Renault e.dams enjoyed a strong second race in the Berlin ePrix double header thanks to a victory from Séb Buemi and an eighth position from Nico Prost. Not only that, they extended their lead in the Teams’ Championship, while Séb Buemi remains the man to beat in the Drivers’ standings with a commanding advantage.
The second race of the Berlin ePrix double-header opened under blue skies with warmer conditions than yesterday. Séb Buemi clocked an outstanding lap of 1:07.712s in FP3, which was the fastest laptime of the weekend, while Nico Prost was P10. The final free practice session saw Séb Buemi post the third quickest time with Nico Prost in seventh.
Both drivers drew Q2 for their qualifying runs. The championship leader made it through to Super Pole and set the second fastest lap, only 0.098s behind the pole-sitter and yesterday’s race winner Felix Rosenqvist. Nico Prost had to settle for P10.
Séb Buemi started from the front row in P2, with his team-mate eight positions behind, and both drivers made clean getaways. Séb remained P2 while Nico Prost made up one place after overtaking Mitch Evans to end the first lap in ninth. Nico Prost was on a mission to slice his way through the pack and soon made a successful move on Oliver Turvey to go P8. On lap 17, both DS Virgin Racing drivers collided which meant Sam Bird dropped to P7. One lap later, Nico Prost was able to pass the Brit to grab P7.
During the mandatory pit stop to swap cars, the Mahindra drivers almost crashed in the pitlane. Rosenqvist remained in the lead when he exited the pitlane but the incident was soon investigated and the FIA stewards issued the Swedish with a 10 second time penalty for an unsafe pit release. This promoted Séb Buemi into the lead of the race.
During the final stages, battle commenced between Jean-Eric Vergne, Sam Bird and Nico Prost. Bird had managed to repass Nico Prost during the pit stops but the Frenchman put his foot down to attack but was unable to reclaim his position back. Subsequently, he finished in eighth position.
Renault e.dams leave the Berlin ePrix with 229 points under their belt : Séb Buemi holds a convincing lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 157 points while Nico Prost has dropped to fourth behind Rosenqvist with a total of 72 points. The next event will be held at a new venue : New York City, which features another double-header race weekend on July 15-16.
Alain Prost, co-owner of the team : “All of the team did a very good job following what happened yesterday. One of our strengths is that we can bounce back. I would like to say a big congratulations to the whole team.”
Jean-Paul Driot, co-owner of the team : “We are very pleased to win the second race in Berlin. We didn’t attack in the last ten laps as we expected Felix Rosenqvist to be given a 10s time penalty. Regarding the disappointment of yesterday ; winning today and with Di Grassi taking third place, this allowed us to re-claim the 10 points we lost, in a fair manner from yesterday. We extend our lead in the Teams’ championship by a small margin which is a satisfying feeling for us before we head to New York City with we hope, Sébastien Buemi."
Séb Buemi - #9 : “I secured my second place at the start of the race and from then I drove a faultless race. There was a light touch in the first corner which I was afraid could potentially cost me during the race. I started the race on a used set of tyres in the hope of being even more competitive with the second car. During the first part of the race, I tried to follow Felix’s rhythm in order not to be too far behind and to lead the rest of the pack. Despite the fact we did a good car swap and that I had the Fanboost, I didn’t manage to overtake him. The objective for him was to cross the line with at least a 10s advantage ahead of Di Grassi. I would like to say a big congratulations to him for both races.”
Nico Prost - #8 : “It was somewhat of a frustrating day. This morning we had good pace during both practice sessions but had a disappointing qualifying. I started the race positively and managed to overtake Mitch, Oliver and Sam. But then I lost places during the pitstop because we were blocked due to the unsafe release from the Mahindra cars. After that, I couldn’t overtake. So P8 is not a good result, as I think we could have achieved at least a fifth place today.”