Formula E

Gunther beats Frijns in grandstand finish to win in Berlin

2 Mins read
Max Gunther wins in Berlin
Credit: Formula E

Maxmillian Gunther has won the third Berlin ePrix to claim his second win of the season, just 0.128 s of Robin Frijns in a dramatic race around the Berlin Templehof Airport circuit.

Defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne made a great start from pole position as the BMW i-Andretti Motorsport car of Maxmillian Gunther bogged down and was immediately passed by Jerome D’ Ambrosio in the Mahindra for second place.

Gunther spent the first lap battling with the Mahindra driver which allowed the DS Techeetah driver to build a two second advantage.

But the German was able to find his way past the Belgian at turn one and soon began to close the gap to the Frenchman ahead.

Robin Frijns in the Envision Virgin Racing car was a man on the move, passing the second Mahindra of Alex Lynn with championship contender Stoffel Vandoorne also making the move on the Briton for fourth place.

The race then seemed to settle down when Alexander Sims went up the inside of Sergio Sette Camara in the GEOX Dragon Racing car at turn twelve where the BMW smashed into the back of James Calado in the Jaguar which dropped Calado to the back of the grid.

Sette Camara then smashed into the wall on corner exit and Neel Jani in the Porsche was caught up in the carnage and along with the Brazilian was forced out of the race. This brought out an extended safety car period.

But with his Jaguar too damaged to continue, Calado pulled into the pits to retire from the ePrix.

Before the safety car, Lucas Di Grassi in the Audi tried to make a move on Felipe Massa for tenth position but he squeezed his fellow Brazilian into turn ten which saw the two make contact and ultimately the Audi driver fell behind. Massa was ultimately given a drive-through penalty for the incident.

At the restart, Gunther was able to stay close to Vergne and began to put the Frenchman under increasing pressure. But after strong recovery drives from Vandoorne in the last two races, the Belgian got a puncture and ultimately fell down the order and was unable to pick up any points.

Then the race really started to heat up with several drivers moving their way through the order, particularly Mitch Evans and Lucas Di Grassi who both managed to finish in the points after an incident-filled race.

But after harassing Vergne for the best part of twenty laps, Gunther had his first serious look on the outside of turn one before finally making his move on the penultimate lap down at turn four.

Also, it did not take long for Frijns behind to move past Vergne as the Dutchman had a lot more energy than the top two.

Further behind, Andre Lotterer in the Porsche was able to claim fifth place after moving past Oliver Rowland in the Nissan e. dams car in the closing stages of the race.

Up front, there were two close battles in the closing stages of the ePrix with Gunther having to defend hard against Frijns in the Envision Virgin Racing car. Vergne meanwhile had to defend hard against his team-mate and championship leader Felix Da Costa.

Despite the best efforts of Frijns and Felix Da Costa, Gunther held on to take the win just 0.128 s ahead of Frijns with the DS Techeetah duo of Vergne ad Felix Da Costa finishing third and fourth just 2.5 s further behind.

Lotterer came home in fifth place, Rowland was sixth ahead of D’ Ambrosio, Di Grassi with Evans and Sims completing the top ten.

Antonio Felix Da Costa now leads the championship by 68 points over the German with three races left in the season.

Round nine of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place on August 9 at 1900 CET.

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