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De Vries becomes Formula E’s first world champion, Nato claims maiden win

Nyck de Vries became Formula E’s first ever world champion in a dramatic final race of the season at Berlin.

Two of de Vries' championship rivals were wiped out of the race before they crossed the start finish line at the start of the race, with Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans having a technical issue and Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara involved. Both were seemingly okay following the crash.

After a lengthy red flag, BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Jake Dennis locked up and hit the wall at Turn 1, retiring from the race. De Vries himself was subject to multiple close calls throughout the race. But the Mercedes’ driver hung on to take eighth in the race and the title.

The race was red flagged and started again behind the safety car. De Vries was running just outside the top 10 at this point, with championship rival Dennis a few positions ahead. But Dennis’ race would come undone when racing resumed. He was trying to fight Buemi for position when a technical problem led to a lock up and he ran into the wall at turn one.

The incident was cleared under full course yellows and de Vries moved up into the top 10.

By this point, the only people who could challenge de Vries for the title were much further down the order and needed a victory to take the points lead.

The race settled down for de Vries as he quietly moved forward while Stoffel Vandoorne and Alexander Sims battled for second and third.

Another safety car – this time to clear Antonio Felix Da Costa’s car after he was fed into the wall by Lucas Di Grassi – bunched up the order and the drama started again for de Vries.

The champion elect made a move on Sims for third, only for Sims to fight back. This led to de Vries coming under attack from Andre Lotterer and Vandoorne. The three ran side by side, with the two Mercedes drivers making minor contact, but they managed to get away with the incident.

De Vries slipped further back and a late lunge to try to take Jean-Eric Vergne almost cost him as he made contact with the wall, but he was still able to continue.

He avoided any last lap drama, though fell behind the late charging Sam Bird to finish the race P8, but it was enough to secure his championship title.

Despite the retirement, Edoardo Mortara would take second in the championship ahead of Dennis and Evans.

The race victory went the way of Norman Nato, who had taken the lead early on and was unchallenged throughout.

Oliver Rowland held off Vandorne and Lotterer to take second in his final race for Nissan, with Sims coming home P5.

Pascal Wehrlein had a quiet race and avoided the drama to finish sixth ahead of Bird and de Vries.

Rene Rast took ninth in Audi’s final race in the championship, with Tom Blomqvist rounding out the top 10 as he scored a point for the NIO333 outfit.

Bethonie Waring

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