Open main menu

The 2015 Berlin ePrix, formally known as the 2015 DHL Berlin ePrix, was a Formula E motor race that took place on 23 May 2015 on the purpose-built Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit in Berlin. It was the eighth round of the 2014–15 Formula E season. A special anti-clockwise track was built for the race next to the terminal building of the closed airport, including 17 turns over a distance of 2.469 km (1.534 mi).

2015 Berlin ePrix
Race 8 of 11 of the 2014–15 Formula E season
Layout of the Berlin-Tempelhof Formula E street circuit
Layout of the Berlin-Tempelhof Formula E street circuit
Race details[1]
Date 23 May 2015
Official name 2015 FIA Formula E DHL Berlin ePrix[2]
Location Tempelhof airport, Berlin, Germany
Course Temporary circuit
Course length 2.469 km (1.534 mi)
Distance 33 laps, 81.477 km (50.622 mi)
Pole position
Driver Trulli
Time 1:21.547
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. China
Time 1:24.435 on lap 20
Podium
First Dragon
Second e.dams
Third Dragon

Prior to the ePrix, Lucas di Grassi was leading the Drivers' Championship by four points over Nelson Piquet, Jr., while e.dams Renault led the Teams' Championship in front of second placed Audi Sport ABT.

Jarno Trulli started the race from pole position, but eventually retired. The race was initially won by championship leader Lucas di Grassi. After di Grassi's car was found to have used a modified front wing, the victory was handed to second-placed Jérôme d'Ambrosio. As a result of the race, Nelson Piquet, Jr. took the lead in the drivers' championship.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

On 11 July 2013, it was announced that the newly founded Formula E, a class of auto racing for one-make, single-seater, electrically powered racing cars, was set to race in Berlin on the apron of Tempelhof airport,[3] which was closed in October 2008.[4] In April 2014, the race was included in the FIA's final calendar.[5] Prior to the ePrix, Formula One had visited Berlin in 1959 for the German Grand Prix held at the AVUS highway track, a race marred by the death of Frenchman Jean Behra, who died in an accident during a Formula Two support race.[6][7] Local politicians in Berlin supported the race, with the Senator for Economy, Technology and Research, Cornelia Yzer [de] saying that Berlin "as the capital of electric mobility" was predestined for such an event. However, the Senate of Berlin did not agree to the organiser's plea to be allowed to hold the race at the central Straße des 17. Juni street overlooking the Brandenburg Gate.[8]

Coming into the race from Monaco two weeks earlier, Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT) was leading the championship with 93 points, four ahead of his compatriot Nelson Piquet, Jr. (NEXTEV TCR). Another six points adrift, third placed Sébastien Buemi (e.dams Renault) was the only driver who scored two victories over the course of the season, but less consistent outings prevented him from placing higher up in the standings.[9] In the teams' championship, e.dams Renault on 160 points had a 45-point lead over Audi Sport ABT.[10]

The circuitEdit

The 2.469 km (1.534 mi) anti-clockwise circuit was designed by Rodrigo Nunes, featuring 17 corners.[11][12] It was described as a "twisty and challenging circuit" by Formula E driver Nick Heidfeld (Venturi), who also stated that "overtaking will not be easy" due to the nature of the course.[12] Construction of the track started 14 May, nine days prior to the race.[13]

World recordEdit

Between qualifying and the race, a new world record was set for the largest parade of electric vehicles, when 577 cars and scooters took to the track. The parade surpassed the previous record set in September 2014 in Silicon Valley, United States.[14][15]

ReportEdit

All sessions took place on Saturday, 23 May 2015,[1] in contrast to Formula One, where all sessions are divided up over a three- to four-day period.[16]

Free practiceEdit

 
Cars pass through turn ten.

Two free practice sessions were held before qualifying, running for 45 and 30 minutes respectively.[1] The first session started at 08:15 local time, with Sébastien Buemi topping the timesheets for e.dams-Renault in a time of 1:23.158.[17] The track got faster as the temperatures rose and more cars drove around the circuit; lap times improved by more than a second in the second session, which started at 10:30. This time, it was championship leader Lucas di Grassi who topped the timesheets with a lap time of 1:22.032.[17]

QualifyingEdit

In contrast to other racing series such as Formula One, Formula E has a specific qualifying mode, in which the twenty drivers are divided up into four groups, leaving enough space on track for everyone to produce lap times without interference by other drivers. Each group had ten minutes on track and the fastest time of each driver determined the grid position. A lottery determined which drivers started in which group. With five-minute breaks between the groups, qualifying had an overall length of 55 minutes.[18]

Racing veteran Jarno Trulli (Trulli GP) started in the first group, as qualifying began at 12:00, and posted a strong time of 1:21.547 early in the session, being the first to lap the course in under 1:22. Also in the group was Nelson Piquet, Jr. – second in the championship – who ultimately managed only 13th place on the grid. As qualifying progressed, championship leader Lucas di Grassi and Monaco winner Sébastien Buemi came close to beating Trulli's time, but proved unable to do so, handing Trulli a surprising[19] pole position, his first in Formula E.[20]

RaceEdit

A special feature of Formula E was the "Fan Boost" feature, an additional 30 kilowatts (40 hp) of power to use for five seconds during the race. The three drivers, who were allowed to use the boost, were determined by a fan vote.[18] For the Berlin race, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Sébastien Buemi and Charles Pic (NEXTEV TCR) were handed the extra power. For Piquet, it was the third boost in a row, while both Buemi and Pic were able to use it for the first time.[19]

 
Local driver Daniel Abt spun early in the race, leaving him out of the points.

At the start of the race, Lucas di Grassi challenged Jarno Trulli for the lead, but Trulli closed the racing line into turn one. As Trulli lost the rear end of the car going into turn three, di Grassi took the lead. The other Audi Sport Abt of Daniel Abt was less fortunate, being sent into a spin at the same corner, dropping to the back of the field. Nelson Piquet, Jr. immediately made up for ground lost in qualifying, gaining three positions during the first lap, running in tenth place. At turn six on the following lap, he went past Stéphane Sarrazin (Venturi) for ninth. While di Grassi built an early lead, several manoeuvres were made behind him, with Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) losing two positions to Jérôme d'Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Vitantonio Liuzzi (Trulli GP), dropping back to seventh. Pole sitter Jarno Trulli looked to be in trouble with his car and lost positions continuously, running in thirteenth after lap twelve. Third placed Nick Heidfeld was also unable to hold onto his podium position, being overtaken by d'Ambrosio on lap thirteen.

 
Loïc Duval finished third, his first podium finish in Formula E.

The mandatory pit stops, during which all drivers needed to change into a second car,[18] started on lap 17. Everyone came in at this point except the two NEXTEV TCR drivers Piquet and Charles Pic. D'Ambrosio managed to get ahead of Buemi into second place thanks to swift work from his crew. Piquet benefited from his late stop by moving ahead into eighth after everyone had pitted and having more power left to use towards the end of the race. Heidfeld ran into additional trouble during the second half of the race, losing two positions during the final laps to both Loïc Duval (Dragon Racing) and the fast running Piquet, who managed to finish fifth from thirteenth on the grid, even closing on Duval on the final lap. Meanwhile, di Grassi won comfortably from d'Ambrosio, the gap being more than twelve seconds.[19]

Post-raceEdit

After the chequered flag fell, Lucas di Grassi's car stopped on the way back to pit lane.[19] Once his car returned to parc fermé, it failed post-race scrutineering, and was found to have a modified front wing, leading to his disqualification.[21] This meant that Jérôme d'Ambrosio was handed his first Formula E victory, moving him into fifth place in the drivers' championship. Nelson Piquet, Jr. recovered from his "dismal" qualifying performance to finish an eventual fourth, taking the championship lead.[19] While e.dams Renault retained their lead in the teams' championship, the strong result for the Dragon Racing squad meant they moved up into second.[22] The Abt team decided not to appeal the decision against Di Grassi, while emphasizing that the front wing did not lead to a performance advantage.[23] Di Grassi himself responded on Twitter, writing: "They are trying to make me win this championship in the hard mode. Don't worry, we will be back to kick some Piquet and Buemi ass on track."[24]

D'Ambrosio was delighted with the result, commenting: "It was a great weekend for us overall. I think in the last four races we've had the pace to be on the podium but we didn't always manage to put it all together in the race. [...] This time we did it and it paid off!" He however added regret about the fact that he and the team were unable to celebrate the win and a double podium at the respective ceremony.[22]

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 10   Jarno Trulli Trulli 1:21.547
2 11   Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 1:21.623 +0.076
3 9   Sébastien Buemi e.dams-Renault 1:21.685 +0.138
4 23   Nick Heidfeld Venturi 1:21.710 +0.163
5 66   Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 1:21.754 +0.207
6 7   Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 1:21.861 +0.314
7 8   Nicolas Prost e.dams-Renault 1:21.911 +0.364
8 6   Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 1:21.917 +0.370
9 30   Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi 1:21.978 +0.431
10 27   Jean-Éric Vergne Andretti 1:22.015 +0.468
11 18   Vitantonio Liuzzi Trulli 1:22.032 +0.485
12 28   Scott Speed Andretti 1:22.096 +0.549
13 99   Nelson Piquet, Jr. NEXTEV TCR 1:22.310 +0.763
14 3   Jaime Alguersuari Virgin Racing 1:22.395 +0.848
15 2   Sam Bird Virgin Racing 1:22.437 +0.890
16 77   Salvador Durán Amlin Aguri 1:22.444 +0.897
17 88   Charles Pic NEXTEV TCR 1:22.464 +0.917
18 21   Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 1:22.575 +1.028
19 55   António Félix da Costa Amlin Aguri 1:22.586 +1.039
20 5   Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 1:22.803 +1.256
Source:[17]

RaceEdit

 
Lucas di Grassi was disqualified for using non-standardised components.
Pos. No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7   Jérôme d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 33 48:26.566 6 25
2 9   Sébastien Buemi e.dams-Renault 33 +2.433 3 18
3 6   Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 33 +3.508 8 15
4 99   Nelson Piquet, Jr. NEXTEV TCR 33 +3.975 13 141
5 23   Nick Heidfeld Venturi 33 +13.046 4 10
6 30   Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi 33 +13.335 9 8
7 27   Jean-Éric Vergne Andretti 33 +13.678 10 6
8 2   Sam Bird Virgin Racing 33 +14.055 15 4
9 18   Vitantonio Liuzzi Trulli 33 +15.636 11 2
10 8   Nicolas Prost e.dams-Renault 33 +16.602 7 1
11 55   António Félix da Costa Amlin Aguri 33 +16.797 19
12 3   Jaime Alguersuari Virgin Racing 33 +20.594 14
13 28   Scott Speed Andretti 33 +21.149 12
14 66   Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 33 +23.688 5
15 88   Charles Pic NEXTEV TCR 33 +25.491 17
16 77   Salvador Durán Amlin Aguri 33 +44.157 16
17 21   Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 33 +46.257 18
18 5   Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 33 +52.7032 20
19 10   Jarno Trulli Trulli 31 Brakes 1 33
DSQ 11   Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 33 Disqualified4 2
Source:[17]
Notes
  • ^1  – Two points for fastest lap.
  • ^2  – 28 second time penalty for exceeding maximum power usage.
  • ^3  – Three points for pole position.
  • ^4  – Excluded from race for non-standardised components.

Standings after the raceEdit

Drivers or teams listed in bold were still able to take their respective titles.

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Race Timetable". berlin.fiaformulae.com. FIA. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. ^ "2015 Formula E – Berlin ePrix". FIA. Archived from the original on 2015-05-16. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  3. ^ Harberg, Kalle (11 July 2013). "Der große Preis von Tempelhof" [The Grand Prix of Tempelhof] (in German). Tagesspiegel. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  4. ^ Hebel, Christina (30 October 2008). "Schließung des Flughafens Tempelhof: Endstation Wehmut" [Closure of Tempelhof Airport: terminal nostalgia]. spiegel.de (in German). Spiegel online. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ "FIA confirms Formula E updates following World Motor Sport Council". FIA. 11 April 2014. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Brooks and Ferrari shine amid the tedium". espn.co.uk. ESPN. 2 August 1959. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Vergilbter Glanz einer Legende". stern.de. 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  8. ^ Busse, Axel F. (17 May 2015). "Mit 225 Sachen durch Berlin" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Driver's Championship: Monaco – After Race" (PDF). fiaformulae.com. FIA. 9 May 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Team's Championship: Monaco – After Race" (PDF). fiaformulae.com. FIA. 9 May 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Circuit Guide". FIA. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Berlin, Germany – Round 8". fiaformulae.com. FIA. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Twitter post". twitter.com. GL Events UK. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^ "World record set at DHL Berlin ePrix". fiaformulae.com. FIA. 25 May 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  15. ^ Jacobs, Stefan (23 May 2015). "Rasende Staubsauger und ein Weltrekord" (in German). Der Tagesspiegel. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Practice and qualifying". FIA. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d "DHL Berlin ePrix". fiaformulae.com. FIA. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  18. ^ a b c "Rules & Regulations". fiaformulae.com. FIA. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d e Murphy, Luke (27 May 2015). "Berlin ePrix: di Grassi exclusion gifts D'Ambrosio victory". formulaspy.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Trulli storms to pole in Berlin". berlin.fiaformulae.com. FIA. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Di Grassi excluded from DHL Berlin ePrix". fiaformulae.com. FIA. 23 May 2015. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Jerome is second to one". fiaformulae.com. FIA. 25 May 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Di Grassi wird disqualifiziert" [Di Grassi is disqualified] (in German). Sport 1. 23 May 2015. Archived from the original on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  24. ^ Straw, Edd (23 May 2015). "Berlin Formula E: D'Ambrosio gets win as di Grassi disqualified". autosport.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Driver's Championship: Berlin – After Race" (PDF). fiaformulae.com. FIA. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Team's Championship: Berlin – After Race" (PDF). fiaformulae.com. FIA. 23 May 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 10 August 2015.

External linksEdit

Previous race:
2015 Monaco ePrix
FIA Formula E Championship
2014–15 season
Next race:
2015 Moscow ePrix
Previous race:
N/A
Berlin ePrix Next race:
2016 Berlin ePrix