race.

Amlin Aguri:

It was another race that was hampered by poor qualifying pace for the Amlin Aguri team, only managing to start the race in 16th and 19th place, with Salvador Duran starting as the lead car once again (now levelling him with Antonio Felix Da Costa in the qualifying aspect of the TM Battles). Da Costa is making a habit of the these race-long charges through the field in an attempt to salvage points, but this time both he and his team-mate were handed drive-through penalties for not obeying the minimum pit time (one minute and three seconds for Berlin). They were less than half a second faster than the minimum time, but it was and open-and-shut case for the stewards who penalised both drivers.

It was still impressive from Da Costa to be as high as 11th by the end of the race, considering where he started and the penalty he acquired, which gives him the TM Battle race points today, although it’s Amlin’s first non-scoring round since the Punta del Este ePrix (although they did bounce back from that by winning in Buenos Aires, so perhaps it’s not such a slippery slope).

  • Fastest Lap: Antonio Felix da Costa (4-2 to Da Costa)
  • Qualifying: Salvador Duran (9-9)
  • Race: Antonio Felix da Costa (25-5 to Da Costa)

Totals:

  • Race 1: Takuma Sato 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 2: Antonio Felix da Costa 9-0 Katherine Legge
  • Race 3 onwards: Antonio Felix da Costa 38-16 Duran

Amlin Aguri: Da Costa 38-16 Duran

Andrew Ferraro/LAT/Formula E
Andrew Ferraro/LAT/Formula E

Andretti Formula E:

The impressive pace that we saw from the Andretti team in the US-based races hasn’t really been replicated in this European leg of the championship. From being a regular pole position candidate, Jean-Eric Vergne only just managed a top ten qualifying result in Berlin, with Scott Speed not faring much better in 12th.

They certainly achieved a quieter race than they did last time out in Monaco (where both Andretti’s were involved in the first lap chaos), Vergne almost managed to capitalise on the slowing Venturi duo at the end of the race, but had to settle for seventh place, whilst Speed was a further eight seconds behind in 13th. Vergne takes all the TM Battles points this time out.

Nothing really to write home about for a team who have acquired three podium finishes already this season, but it’s not something Michael Andretti will be too pleased about either as he’ll be looking to turn things around for the conclusion of the championship.

  • Fastest Lap: Jean-Eric Vergne (3-1 to Vergne)
  • Qualifying: Jean-Eric Vergne (12-0 to Vergne)
  • Race: Jean-Eric Vergne (10-10)

Totals:

  • Race 1: Franck Montagny 9-0 Charles Pic
  • Race 2: Franck Montagny 1-8 Matthew Brabham
  • Race 3: Matthew Brabham 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 4: Marco Andretti 0-9 Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Race 5 onwards: Scott Speed 11-25 Jean-Eric Vergne

Andretti: Speed 11-25 Vergne

Audi Sport Abt:

What a difference a couple of hours can make. At the end of the race, Lucas di Grassi held a 17 point lead in the driver’s championship, with the Audi Sport Abt team clawing back ten points on the e.dams-Renault team in the team’s championship, which would’ve reduced the deficit to a rather more surmountable 30 points. Fast forward a couple of hours, and the tables look a little different. Di Grassi is now down to third and ten points off the new championship leader, Nelson Piquet, and not only have Audi Sport Abt dropped 19 points adrift of e.dams-Renault, they’ve now fallen to third behind the Dragon Racing team.

It’s hard to see how the modifications would’ve made that much difference to the performance of the car, but it certainly wouldn’t have been the 10+ seconds worth of winning margin that di Grassi enjoyed. Regardless, the rules are made to be followed and it’s not something any team is likely to replicate in the future.

Daniel Abt’s home race was something of a disaster. Despite qualifying well, he asked too much of his car when he slammed on the braks at turn three on lap one, which was enough to send him into a half spin and destroy his race. He did set the faster race lap, but that’ll be meagre consolation for Abt as we would’ve loved to secure his second Formula E podium on home turf.

  • Fastest Lap: Daniel Abt (4-4)
  • Qualifying: Lucas di Grassi (15-9 to di Grassi)
  • Race: Lucas di Grassi (30-10 to di Grassi)

Audi Sport Abt: di Grassi 49-23 Abt

FIA Formula E Media
FIA Formula E Media

NextEV Team China Racing:

Nelson Piquet had a sterling race and recovered remarkably well to claim 5th place (4th after that penalty) and keep his championship aspirations alive…you might say that the phrase ‘a drive of a champion’ is applicable here. Winning the newly-implemented fastest lap trophy helped hugely, too (as it’s worth two championship points).

Piquet seemed annoyed after qualifying, and rightly so as his main championship rivals achieved top three starting spots. The better news for Charles Pic fans was that he looked closer to his team-mate in qualifying than he has previously, albeit still a couple of tenths shy of his team-mate.

As far as the Team-Mate Battle goes, Piquet progressed handsomely through the field whilst Pic was unable to make much progress, ultimately ending up in fifteenth after penalties. It’s a full nine points for Piquet in Berlin.

  • Fastest Lap: Nelson Piquet Jr (3-1 to Piquet Jr)
  • Qualifying: Nelson Piquet Jr (12-0 to Piquet Jr)
  • Race: Nelson Piquet Jr (20-0 to Piquet Jr)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Nelson Piquet Jr 36-0 Tung/Garcia
  • Race 5 onwards: Nelson Piquet Jr 35-1 Charles Pic

NextEV TCR: Piquet Jr 35-1 Pic

Dragon Racing:

Having been season-long contenders for some form of consistency award, Dragon Racing are starting to show that they have the pace to compete at the front. Winning via someone else’s post-race misfortune is not the method drivers dream about when they envisage their first win in a racing series, but podium success has been due for a couple of races for the Dragon Racing team and eventually the rewards have come in the form of a 1-3 finish, with Jerome D’Ambrosio taking his first win and podium alongside Loic Duval, who also takes his first podium. It also resulted in a dramatic leap from sixth to second for Dragon Racing in the team’s standings, as well as D’Ambrosio now putting himself on the fringes of driver’s championship contention. He’s just 26 points behind Piquet and, with three races to go, has more than enough time to reduce the deficit.

It was a ‘racey’ performance from D’Ambrosio, too. Starting sixth (just two places and less than one tenth of a second ahead of Duval), he made some decisive manoeuvres past Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld to put himself third prior to the stops. Some nifty pit work put him into second place where he comfortably stayed until the end.

Duval managed to get himself into the top five early on, staying there until he managed to dispose of Heidfeld in the second half of the race. He held off Piquet for what would become the final podium place, but it would’ve taken a sensational effort to beat D’Ambrosio’s drive in Berlin. Race points to the Belgian once again, but it probably won’t be too long before Duval starts earning some of these.

  • Fastest Lap: Loic Duval (4-0 to Duval)
  • Qualifying: Jerome D’Ambrosio (12-0 to D’Ambrosio)
  • Race: Jerome D’Ambrosio (20-0 to D’Ambrosio)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jerome D’Ambrosio 25-11 Oriol Servia
  • Race 5 onwards: Jerome D’Ambrosio 32-4 Loic Duval

Dragon Racing: D’Ambrosio 32-4 Duval

Loic Duval chases Nico Prost. Credit: Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E
Loic Duval chases Nico Prost. Credit: Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

e.dams-Renault:

Sebastien Buemi was probably quite content to pick up another podium and stay in close championship contention, having realised quite early on that not much was going to stop di Grassi in Berlin. So imagine the shock he would’ve received when he learned of the disqualification to the championship leader. It was great news for the team, as not only did they obtain an extra four points (with Buemi and Prost moving up to second and tenth respectively), but their nearest rivals in the team’s championship now walked away from Berlin with no points, increasing their lead to a whopping 63 points. A big score in Moscow could win them the title.

It also means Buemi is now just two points behind the new driver’s championship leader of Nelson Piquet and ten points ahead of di Grassi, but there’s going to be a lot happening between now and the final round in London.

Focusing on Berlin, it was one-way traffic in the TM Battle; Buemi set the fastest lap, qualified higher and raced better. It’s the Swiss pilot’s second clean sweep in a row as he takes the TM Battle lead for the first time.

  • Fastest Lap: Sebastien Buemi (6-2 to Buemi)
  • Qualifying: Sebastien Buemi (15-9 to Prost)
  • Race: Sebastien Buemi (25-15 to Buemi)

e.dams-Renault: Prost 32-40 Buemi

Mahindra Racing:

The Mahindra team had a dismal time at the Tempelhof airport on Saturday. They suffered their worst qualifying performance of the year with Bruno Senna lining up in 18th and Karun Chandhok in 20th and, unfortunately, never really showed much progress during the race, with both drivers seldom troubling the top 15. Both drivers were handed penalties, too. Senna was punished for pit-lane speeding with a drive-through, putting him last of the runners on the final lap of the race, whilst Chandhok was penalised post-race for exceeding the maximum power output, which in turn sent him to last place of the finishers. They finished 18th and 19th, but TM Battles race points go to Senna for being ahead of Chandhok prior to their penalties.

With the likes of the Venturi and, to a lesser extent, Trulli teams beginning to find some pace and better results, will it be long before the Mahindra team have to start looking behind them in the Team’s Championship and hope they don’t acquire the wooden spoon prize for season one?

  • Fastest Lap: Karun Chandhok (5-3 to Chandhok)
  • Qualifying: Bruno Senna (12-12)
  • Race: Bruno Senna (22.5-17.5 to Senna)

Mahindra Racing: Chandhok 34.5-37.5 Senna

TrulliGP:

It turned into a very bitter-sweet day for the Trulli team, but one that should give them a great deal of pride when they look back on their first season in the sport. Team leader, Jarno Trulli, put together an exquisite lap, particularly impressing in the twisty and technical final sector, to give Trulli (the driver and the team) their first pole position in Formula E. The three points gained from the pole position mean’t that they had already scored for the first time since Punta del Este back in December, surely anything else achieved in the race would just be the icing on the cake.

Unfortunately for Trulli, despite holding onto second place for the opening few laps, he began his descent down the order. “Sky high” consumption was the reason for Trulli’s race woes and he retired the car with only a couple of laps to go, but he was already well out of the points.

Vitantonio Liuzzi had his best day in Formula E to date. He qualified marginally outside the top ten and benefited from the Abt spin to gain a couple of places at the start. He was running well into the top ten, but a delay in the pit stops cost him time and places, but he raced well to finish ninth. He said afterwards that he believed “P5 or P6” would’ve been possible.

It’s hard to know for certain whether Trulli’s consumption issues were driver or car-related, so split points for the drivers after a strong event.

  • Fastest Lap: Jarno Trulli (3-1 to Trulli)
  • Qualifying: Jarno Trulli (9-3)
  • Race: Split points (17.5-2.5 to Trulli)

Totals:

  • Race 1-4: Jarno Trulli 24-12 Michela Cerruti
  • Race 5 onwards: Jarno Trulli 29.5-6.5 Vitantonio Liuzzi

Trulli: Trulli 29.5-6.5 Liuzzi

Adam Warner/LAT/Formula E
Adam Warner/LAT/Formula E

Venturi:

The Venturi team are in a resurgent mood. Their best ‘team’ performance of the year sees them score a mammoth 18 points, a great effort considering they had only collected 16 prior to Berlin and both Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin achieved their highest finishes of the year with fifth and sixth respectively.

Heidfeld managed to start the race from fourth on the grid, out-qualifying his team-mate who was forced to settle for ninth after seemingly being held up by Alguersuari. We can’t determine for certain how much he was held up, but if he’d have gone another tenth of a second faster, then he would’ve been two places higher up, testimony to the close competition in the sport.

It was a strong race for both concerned. Heidfeld competed with the small group of podium challengers well until losing ground towards the end of the race, whilst Sarrazin was having some fun battling through the midfield, but higher than normal energy use may have prevented a decent attack on his team-mate at the end of the race. The other good news is that their pit stops problems look to be rectified after several issues earlier on in the year. With only three races to go, it looks as though their season starts now.

  • Fastest Lap: Stephane Sarrazin (5-3 to Sarrazin)
  • Qualifying: Nick Heidfeld (15-9 to Heidfeld)
  • Race: Nick Heidfeld (25-15 to Heidfeld)

Venturi: Heidfeld 43-29 Sarrazin

Virgin Racing:

Sam Bird’s outside chance of achieving the driver’s title is fading away by the race. He’s now fallen behind Jerome D’Ambrosio in the standings and hasn’t had a podium finish since his win in Putrajaya. It seems as though he can’t simply count on his home race to give him an extra mental boost, he needs a big result in Moscow or he risks being mathematically out of contention before he even gets to Battersea Park.

Jaime Alguersuari managed to out-qualify Bird for the fifth time this season, meaning he stays ahead in this particular contest, but the Spanish drivers problems continued to be race-related. Bird managed to charge his way through to ninth place (8th post-penalties) whilst Alguersuari only managed 13th (12th post-penalties). It’s interesting to note, though, that Alguersuari set the faster race lap, suggesting that his problem isn’t particularly to do with pace, but consistency.

  • Fastest Lap: Jaime Agluersuari (5-3 to Bird)
  • Qualifying: Jaime Alguersuari (15-9 to Alguersuari)
  • Race: Sam Bird (30-10 to Bird)

Virgin Racing: Bird 44-28 Alguersuari

Agree or disagree with the verdicts? Comment and let us know!

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About Luke Murphy

I've been a motor racing fan since the late 90's, enjoying the underdog stories, the history and the technology of the sport. Graduate of Huddersfield University with a BEng Motorsport Engineering Degree and a keen amateur karter.

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