Rosenqvist takes first win in Berlin


Credit: Formula E

Felix Rosenqvist drove a perfect race to win his and Mahindra Racing’s first race in Formula E at the Berlin ePrix.

The Swede moved from third to second at the start after Jose Maria Lopez bogged down off the line, and later in the race used the extra energy he had saved to pass Lucas di Grassi just before the pit stops.

He kept that advantage for the rest of the race, and took a comfortable win with a drive that belied his relative inexperience in the all-electric series.

Speaking afterwards Rosenqvist said, “It was just such a good race, under control, so yeah, unbelievable. Nothing went wrong, just a little lock up in the last hairpin. I was able to enjoy the whole race.

“My engineer gave me the go and I saw he was a bit tight on energy on his in-lap, so I thought I might give it a go and it worked out. From there on it was just about enjoying it.”

Having already collected his first podium in Formula E in Marrakesh, Rosenqvist has continued to impress in his debut season.

He easily passed the vastly more experienced di Grassi, who was struggling with battery temperature, and then showed stronger pace than him for the rest of the race.

And the day was even sweeter for his Mahindra team as Nick Heidfeld collected his third podium in three races behind the front two.

Behind him was Lopez who recovered after his bad start, and the resurgent Sebastien Buemi who limited the damage to his championship lead with a stunning drive to fifth.

The Swiss driver looked like he was struggling around the Tempelhof track, but after a slow start to the race he made steady progress.

He passed several drivers under breaking for turn 9, and benefitted from having his team-mate Nico Prost being ordered to let him past.

He got stuck behind Jean-Eric Vergne at the end, but finished ahead of him after the Techeetah driver was given a five second time penalty for an unsafe release.

Daniel Abt finished behind the two Renault e.dams, with Sam Bird in eighth after he lost out at the pitstops.

Vergne was demoted to ninth with Maro Engel just making it into the top ten at his home race.

Further down a gamble from the MS Amlin Andretti cars to stay out longer with their first cars failed to pay off as they finished down in seventeenth and eighteenth.

The American team hasn’t shown any pace whatsoever so far this weekend, and they’ll be hoping for a fast turnaround before the second race tomorrow.