• Ups and downs in the second of three Berlin double-headers.

Setback on Saturday: no points for the team.

The final week in Berlin got off to a bittersweet start, with three finishes in the points and one retirement from the first two races. Despite that, the prospects going into the second double-header looked encouraging: Stoffel Vandoorne booked fourth place for the race, while Nyck de Vries qualified eighth before being relegated to P13 due to a grid penalty.

Race results Race 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E

"Following strong qualifying performances, we had hoped for more from the race," said Team Principal Ian James ruefully afterwards. So what had happened in the meantime? The problems started shortly after the halfway stage. Up to then, Stoffel had been in the Top Five, but a puncture dropped him down to the end of the field and he was obliged to park the car in the pits as a precautionary measure: "Unfortunately, Stoffel suffered a puncture after he got pushed from behind in Lap 16, and we decided to retire him from the race in order to prevent further damage to the car. We are currently assessing it in preparation for tomorrow."

Stoffel was unsurprisingly disappointed after the end of a race in which he had hoped to achieve so much more: "We found ourselves in a favourable position again, and I am convinced that the race would have swung our way and we would have put in a super strong finish. However, we got hit from behind in Turn 9, which caused a puncture on the rear tyre. I'm so disappointed - we were in a very strong position energy-wise. The car felt good, and I think we could have had a decent crack at recovering some places. If you see where Robin finished, second to race-winner Max Günther, I was right behind him and looking good on energy as well."

Nykc de Vries competing in race 8 at the season final

The evening also turned out to be tough one for Nyck, who was able to work his way forward at the beginning of the race despite a problem with his front wheels locking up: "Unfortunately, I then missed the activation loop for the attack mode, which severely compromised the rest of our race. That was my mistake, and I apologise to the whole team for it. Unfortunately, with the long safety car deployment, we didn't have enough laps left late on to create a buffer for the attack mode."

The subsequent chase to stay in the points consumed more energy than expected, and so Nyck was unable to defend his place on the final lap, eventually crossing the finish line in P16. After a 10-second time penalty, he was classified as eighteenth. "Today was a setback for our team," said Ian James in summary. "But tomorrow we'll have another chance to make our mark."

Driver FP1 FP2 Qualifying Super Pole Race Standings
#5 S. Vandoorne

P08

1:07.248

29 Laps

P10

1:07.034

19 Laps

P2 (G1: P1)

1:06.714

2 Laps

P4

1:06.965

DNF

Grid: P4

FL: 1:09.690

P5

57 Points

#17 N. de Vries

P7

1:07.234

30 Laps

P5

1:06.900

19 Laps

P8 (G3: P3)

1:06.907

2 Laps

-

P18

Grid: P13

FL: 1:09085

P14

30 Points

 

Return to form on Sunday: Back in the points again.

Race results Race 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E

A man of his word. But a tough race lay ahead. In qualifying, Nyck again showed the spark of the brilliance seen in previous qualifying sessions, once more making it into the Super Pole and booking a Top Five grid position for the sixth time in nine Formula E starts.

"I got off to a good start and made it through the first few lap without any problems. All in all, it was a great race, and there's really not a lot more I can say. But it was certainly a lot of fun to be in among the front‑runners. We controlled the race well, didn't rush things and had everything in hand. Overtaking Oliver Rowland towards the end was really satisfying. He tried to make my life difficult, and we briefly made contact, but I had an energy advantage over him and would have overtaken him one way or another."

Stoffel waiting before the start of race 09 at the abb fia formula e final in berlin

Nyck eventually crossed the finish line in fourth - the same result with which he had started the Berlin week last Wednesday. Ian James was full of praise: "From the start, Nyck managed to keep his position in the lead group and did an outstanding job to keep things under control throughout. I am very pleased that he managed to gain on his starting position, nailing P4 on the final lap. All in all, the team did a solid job, staying cool and focused throughout."

For Stoffel, Sunday did not go quite as well as Saturday. He was unable to match his P4 starting position and was instead obliged to line up in 20th. Over the course of the 37 race laps, he made good eight positions to finished in twelfth place: "I found it harder to go on a charge in this race but managed to at least gain a few positions - even though it wasn't enough for points in the end. It's not at all easy to push forward in a race when you start from so far back. My result in qualifying affected the rest of our day. Nevertheless, there are some positive aspects that we can take away from this round, especially with regards to energy management and the overtaking manoeuvres that I pulled off."

Driver FP3 Qualifying Super Pole Race Standings
#5 S. Vandoorne

P4

1:06.474

28 Laps

P20 (G1: P5)

1:07.064

2 Laps

-

P12

Grid: P20

FL: 1:08.828

P8

57 Points

#17 N. de Vries

P6

1:06.557

30 Laps

P3 (G3: P1)

1:06.575

2 Laps

P5

1:06.597

P4

Grid: P5

FL: 1:08.895

P12 42 Points

 

Next up, the third and final double-header.

The debut season for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team comes to an end next Thursday. First, though, there is the important matter of the last two races of the campaign on the tarmac of Berlin-Tempelhof. This third of three double-headers will be contested on a new track configuration that has not been used in any previous E-Prix. 

The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team getting ready for the last double-header

Consequently, all the drivers and teams are faced with a new challenge as the season draws to a close. The new 2,505-metre track differs significantly from the customary layout in the second and third sectors: it has more corners and there are fewer overtaking opportunities.

The two championships have already been decided before the two final races. Ian James was gracious in defeat: "Congratulations to António Félix da Costa on winning his first title and to the entire DS Techeetah crew on winning the team championship. Their performance this year has been outstanding."

The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team goes into the last two races of the season on a points total of 99 and in fourth place overall. In the drivers' championship, Stoffel (57 points) and Nyck (42 points) are eighth and twelfth respectively.

"We've now got two days before the last double-header of the season," says Ian James. "The new track layout looks interesting, and we're determined to conclude our season on a high."

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