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Vandoorne claims first FE victory in dominant fashion

Ahead of the last round of the championship, Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne secured pole position –the first one for him in season six. One place behind him in the starting grid was Sebastien Buemi, who completed his first season in the fully-electric championship without scoring a pole position. 

Vandoorne had a clean start of the race. Rene Rast, who had qualified in third position, tried to pass Buemi as red lights went out, but his efforts were fruitless as the Swiss strongly defended his position. Rast was later overtaken by Vandoorne’s teammate Nyck de Vries, who had strong qualifiers throughout the course of the E-Prix. 

Berlin E-Prix debutant Sergio Sette Camara strongly defended his eighth position against a more experienced Lucas di Grassi who was battling hard to pass him. The Dragon driver even set a fastest lap in the early stages of the race. 

Ten minutes into the race, Buemi was able to overtake Vandoorne, but the Belgian fought back to gain his starting position. The two of them were in the fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship. 

De Vries also joined the battle, overtaking Buemi and positioning himself second in the standings, behind his teammate. The Dutch previously used Attack Mode to gain more power and pass the Swiss. 

But Buemi did not give up and he gained back his position passing de Vries. The fight for who-finished-where in the podium was on. 

Rast, who had dropped a number of places shortly after the race start, was now back in the fight to be back in a podium-position against a strong defense carried out by de Vries. 

Sette Camara would eventually drop out of the point-scoring positions, falling to P17 in the standings. 

Halfway through the race, di Grassi would push hard to overtake Robin Frijns but the Dutch would not let him pass, securing his fifth position in the standings. 

Yesterday’s winner Oliver Rowland abandoned the race as one of his tyre covers fell out. The Brit became the first driver to retire from a race that lacked major incidents. 

Sam Bird would end up overtaking di Grassi as the Brit was closely chasing him in the late stages of the race. On his last race with Envision Virgin Racing, he would go on to overtake his teammate Frijns, positioning himself fifth right behind Rast. 

Just a couple of minutes away from the end of the race, de Vries was able to overtake Buemi on the inside, aiming to have the very first Mercedes 1-2 finish in the series’ finish. 

As the chequered flag was waved, Vandoorne obtained his maiden win in Formula E. De Vries came second, completing the team’s very first 1-2 finish, closing the season on a high. Buemi came third, completing the podium. 

With this result, Vandoorne finished the championship in second position. As a matter of fact, after the Belgian finished second in the championship, the last round of the Berlin E-Prix became the fourth race in a row someone went from ninth to second in the championship. 

Rast, on his series comeback, finished fourth; while Bird waved goodbye to Envision Virgin Racing finishing fifth in his last race with the British outfit. 

Di Grassi finished in sixth position. Jean Eric Vergne, who had started the race from the other end of the grid, was able to climb up to seventh position, followed by Alex Lynn in eighth. A similar fate happened to newly-crowned series champion Antonio Felix da Costa, who finished in ninth place, with Edoardo Mortara completing the Top 10. 

Formula E’s sixth season has come to an end with a new champion and more names added to the list of winners. With a rather strange season finale, due to the ongoing global pandemic which froze any sort of racing activities for five months, when the series came back to action it provided six races full of action and championship twists.

Andrea Perilli

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