Formula E home victory for Audi in Berlin
Lucas di Grassi won the first of the two final races of the Formula E World Championship in Berlin with the Audi e-tron FE07. For Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler it was already the third triumph in front of the home crowd after 2018 and 2019.
The trophy for the winning team was accepted by Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for motorsport at Audi. “This was an important win in the title fight and a fantastic start to the Berlin weekend. I’m very proud of the whole team which delivered a gripping performance.”
Lucas di Grassi laid the foundation for victory on Saturday already with a strong qualifying performance. From third on the grid, the Audi driver put the two DS Techeetah cars of Jean-Éric Vergne and António Félix da Costa, that had started in front of him, under pressure from the very beginning. He overtook the two Formula E champions with determined moves and then used his “Attack Mode” at exactly the right moment.
After 38 laps, di Grassi crossed the finish line 0.141 seconds ahead of Edoardo Mortara in the Venturi Mercedes EQ. “The first free practice on Friday was difficult,” said di Grassi after his twelfth victory in Formula E. “But the team did a great job overnight. The car felt fantastic today. Thanks for that! After I took the lead, it was all about keeping Edo behind me. It wasn’t easy and I had to fight until the last corner, but we made it.”
Teammate René Rast also thrilled the fans on the grandstands at Berlin-Tempelhof with a strong race. The German dropped back to 15th on the opening lap but then used his Attack Mode particularly effectively and even made it an Audi 1-2 for a short time. “I worked my way to the front pretty well,” said Rast. “But of course I knew that I wouldn’t be able to defend the position when the other drivers use their Attack Modes. It would have been possible to get a better result if I could have got past Lucas.” Rast finished ninth and once again scored the extra point for the fastest race lap.
Both drivers of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team still have chances of winning the World Championship title in the all-important final race of the season on Sunday at 15:30 local time (CEST). Lucas di Grassi is sixth, only eight points behind, René Rast twelfth, 20 points behind. In the teams’ championship, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is only nine points off the top.
“It was a fantastic race for Audi,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “Lucas and René both drove great. We’re still in the title fight and will try everything tomorrow. But first we enjoy today’s success.”
Customer team Envision Virgin Racing also still has a chance of winning the drivers’ championship and the team standings with both drivers. However, Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns finished 14th and 15th on Saturday without scoring any points.