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Oliver Rowland takes the win in Berlin’s penultimate round

With only one race to go, Oliver Rowland clinched victory and the fight for who finishes runner-up behind Antonio Felix da Costa in the drivers’ championship is more alive than ever.

Round 10 began with surprises early on in qualifying: the four champions who take part in the series were left out, not being able to complete the lap in time. Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi, Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi and the two DS Techeetah drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa started from the back of the grid. 

Nissan’s Oliver Rowland, Envision Virgin Racing Robin Frijns and Neel Jani in the Porsche, were the ones who, in that order, occupied the first positions at the start of the race. Rene Rast for Audi, Alex Lynn for Mahindra – who once again got to Super pole, and Tom Blomqvist with Jaguar Racing were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Quickly after the start, Sam Bird had an incident at Turn 4 that dropped him to the bottom of the standings. Jani took third place and Porsche’s Andre Lotterer, one of the Fanboost winners of the day, was able to advance two places and  position himself in fifth.

BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Guenther, who was in contention for second place in the championship, dropped out for the second consecutive race after di Grassi collided with him from behind. Guenther in the 2019-20 season has either finished on the podium or not scored, a run that has now lasted 10 races.

Da Costa demonstrated the high level he is at from the first moments of the race, achieving the best times and advancing several positions. Buemi kept up with the Portuguese, unlike Vergne and di Grassi, who after experiencing different problems, were unable to advance several positions.

Jani was the first of the above mentioned to use Attack Mode, forcing the two drivers ahead of him to follow suit in order to defend their position. Rowland began to get away in first position, maintaining a constant gap of two seconds. 

After Jani took his second Attack Mode on lap 19, Lotterer advanced into the entertaining fight for third place alongside Rast. Unlike the previous races at the Tempelhof circuit, with the exception of the fight for third position, the drivers occupying the first positions were increasing the distance between each passing lap.

Lynn was able to maintain the pace throughout the race, managing to defend his position in a very good way, having a consistency that he had not shown in Berlin before.

One of most exciting moments of the race happened in the last corners, when Rast, with his Audi, won the position from Lotterer through a controversial manoeuvre. The stewards investigated this pass but decided no further action was required.

In the end, it was Rowland who smoothly managed to finish in first position, followed by Frijns, Rast, Lotterer, and Lynn completing the Top Five. Jani, Evans, Mortara, Vandoorne, and Buemi completed the top 10 positions, the latter with a good performance if we take into account his qualifying.

Luciano Foglia

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