Berlin E-Prix VI: Vandoorne gives Mercedes first Formula E win in finale

Matt Kew
·5-min read
Vandoorne takes first Mercedes FE win in finale
Vandoorne takes first Mercedes FE win in finale

Mercedes scored its maiden Formula E victory on home soil as Stoffel Vandoorne led a team 1-2 over Nyck de Vries in the final race of the season in Berlin.

Vandoorne only ever twice dropped from the lead as he moved off line to activate both of his attack mode boosts in a race he managed expertly from pole to beat his team-mate by 1.3 seconds.

Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi had been on course for second but late-race energy conservation allowed reigning FIA Formula 2 champion de Vries to pass.

That incidentally assured Vandoorne of second place in the standings ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.

Third-starting Rene Rast made a strong launch to attempt a pass around the outside of Buemi into Turn 1, which allowed Vandoorne to break away to an initial 1.6s advantage.

Vandoorne moved for an early use of his first 35kW attack mode boost on lap seven of 36 and did briefly rejoin the racing line in second place ahead of de Vries - who passed Rast in the final corner on the opening lap.

But on the next tour, Vandoorne was able to close and pass Buemi into Turn 1 as the Nissan e.dams driver then opted for his power increase and fell to third.

Buemi followed Vandoorne's lead and passed de Vries into the first corner to resume second place.

That paved the way for a largely processional middle stint of the race, with Vandoorne managing a 1.3s lead.

Vandoorne again fell to second behind Buemi when he moved for his final four-minute boost, which looked to be a risky strategy should a late-race safety car materialise.

But, despite bodywork from Oliver Rowland's car being knocked on to the racing line, conditions remained green to the flag for Vandoorne and Mercedes to score their first FE wins.

Vandoorne takes first Mercedes FE win in finale
Vandoorne takes first Mercedes FE win in finale

De Vries had expertly managed his energy throughout the race, holding a 1% cushion over his team-mate and Buemi.

As Buemi moved to lift and coast in the closing moments of the race, de Vries was able to lunge up the inside into Turn 7 to secure a team 1-2 and his best result in the championship.

That left Buemi to round out the podium ahead of Rast, who this time enjoyed a quiet close to his race for Audi.

Sam Bird, by contrast, had a meteoric rise from 14th on the grid to fifth in his last race for Envision Virgin Racing before moving to Jaguar for next season.

After closing up to team-mate Robin Frijns, the Dutch driver let Bird through to provide a buffer back to Lucas di Grassi, running on attack mode.

A late retirement for Frijns after colliding with Maximilian Guenther did allow di Grassi into sixth, one place ahead of Vergne.

The recovering DS Techeetah driver led his group one qualifying rivals, who all endured a torrid session to line up at the back of the grid.

Vergne made solid work of the pack behind Guenther, but when the BMW Andretti driver was delayed in his collision with Frijns, Vergne claimed seventh.

Alex Lynn ran to yet another strong result for Mahindra Racing in eighth as newly-crowned champion Antonio Felix da Costa climbed to a strong ninth.

Edoardo Mortara completed the top 10 ahead of Jaguar's Mitch Evans, and then Guenther and his team-mate Alexander Sims.

Behind the two Porsches of Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani, 11-time grand prix winner Felipe Massa was 16th in his final race for Venturi Racing.

Race result (36 laps)

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Stoffel Vandoorne

Mercedes

47m22.107s

2

Nyck de Vries

Mercedes

1.340s

3

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.dams

2.841s

4

Rene Rast

Audi

3.580s

5

Sam Bird

Virgin

8.710s

6

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

11.593s

7

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS Techeetah

12.895s

8

Alex Lynn

Mahindra

14.719s

9

Antonio Felix da Costa

DS Techeetah

15.304s

10

Edoardo Mortara

Venturi

16.154s

11

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

16.348s

12

Maximilian Guenther

BMW

17.798s

13

Alexander Sims

BMW

22.229s

14

Andre Lotterer

Porsche

23.893s

15

Neel Jani

Porsche

24.888s

16

Felipe Massa

Venturi

25.577s

17

Tom Blomqvist

Jaguar

25.992s

18

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Mahindra

30.485s

19

Sergio Sette Camara

Dragon

31.453s

20

Daniel Abt

NIO

38.071s

21

Oliver Turvey

NIO

39.694s

22

Nico Muller

Dragon

1m11.178s

-

Robin Frijns

Virgin

Retirement

-

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.dams

Retirement

Final 2019-20 drivers' standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Antonio Felix da Costa

158

2

Stoffel Vandoorne

87

3

Jean-Eric Vergne

86

4

Sebastien Buemi

84

5

Oliver Rowland

83

6

Lucas di Grassi

77

7

Mitch Evans

71

8

Andre Lotterer

71

9

Maximilian Guenther

69

10

Sam Bird

63

11

Nyck de Vries

60

12

Robin Frijns

58

13

Alexander Sims

49

14

Edoardo Mortara

41

15

Rene Rast

29

16

Jerome d'Ambrosio

19

17

Alex Lynn

16

18

Pascal Wehrlein

14

19

James Calado

10

20

Neel Jani

8

21

Daniel Abt

8

22

Felipe Massa

3

23

Brendon Hartley

2

24

Oliver Turvey

0

25

Nico Muller

0

26

Tom Blomqvist

0

27

Sergio Sette Camara

0

28

Ma Qinghua

0


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