Antonio Felix Da Costa has won the 2020 Berlin ePrix as Formula E racing action gets back underway around the Berlin Templehof to extend his championship lead to 40 points ahead of the next five races..
The race got underway with a very clean start as Felix Da Costa got the jump on his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne on the run down into the first corner as Porsche Racing’s Andre Lotterer managed maintain third place ahead Nyck De Vries as Sebastien Buemi fell down to fourth place.
Sam Bird and Felipe Massa managed to gain a place at the start, with Bird getting ahead of Jerome D’ Ambrosio and Massa getting the jump on Mitch Evans.
The two DS Techeetah drivers of Felix Da Costa and Vergne saw them build up a good margin over Lotterer and D’Ambrosio behind.
Fifteen minutes into the race, Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns crashed into the wall at turn two after contact with Maxmillian Gunther. Frijns then lost a wing as he tried to make his way back to the pits but was forced to park out on circuit which saw the safety car deployed.
But just before the safety car, Jaguar racer Mitch Evans managed to find his way past Massa after the Brazilian was holding up a train of cars behind.
At the restart, Felix Da Costa got a good jump over team-mate Vergne as Bird managed to execute a superb move on D’Ambrosio at turn four for sixth place.
Then both Buemi and Lotterer tried to take attack mode but failed to do so which dropped Lotterer behind De Vries and Buemi behind Bird.
In the mid-pack, Stoffel Vandoorne was the man on the charge as the Mercedes driver was able to move his way past Alex Lynn in the Mahindra and Gunther in the BMW after saving energy during the first part of the race.
From almost nowhere, Mercedes driver De Vries made a crucial error and was forced to relinquish third place to Lotterer which saw the German elevate himself back into second.
After playing a staring role in the first part of the race, Massa crashed into the wall at turn six after locking up while trying to hold the charging Vandoorne at bay. This brought out a full course yellow which saw several of the front-runners including Vergne, Lotterer and Evans take on attack mode.
On the restart, Bird was able to get past De Vries as the Dutchman started to fall back through the pack.
Then just behind, Evans made a stunning pass around the outside of turn four to pass Buemi for sixth place as the Jaguar driver was looking to eye a top result.
Then the chaos truly began as Da Costa took his final attack mode which saw him just about fend off his team-mate for the race lead as they banged tires down the back straight.
But barely a lap later, Vergne began to lose a tremendous amount of pace and fell into the clutches of Bird behind and the British driver pounced past the Frenchman to inherit second which would become third once he took his final attack mode.
Then for the second time in the race, Lotterer had to pass De Vries who once again seemed to be moving in the braking zone. Both survived the encounter with Lotterer up to fourth, but it was a scary incident none-the-less.
Soon afterwards, the whole pack started filing up behind Vergne and he started loosing place after place. But as it started bunching up, Evans tried to go around the outside of turn three into four, but caught on the outside, he was forced to relinquish the place to Buemi. That meant he had to slow down in the middle sector and ultimately Gunther piled into the back of him and spun the Jaguar around. He finished fifteenth.
As the final lap approached, everyone was very marginal on energy with Da Costa slowing down considerably to make sure he made it to the line with enough power which he just about managed to do.
Lotterer finished second after overtaking Bird on the final lap. But after running second for much of the race, there will be frustration for Vergne as he pitted on the final lap after he was spun around by Audi’s Lucas Di Grassi who came home in ninth place.