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After five months without competition, Tempelhof is ready to host an exciting season finale

Thanks to the detailed bio-security protocol carried out by the ABB Formula E organisation, the German government has given the green light to the resumption of the 2019/2020 season, which will come to an end with six races in nine days.

The designated circuit is the old Tempelhof airport, located in the heart of Berlin and historically recognized for its role during World War II, the Cold War, and, after its closure in 2008, used for various activities such as the constitution of a public park, a place for refugees or, in this case, a Formula E track.

Returning to the competition; August 5-6, 8-9 and 12-13 will be the dates of the six races that will be held at Tempelhof. But the interesting thing is that the track will not be the same in any of the three double-headers that make up this championship closure: During the 24 hours that remain between each one, the pertinent modifications will be made to the circuit. It will also include four mid-week races, each with race start times of 7pm CET; weekday clashes taking place outside of traditional working hours and weekend races avoiding as many clashes as possible with the evening start times.

The dates of August 5-6 and 8-9 will run on the traditional Berlin Tempelhof Circuit, but the first two races will run on the reverse. For its part, the last couple of races will be held at a new circuit, which will be based on the traditional one, but in this case adding new curves to give it greater complexity in the final sector of the track.

Image courtesy FIA Formula E

As Sporting Director Frederic Espinos told to the AAB Formula E official site: “We’re doing something that has never been seen before in world-class motorsport and it’s an example of how reactive and innovative Formula E is – it’s in our DNA.”

Jaguar Racing Team Director James Barclay believes the three layouts will add to the excitement of the six-race season finale. Barclay said: “I think it’s a really smart move by Formula E and the FIA. If we’d had the same circuit for six races in a row, I think the quality of the teams in amongst the pit lane and everyone’s continued to evolve and refine, I think potentially it wouldn’t have made for the best spectacle and Formula E can be unpredictable, so I think that’s clearly been part of the agenda.”

“Starting with the reverse layout is definitely going to be a bit of a twist on how we normally go racing but that’s a good and efficient way of having another layout without a huge amount of cost. It means you’ll have to quickly go back to the drawing in terms of your simulations and looking at your strategy for the race as it does throw a few things at you that are different.

“We didn’t have a huge amount of notice in terms of getting the circuit but obviously the time frame from the confirmation we were hard at work getting ourselves ready. “I think, finishing the season on the new layout is also a really smart move. It’s not something we’ve had time to do a usual amount of preparation for. There’s not loads and loads of seasons experience there for everybody.

“Certain teams have gone really well here in the past and in some ways it equalises things to some degree. The surface conditions are quite unique here and they still remain but throwing a new circuit in at the end is a smart way of keeping the unpredictability right to the end.”

This continuous innovation raised by the organisation, added to the number of months without activity of the drivers, generates an unprecedented difficulty and need for concentration for the pilots of the category, as well as great uncertainty in the fans who are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the season.

11 points are those that separate Antonio Félix da Costa from Mitch Evans at the top of the drivers’ championship, and only eight points between DS Techeetah and BMW i Andretti Motorsport. Between masks, helmets and speed, the 180 points on offer that will be distributed in these nine days of assured spectacle in what is going to be an exciting season finale.

Luciano Foglia

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