Nick Cassidy wins wild Berlin race and takes championship lead

The Jaguar festival continues: Nick Cassidy won a crazy first Formula E race in Berlin this weekend. Starting from ninth place, the Jaguar driver beat Jean-Eric Vergne in the DS Penske. Oliver Rowland (Nissan) completed the podium after starting from position 15. For Cassidy it is the seventh victory in his 56th start in the Electric World Championship and the second in 2024. With his Berlin triumph, Cassidy repeats his success from last year. In 2023, the 29-year-old became the 15th different winner in Germany’s capital and was now only the fourth driver to repeat his previous year’s victory. The Jaguar factory team celebrates its second victory in a row after the double success in Monaco. Vergne is on a Formula E podium for the 35th time, Rowland can look forward to his eleventh podium, of which the Briton collected five in the 2024 season.

Cassidy wins with an extreme energy saving strategy

Cassidy made use of a clever energy-saving strategy; until the 37th of 46 laps, the New Zealander wasn’t even in the top 10. Cassidy then quickly worked his way forward and took the lead on lap 43, at which point he had around two percent more remaining energy than his direct competition. He then clearly separated himself from the rest of the field and crossed the finish line with a lead of 4.651 seconds.

“That was crazy,” said a satisfied Cassidy after the end of the race. “It’s great for the team, they were flawless. All the communication and strategy was perfect. To be honest, I didn’t have the car to win today, but somehow I did it.” Jaguar also surprised the competition with the unusual strategy, as second-placed Vergne revealed: “I thought I had the win in the bag, but we didn’t see Nick coming.”

Energy saving battle causes chaos

Behind the top three were Cassidy’s teammate Mitch Evans, who was trumped by his compatriot in the final laps, and Porsche works driver Pascal Wehrlein. The drivers at the front fought a crazy and close battle throughout the race, with several cars often driving through the corners next to each other. As expected, the race in Berlin was a so-called energy-saving battle, so that the drivers often waved past without a fight and the lead changed wildly back and forth.

Wehrlein’s teammate Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne in the second DS Penske followed in sixth and seventh place. Vandoorne, who started from second place, had previously been thrown out of the points after a collision between Abt Cupra driver Lucas Di Grassi and Dan Ticktum, but fought his way back.

Maximilian Günther retires early after an accident

Pole-sitter Edoardo Mortara (Mahindra), Rowland team-mate Sacha Fenestraz and Taylor Barnard (McLaren-Nissan) completed the top 10. However, Fenestraz is currently still undergoing an investigation by race management due to a collision with debutant Paul Aron (Envision-Jaguar). For Barnard, who is also replacing Sam Bird this weekend, who was unable to compete with a broken bone, it is the first point in Formula E.

Local hero Maximilian Günther finished his first home race at the Wall. The Allgäuer, lying in eighth place, touched the rear of Mortara at the exit of Turn 2, causing Günther’s front wing to get caught under his Maserati DS. Günther then lost control of his vehicle and turned into the wall, making further contact with Jake Hughes’ McLaren-Nissan. The incident triggered the second safety car of the race on lap 30.

The first safety car phase of the race was provided by Joel Eriksson (Envision-Jaguar) on the eleventh lap, who stopped at the exit of Turn 4. Before the safety car, a full course yellow phase was declared on lap ten, which caused confusion due to the cars driving close together. Race director Scot Elkins finally ordered that Vandoorne Wehrlein, who was in second place at the time, had to let past. He also ordered a swap of places between Lucas Di Grassi and Oliver Rowland and between Kelvin van der Linde and Paul Aron.

Abt bankruptcy after numerous contacts

For the German team Abt-Cupra the race did not go as hoped. Lucas Di Grassi, who started from seventh place, was spun in turn 7 on lap 21 by ERT driver Dan Ticktum. Di Grassi returned to the pits and ended the race early. The incident is currently being investigated by race management.

Teammate Kelvin van der Linde, who is replacing regular driver Nico Müller this weekend, also came away empty-handed. In the chaos, the South African had worked his way up to ninth place, but had to come into the pits with front wing damage during the Günther safety car on lap 30. Van der Linde contracted this when he came into contact with Fenestraz. Nevertheless, van der Linde managed to work his way back into the top 10 with a few laps to go. But in the end, van der Linde missed his first Formula E point by just 0.489 seconds in eleventh place. Van der Linde is also facing an investigation by race management for a collision with Norman Nato (Andretti-Porsche).

In addition to Müller, four other regular Formula E drivers are missing this weekend. Sam Bird (McLaren-Nissan) is still missing after breaking his hand in Monaco training two weeks ago and will again be represented by Taylor Barnard. In addition, four regular drivers, including Müller, are starting today in the WEC race in Spa.

Can such scheduling conflicts be avoided in the future? At least for the long-term future, Formula E co-founder Alberto Longo was pessimistic on Friday in Berlin. You can read all the details in this article:

World champion Dennis and Günther teammate with late drama

Reigning world champion Jake Dennis experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in the first Berlin race. From 20th place, Dennis worked his way up to fourth place before he braked badly in turn 5 on lap 36. A few laps later, the Brit had to come into the pits with a puncture and end the race prematurely. The same fate had befallen his teammate Norman Nato earlier in the race, who finished 18th.

Günther’s teammate Jehan Daruvala also experienced a bitter race. Before the race, the Indian was given two 20-position penalties for changing the rear gearbox twice and therefore also had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty during the race. Nevertheless, Daruvala worked his way into the points. But on lap 41, Daruvala came off the track in turn 9 with front wing damage and finished more than a lap behind in P17.

Formula E 2024: This is how it continues

The second race will take place in Berlin tomorrow at 3:04 p.m., but only 38 laps are scheduled for it, two fewer than on Saturday. The German TV channel DF1 shows the Berlin ePrix live on free TV. In Austria, the private broadcaster ServusTV broadcasts the races of the Electric World Championship. In 2024 there are 16 races on ten race weekends on the racing calendar.

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