Mitch Evans triumphs in Berlin to claim back-to-back Formula E wins
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Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans made it back-to-back wins after securing victory at an exhilarating SABIC Berlin E-Prix in Round 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
It was a historic day for Jaguar TCS racing as the British-based outfit secured a first-ever one-two, with Evans’ teammate Sam Bird joining him on the podium.
A packed-out crowd at the Tempelhof Airport circuit were treated to a feast of wheel-to-wheel racing, witnessing 190 overtakes and a record-breaking 23 at-the-line lead changes.
It was Evans who tasted success in the German capital though, rising from 9th on the grid to secure a second Season 9 win in consecutive races following victory in Sao Paulo last time out.
Speaking after the race, a delighted Evans said: “The last race was special having us both on the podium and also with Nick, all Jaguar powertrains on the podium. At this one, it’s extra special because it’s a 1-2 for the team and a really hard race to manage. It got a bit chaotic out there. I wasn’t expecting a victory in this place. This place has haunted me for many years. So super happy to get a second win, but here it was unexpected.
“It’s full credit to everyone. Sam drove really well. He’s been quick all day. I was surprised to get in the front bunch so early. There was a lot of games being played out there and it was hard to manage but we got it done.”
Evans had climbed from ninth to win in Berlin and was one of eight drivers to hold the lead at some point during the race.
Throughout the entire race distance, some 43 laps, the field – never mind the top ten – proved to be completely inseparable. A record number of different drivers hit the front as strategies split – with the early front-runners electing to jump for ATTACK MODE early on and those further back running longer. Dan Ticktum (NIO 333) had launched into the lead in style with a stunning move around the outside of Turn 1, right by Julius Baer Polesitter Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing), Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (DS PENSKE).
After the lead group jumped for their second 50kW boosts, things settled for three laps before Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG Racing) and Vandoorne pushed to the front. Glancing at the timing screens yielded a different race leader at almost every stage as positions changed left and right, with the first of two spells under the Safety Car compounding things further and seeing the field split by just over five seconds at a little over the halfway stage.
Quick-starting Ticktum had been shuffled into the top ten and both he and Vandoorne were removed from the occasion in contact, throwing Safety Car number two. The Jaguar pair and Buemi then clambered to fill out the top three spots after Guenther had briefly taken P1 as the race headed into its closing stages. The Jaguar-powered cars went on to stretch their legs, with Guenther looking to pick up the pieces as the front three squabbled for the race lead.
Evans managed to squeeze by second-placed Bird on the exit of the hairpin and got a good run down the start/finish straight – good enough to make a lunge into Turn 1 stick for the lead on Buemi as the race headed into three added laps. The Kiwi was able to get the jump and run away – pulling out a 0.750s lead with two full tours remaining as Bird hassled Buemi for second just behind in the sprint to the finish.
Bird’s incessant efforts paid off as he gave it a huge send on Buemi into the Airplane turn for second spot on the final tour – enough to do the job and seal the team’s first one-two in Formula E. Guenther broke the Jaguar stranglehold as he fired it up the inside of Buemi at the final turn to prevent a second consecutive 1-2-3 for the I-TYPE 6, not that the factory Jaguar TCS Racing squad will grumble. That marked the German’s first points of the season.
Standings leader Pascal Wehrlein started all the way down in 15th and made up huge ground before slipping to ninth late on. Out of sight, the TAG Heuer Porsche driver made up good ground on that final lap to wind up sixth – nine places and strong points gained, nullifying Nick Cassidy’s comparatively quiet and collected run to fifth position for Envision.
All that meant Wehrlein heads into Round 8 tomorrow in Berlin with the standings lead and 94 points. Cassidy now sits second with Vergne doing enough to retain third position. TAG Heuer Porsche’s early season dominance is coming under severe pressure from the Jaguar-powered cars. Just eight points total means 152 points and the top of the table, though Envision Racing’s 25-point haul and Jaguar TCS Racing’s huge 43-point score seeing them close in, in second and third respectively.
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