Berlin E-Prix V: Rowland dominates from pole for first FE win

Matt Kew
·4 min read
Rowland claims first FE win from pole in Berlin
Rowland claims first FE win from pole in Berlin

Oliver Rowland expertly controlled the fifth Berlin race to score his maiden Formula E victory over Robin Frijns, as Rene Rast just crept onto the podium with a last-lap overtake.

Rowland built a 1% useable energy advantage on the extended Tempelhof Airport circuit to control proceedings over Envision Virgin Racing driver Frijns.

He led from lights to flag to seal a 1.9s win in a 36-lap race, even though the timing screens had to reset after scoring the classification one tour prematurely.

Frijns drew his car's nose alongside into Turn 1 at the start, but Rowland had the inside line to lead by 0.4s at the end of the opening lap as newly-crowned champion Antonio Felix da Costa jumped from 21st - having failed to set a lap in qualifying - to 16th.

With Frijns activating both of his 35kW attack mode boosts before Rowland, the Briton never dropped from first place and with Jean-Eric Vergne failing to score points, Rowland jumped from ninth in the championship standings up to second.

Audi driver Rast scored a last-ditch podium, having harried the rear of Andre Lotterer's Porsche for much of the closing third of the race.

The FE newcomer took his second and final attack mode later than Lotterer, but he failed to put it to use as he remained in fourth as the four-minute advantage ran out.

Instead, he bullied his way up the inside through the second sector and the pair remained rubbing side-by-side for a string of corners until Rast held the inside line at the Turn 15 hairpin.

But Rast, who replaced Daniel Abt at the Audi team for the Berlin races, remains under investigation for the manoeuvre.

Rowland claims first FE win from pole in Berlin
Rowland claims first FE win from pole in Berlin

Similarly, team-mate Lucas di Grassi was handed a 5s penalty after he span in an incident with da Costa.

The pair made progress through the field as they recovered from their group-one qualifying blunder, but as di Grassi passed into Turn 1 he cut across the DS Techeetah car's nose and slid.

Di Grassi was given the blame and classified 21st, while a late car failure dropped da Costa from the points down to 22nd.

Alex Lynn took the Mahindra Racing machine to fifth, after an enduring battle with third-starting Neel Jani.

The Porsche driver, who is expected to be replaced next season by Mahindra refugee Pascal Wehrlein, had been a strong but distant third until he lost out through the attack mode cycles and fell to sixth - but still enough for the team's best FE combined finish in its debut season.

A strong recovery and two late uses of attack mode allowed Mitch Evans into seventh for Jaguar ahead of the Venturi Racing car of Edoardo Mortara.

Stoffel Vandoorne edged ninth for Mercedes after a late deployment of his fanboost relegated Sebastien Buemi - stablemate to Rowland - down to 10th.

Behind Alexander Sims, Jaguar stand-in Tom Blomqvist looked set for a points finish on his series return until a late collapse dropped him to 12th.

A drivethrough penalty for Vergne for an over-cooled battery on the grid meant he wound up 18th in DS Techeetah's second non-score of the season.

Maximilian Guenther continued his inconsistent trend, after the race three winner ran to only 22nd after a right-rear puncture caused by a hit from di Grassi.

The BMW Andretti driver did resume late on in the race and 32 laps down before slowing immediately at the pit exit.

Results - 36 laps

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.dams

47m28.880s

2

Robin Frijns

Virgin

1.903s

3

Rene Rast

Audi

7.490s

4

Andre Lotterer

Porsche

7.863s

5

Alex Lynn

Mahindra

11.441s

6

Neel Jani

Porsche

12.922s

7

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

14.106s

8

Edoardo Mortara

Venturi

17.134s

9

Stoffel Vandoorne

Mercedes

18.949s

10

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.dams

19.731s

11

Alexander Sims

BMW

23.331s

12

Tom Blomqvist

Jaguar

24.807s

13

Felipe Massa

Venturi

27.775s

14

Nyck de Vries

Mercedes

28.723s

15

Sergio Sette Camara

Dragon

31.132s

16

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Mahindra

31.524s

17

Nico Muller

Dragon

34.140s

18

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS Techeetah

34.986s

19

Oliver Turvey

NIO

44.377s

20

Sam Bird

Virgin

46.591s

21

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

1m15.119s

22

Maximilian Guenther

BMW

32 Laps

-

Antonio Felix da Costa

DS Techeetah

Retirement

-

Daniel Abt

NIO

Retirement


Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus