Di Grassi scoops the win in Berlin in a home race for Audi while Nissan e.dams Sebastien Buemi settles for second ahead of reigning champion and DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne in third. Here’s how it all happened.
Starting from Pole, Nissan e.dams Sebastien Buemi led the pack around the 2.375km Tempelhof circuit. After starting from the back of the pack, DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer made up for lost ground, climbing up to 16th within the first lap.
Former champ Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler), eager to climb up from his third place start, passed HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne on Turn 6, five minutes into the race. Just minutes later, the Brazilian challenged Buemi for the top spot, passing once again on Turn 6.
Working from the back, Lotterer continued to attack, moving up into 15th. With the memory of his spectacular ‘perfect race’ last season, still fresh in his mind, Audi’s Daniel Abt made a break for a podium place, moving up into fourth going into Turn 1.
Still in 15th, Lotterer engaged ATTACK MODE with 32 minutes remaining. New for the 2018/19 season, each driver is able to pick up an in-race power boost by traveling through ATTACK MODE Activation Zone off the racing line on Turn 6. Each driver can activate the mode twice, with each boost (25kW) lasting for four minutes.
Now, with 20 minutes remaining, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio da Felix Costa moved up into second, challenging di Grassi in his Audi while Buemi followed in third. With the German manufacturers battling for the win in Berlin, only one could take the top step of the podium.
With 17 minutes remaining, Buemi engaged his FANBOOST to regain the lost ground he lost and overtook da Costa to move up to second. Approaching the final 10 minutes, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Alex Lynn stopped on track on the start/finish line, reporting rear axel issues. With a Full Course Yellow deployed while Lynn’s stricken car was recovered, the racing restarted with nine and a half minutes to go.
Further down the running, both DS Techeetah drivers had made up ground, with Vergne challenging for the Podium, taking da Costa on the inside of Turn 10 to move up into third. Further back, Vergne’s teammate Lotterer was in trouble. Despite making up 10 places since the start of the race, the German driver found himself in the pits due to a battery issue, ending his home race early.
With less than a minute and one lap to go, Buemi battled to hold off Vergne in third while di Grassi maintained his lead into the final lap, passing by an adoring crowd in his Audi e-tron FE.05.
With one final challenge – albeit unsuccessful – from Vergne, Buemi led the Frenchman across the finish line in second, behind a victorious di Grassi in a home race for Audi.