Formula E

Buemi takes win as Rosenqvist handed penalty

Sebastien Buemi bounced back from a race one disqualification to take victory in the second Berlin ePrix. A pit stop error cost pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist the lead of the race, and the Mahindra driver took second despite crossing the line first.

Rosenqvist ran a near perfect race. The rookie shot away from the line, keeping championship leader Buemi behind him. Buemi stuck to Rosenqvist’s tail throughout the opening stint, but couldn’t find a way past.

During the midrace pit stop, Mahindra was keen to get their race winner out ahead of Buemi. But the team released Rosenqvist into the path of team mate Nick Heidfeld, forcing Heidfeld to take avoiding action.

Though Rosenqvist came out of the pits ahead of Buemi, he was handed a 10 second penalty for the incident, dropping him behind Buemi and putting him at risk of dropping behind Lucas Di Grassi in third.

Di Grassi had started the race seventh. An easy pass on Oliver Turvey put him behind the battling DS Virgin drivers. A mistake from Sam Bird as he tried to get past team mate Jose Maria Lopez promoted Di Grassi to fifth. He overtook Lopez just before the midrace pit stop.

Jean-Eric Vergne was once again proving he could make his car wide as he defended against Di Grassi. Vergne defended hard, but Di Grassi just about found a way past the Frenchman and set about closing the gap to the leaders.

Di Grassi finished the race 12 seconds behind Rosenqvist, meaning he couldn’t snatch second from the Mahindra driver.

He was able to lead team mate Daniel Abt over the line. The pair had worked as a team as they picked their way up through the field together. The only time Abt wasn’t in Di Grassi’s wake was as he tried to overtake Jean-Eric Vergne.

Abt used FanBoost to try to pass the Techeetah, but was too far back and could only run side by side. The pair almost collided and Abt ran wide to avoid more serious damage. He didn’t lose a position, but couldn’t pass Vergne on that occasion. He did manage to find a way past a little later.

Vergne then went on to be a road block for the still battling DS Virgin drivers, who now had Nico Prost right on their tail. Lopez was the only one of the small train to find a way past, finishing fifth ahead of Vergne. Bird and Prost followed them over the line.

Oliver Turvey dropped down the order early in the race, and crossed the line ninth.

Heidfeld rounded off the top ten. It was an eventful race for the German. After starting on the back of the grid, he managed to climb up to 16th on the opening lap. He slowly picked his way up through the field and into the top 10 in the first part of the opening stint, but then had to focus on saving energy and fell back a few positions.

The pit stop incident caused Heidfeld further delay, but came out of the pits 14th. He spent the second half of the race trying to work his way back up through the field, and crossed the line 10th. But an incident between the German and Nelson Piquet is currently under investigation, and Heidfeld could yet finish outside the points.

Antonio Felix Da Costa would be the main benefactor of that decision, currently 11th in the results, ahead of Piquet and Jerome D’Ambrosio, who was handed a drive through penalty for being under the minimum pit stop time.

Feature image credit: FIA Formula E Media

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