Lucas di Grassi brings home Audi's second consecutive home victory in Berlin, while Sebastien Buemi scores his first podium finish of the season.
Folks from Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler held their heads high as the German constructor claimed its second consecutive home victory at this year's Berlin E-Prix. This time though, the top spot on the podium was bagged by Lucas di Grassi. Meanwhile, last year's winner Daniel Abt finished this time in sixth place. While this was the second victory of the season for the Brazilian (di Grassi) overall, it was Audi's 12th Formula E victory and a 40th podium finish. Di Grassi also garnered a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the E-Prix.
Nissan e.dams' Sebastien Buemi, who had started from pole, finished the race in third place behind defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah). Despite having a good shot at the win, both Vergne and Buemi didn't really have a reason to be disappointed, as this was Buemi's maiden podium finish of the season, while Vergne fought all the way from eighth place to finish as runner-up. Mahindra Racing's progress, however, failed to pick up the needed pace, as Pascal Wehrlein scored the lone point for the team from his tenth place finish. His teammate Jerome d'Ambrosio, who had started from ninth place, fell to seventeenth by the time the chequered flag went down.
Polesitter Buemi started off the proceedings with a strong run ahead of the entire pack. Though determined to defend his lead, Buemi's attack was countered by drivers behind him in a matter of few laps. Lucas di Grassi, who had HWA Racelab's Stoffel Vandoorne between him and Buemi, made small work of him as he passed him on Lap 3. On the same lap, he also found a good gap on Buemi's inside to take him on Turn 6. From here on, di Grassi maintained the lead throughout the race.
While di Grassi's lead only got stronger with each passing lap, Buemi, on the other hand, had to struggle a bit in defending his second place. With multiple attacks mounting, BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Antonio Felix da Costa briefly overtook Buemi in second place. However, with the help of 'Fan Boost', Buemi regained his former position. A few places back, Vergne was at his aggressive best, as he kept gaining places, eventually passing Daniel Abt, Vandoorne and da Costa to claim the final spot on the podium. Both retirements of the race, victims of which were Vergne's teammate Andre Lotterer and Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Alexander Lynn, were caused by mechanical failures. While Lynn came to a halt in the final minutes of the race due to a rear axle issue, Lotterer managed to get his car to the pits due to a suspected battery fault. Lotterer's impressive run, in which he managed to gain ten places from his 21st place start, thus came to end.
With 26 points in the bag, Lucas di Grassi climbs to second in the overall driver standings, with a total of 96 points. Jean-Eric Vergne, with 102 points under his belt, sits on top of the leaderboard with a slim lead of just six points. Despite a no-points finish, Andre Lotterer manages to hold on to his third spot with 86 points. In the constructors' standings too, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler moves to second with 163 points, 25 points behind leader DS Techeetah.