Berlin E-Prix 2 – Nick Cassidy took victory for Envision Racing ahead of Jake Dennis in a much less frantic race than yesterday’s edition.
After the morning rain, the race build up happened in sunny but warming conditions, despite all the rain dances the ABT Cupra team would’ve been performing for the past few hours. For only the second time in his Formula E career, Robin Frijns will start from the front though this time he’ll hope to be able to convert it to the win.
Sitting alongside Frijns will be his teammate Nico Mueller, and behind the two they’ve got all the championship front runners looking to take the podium positions from the ABT duo. The race start was slightly delayed after the cars moved into their grid slots as security had to deal with a track invasion and then to check the track surface to ensure that none of the unauthorised people had put any substances down.
The race got underway at ten past the hour and the ABT drivers managed to hold their spots at the front in a much less dramatic opening few corners than yesterday’s race. There were no positional changes in the top eleven but an issue for Oliver Rowland saw him drop from P12 to the back.
Lap 3 saw Attack Mode come into play, as Frijns and Mueller dropped back to P3 and P5 after taking a minute’s worth each. That meant Sebastien Buemi took over the lead but the following lap he handed it to Jean-Eric Vergne as the Envision racer activated the first minute of his own higher power mode.
Vergne followed the same pattern and Frijns was back at the front on lap 5, this time with Mitch Evans separating him and his teammate. The Jaguar racer became the new leader on lap 6 as Frijns took the remaining three minutes of Attack. The Dutch driver rejoined in P5 ahead of the two Porsches.
Lap 8 saw Mueller as the new leader, the first overtake for the lead without Attack activations involved. The Swiss racer took his final activation and ended up in P4 ahead of his ABT teammate and the two were then separated as Muller moved forward and Frijns got passed by Pascal Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa.
Mueller was back in the lead on lap 10 as Evans headed to the activation zone while Frijns was not having a great time of it and had dropped to P11. The lead didn’t remain in ABT hands for long as Wehrlein took over the position. The Porsches took their Attacks on lap 12, one minute for Wehrlein and three for da Costa which left them in P2 and P5 respectively.
There was a brief yellow flag on lap 12 as Andre Lotterer went into the runoff and damaged his nose on the barrier. The Andretti racer had been in P9 but his off dropped him right to the back as he had to pit.
Lap 14 saw Mueller attacked from all sides, dropping from the lead to P4 over the course of a lap as Buemi went into P1 ahead of the Porsches and Vergne. There was nothing between the cars with the top 20 all within a second of each other and more often than not going side-by-side into corners.
Edoardo Mortara became the second driver to visit the pitlane for a new nose, the Maserati racer having gone into the back of Jake Dennis. Speaking of Dennis, he had been loitering around the lower point spots but was on the move around lap 19 and into P5.
Sam Bird hadn’t been having the most success at moving up to the sharp end of the field but contact halfway though saw him become the third recipient of a new nose and he joined Lotterer and Mortara in bringing up the rear of the pack. His teammate, Evans, meanwhile was in the melee at the front and ahead of Dennis in P4.
The lead had been swapping between Buemi and Wehrlein until Vergne took over on lap 21. Buemi’s race was run at that stage, front wing damage became a front wing under his front wheels and the Swiss racer plummeted to the back as he slowly made his way to the pitlane for the fourth new wing of the race.
Cassidy became the leader ahead of Dennis on lap 24 and da Costa in P6 felt it was time to make a move and over the following few laps he started moving forward past Evans and Wehrlein. After losing a spot to da Costa, Evans started shadowing him and the two moved into P3 and P4 by lap 30. However, Vergne also thought it was time to head for the lead and took over P3 the following lap.
Lap 35 saw da Costa hit the back of Evans as the cars all concertina-ed at the hairpin but they were both able to hold their positions and continue. Cassidy was still out front but there was no breathing space behind him with all his challengers nose to tail.
After his bad luck yesterday and a string of pointless races, Dennis felt it was more prudent to settle for P2 rather than risk it all for glory in the final few laps so Cassidy took the win ahead of the Andretti racer, while Vergne finished out the podium places.
Evans came home in P4 for Jaguar ahead of da Costa while Maximilian Guenther was P6 in the only Maserati to see the flag. Championship leader Wehrlein took P7 though his lead is now only four points to Cassidy. Stoffel Vandoorne was P8 in the second DS Penske while Mueller managed to salvage the race for ABT taking home his first points of the year while Frijns could only manage P17. The final points position went to Dan Ticktum while Buemi had the fastest lap, a 1:06.903, but the point for that will be given to Guenther’s 1:06.911 as Buemi ended the day outside the top 10.