Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) produced a complete drive to seal victory in the Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix Round 7, heading home Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) and Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ).
Mortara had it all to do to keep a fiesty-looking Vergne back and the decisive moment came on Lap 37 as the Venturi driver went on the defensive at Turn 6, luring JEV into a move – the Frenchman diving too deep and falling 1.5s back from the Mortara driver out-front.
From there, the win was Mortara's, though Vergne scrapped hard to take second spot from fourth on the grid.
Vandoorne produced one of the drives of the day to recover from being shuffled down the order to 12th at the end of Lap 12. The Belgian had slipped by six by the halfway stage and looked as good a bet as any for the race win. Ultimately, he had to settle for third after a back-and-forth with Vergne and while the lead pair fought each other but that was enough to see the Mercedes-EQ driver hold on to the standings lead.
Andre Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team), Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and the second Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein squabbled amongst themselves throughout, eventually winding up fourth, fifth and sixth - with Evans no doubt the happiest of that trio to score well having started ninth.
Sam Bird showed good pace in the other Jaguar to follow in seventh having battled his way from 15th on the grid. Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) had run with his teammate towards the front of the pack early on but slipped to eighth, as did front-row qualifier Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) who finished ninth.
Reigning champion Nyck de Vries couldn't climb through the order as his teammate had done - the pair having run together through the opening laps - but the Dutchman nontheless salvaged a point with 10th.
That sees Vandoorne move to 96 points, with Vergne three points back and Evans 11 shy of the Frenchman while Mortara leapt into fourth. Mercedes-EQ reaffirmed its Teams' advantage with a nine-point margin over DS TECHEETAH. ROKiT Venturi Racing sits third.
The Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix Round 8 is next up tomorrow from the Berlin Tempelhof Circuit, with FP1 set to kick things off tomorrow morning at 07:15 CET, with the race itself to follow at 15:03 CET.
As it happened...
Mortara got away cleanly with Sims and da Costa following. Standings leader Vandoorne was the big loser, the Mercedes-EQ man shuffled from eighth to 12th and with work to do.
On Lap 3, da Costa made a move on Sims down at the hairpin to pinch second and a lap later, Sims lost out to Lotterer at the same spot in front of the plane – the German taking a provisional spot on the podium.
Vergne, meanwhile, saw his chance and took advantage at that same turn to slice by the Mahindra driver for fourth. The Frenchman had eyes on profiting from standings leader Vandoorne’s woes – the Mercedes drivers still down in 12th on Lap 6 after a poor start.
With 10 laps in the back, just 10 second split the top 18 runners with the field running nose to tail from Mortara back. The Swiss-French-Italian headed da Costa, by half-a-second, Lotterer, Vergne, Sims, Wehrlein, Evans, Dennis, Vandoorne and Sette Camara.
Into the first of two rounds of 30kW ATTACK MODE boosts, and Lotterer fell back a couple of spots to sixth from third. His teammate was released, meanwhile and on Lap 13, he made a move on Vergne for third and a lap later he made it by da Costa for second. Leader Mortara remained the only driver out-front yet to take ATTACK MODE.
Come the end of Lotterer’s first 30kW boost, he’d shaken out third, with Porsche sticking to the gameplan and allowing Lotterer to take second from teammate Wehrlein on Lap 16. The latter dropped behind both DS TECHEETAHs, first Vergne, then da Costa and into fifth before the Season 6 champion squeezed by his French teammate to steal third.
Come Lap 19, then-Drivers’ table topper Vandoorne had worked his way back to sixth having fallen to 12th – some recovery from the Belgian and he wasn’t done there. Sims, too, was biting back. Through his second ATTACK MODE, he clambered by the DS drivers to a provisional third spot on Lap 20.
With just over 20 minutes plus one lap to go, Mortara made his first jump through the ATTACK MODE loop and managed to hold onto second – damage successfully limited and he regained the lead a lap later at Turn 1.
The top six, bar leader Mortara, remained fluid. On Lap 22 the Venturi driver led Lotterer, Sims, Vergne, da Costa and Vandoorne but positions interchanged left, right and centre – Vandoorne looking particularly feisty as he stole fifth through Turn 1 from the Portuguese a lap later. The Mercedes-EQ driver was also two percent to the good in terms of usable energy on those around him. Some drive, as he sliced by Sims for fourth with less than 15 minutes to run.
That progress continued apace, with a spot on the podium in the Belgian’s grasp on Lap 27 as he scythed by da Costa at Turn 6 and Lotterer for second a tour later. He looked to be running a race all of his own.
The final few ATTACK MODE activations – the second of the two four-minute 30kW boosts – saw Lotterer in second jump through the loop a lap before Vandoorne, with the pair battling each other behind leader Mortara.
The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver took that second jolt on Lap 30, with Lotterer and Vandoorne making it by. It looked to be a three-driver battle for the lead. Mortara made it back by the pair for the lead on Lap 32, just after Lotterer had dispatched Lotterer at Turn 6 for second. From here, it was a five-minute straight fight for the win between the lead pair.
Meanwhile, Vergne had sneaked his way by Lotterer and was right with second-placed Vandoorne battling for second. A timely FANBOOST deployment saw him have enough to slice by the Mercedes for P2 at Turn 6.
The three-way battle for the win became four on Lap 37 as Mortara went defensive at Turn 6 and lured JEV into a go – the Frenchman diving too deep, falling 1.5s back from the Venturi driver out-front.
That move proved to be the decisive moment. From there Mortara was able to draw out a lead to seal the win, and Vergne was forced into defensive manoeuvres. Vandoorne came home third having climbed back through the pack from 12th with Lotterer rounding fourth, Evans fifth and Wehrlein sixth. Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) fought to good points in seventh ahead of da Costa, Sims and reigning champion de Vries.
Published on 14th May 2022
7 min read