Formula E

Rowland takes maiden victory at Berlin as champions struggle

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Oliver Rowland wins in Berlin
Credit: Formula E

Oliver Rowland won his first Formula E race at the Berlin Templehof Airport by just under two seconds over Robin Frijns with Rene Rast taking the final podium place in only his fourth Formula E race.

Rowland made a good start from pole position ahead of the Envision Virgin Racing car of Frijns who slotted into second place with Neel Jani holding third place as the pack went through the first few corners.

Further down the order, there was rubbing and crunching which saw race winners Maxmillian Gunther and Sam Bird pick up damage which ultimately saw the German retire and Bird have to pit for a new tire after losing pressure.

Formula E Champion Antonio Felix Da Costa was a man on the move and he soon got into fifteenth place after a great start from the DS Techeetah driver.

But things soon got interesting for the Portuguese driver after Lucas Di Grassi was very aggressive in his defence against Felix Da Costa as he picked up a puncture which forced the Brazilian into the pit-lane to change his tires.

Further forward, Venturi racer Felipe Massa started to fall down through the field with the Brazilian dropping from eighth down to sixteenth place in just a few laps.

After the top two were nose-to-tail before the first attack mode, Nissan e. dams driver Rowland was able to pull out comfortable gap to Frijns as the Brit began to control the pace out at the front of the race.

Meanwhile, double Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne was given a penalty for battery over-cooling which put him down to the back of the grid.

Andre Lotterer in the Porsche Racing car managed to over-cut his team-mate Jani and Alex Lynn in the Mahindra by going long before deploying his first attack mode to be a net third place.

It was a good drive from Mitch Evans for the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team as the New Zealander once again made his way through the order, finishing seventh after starting from thirteenth on the grid. But after starting sixth on the grid, his British-Swedish team-mate Tom Blomqvist fell down the order to finish twelfth on the road.

Further up the order, the two battles were between Lotterer and Rast over third and Jani and Lynn over fifth place.

Alex Lynn made the move on the Swiss racer down into turn one during the closing stages of the race. The Briton was able to look after his energy much better than the Porsche racer and claimed a career-best fifth by the flag.

In the battle for the final podium place, former DTM Champion Rene Rast made a lunge on Andre Lotterer at the hairpin and was able to pass his fellow countryman on the last lap of the race.

But at the flag, it was Rowland who took the victory ahead of Frijns and Rast completing the podium.

This now means that the Nissan driver moves from ninth to second in the drivers championship with just one race left in the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

After coming up through the order, the new champion Felix Da Costa did not have enough energy to make it to the flag and failed to make it around the last lap.

Sebastien Buemi was the only champion who was able to recover to finish inside the points with a tenth place finish, thus showing how difficult it is to carve your way through the field in the all-electric single-seater series.

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