Berlin race over view
- Mitch Evans records sixth place finish at Berlin E-Prix
- Nelson Piquet Jr demonstrates overtaking ability and efficiency of the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 and narrowly misses out on a top ten finish
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing now head to Switzerland for the inaugural Zurich E-Prix
Berlin E-Prix in photos
Berlin E-prix race report
Our German graduate brand ambassadors Patrizia Prasser and Maximilian Werkhausen were at the Berlin E-Prix this weekend, and have put together the below race report which gives us an insight into what went down across the weekend:
We began our journey to Berlin for the 9th race of the ABB Formula E Championship the day before the race started, setting out very early in the morning, to ensure that we were arrived at the circuit on time. The Berlin E-Prix is held at a unique location, it takes place at a now redundant airport in Berlin Tempelhof. Once we arrived at the circuit, we met with a Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team member called Mike. Mike guided us around the circuit the day before the race, he showed us the current season’s race car and he also showed us the Panasonic Jaguar Racing work shop in the pit lane, where we were introduced to the rest of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team. It was very impressive and it was a great experience to be so close to the cars and the technology inside them.
During the Friday, the day before the race, we already experienced two unexpected highlights. Firstly, we were able to see the GEN2 race car in action before it would be driven for the first time in front of the public by Nico Rosberg, former Formula 1 world champion in 2016, during the following day. Secondly, we were given the opportunity to drive the Jaguar I-Pace, a 400hp pure electric vehicle, around a private track. Just before we drove the I-Pace Jürgen Vogel, a famous German actor, also tested the car too.
The race day started out with perfect conditions, there was great weather and an electric atmosphere surrounded the race team, the drivers were also going to be racing in front of a sold-out arena. We were excited to play our part as GKN brand ambassadors and to be able to watch what we hoped would be a thrilling race.
Before the drivers showed us their skills on the track, we put our own racing skills to the test as we had the chance to drive the Formula E race car simulator, where we had a tight head to head competition against one another. Afterwards there was an automated race, where the cars are driverless, this is called the “Roborace”. These cars are not only pure electric, but they can be driven by human or computer. Is this the next evolution of motor sport? We will see…
During the race day there were two practice sessions which gave us an understanding as to how the main race may have shaped up. The race cars can use their full power of 200kW during training, but for the main race the cars are limited to only be able to use 180kW. The first session ended with Mitch taking P8 and Nelson taking P12. In the second session there was sadly no improvement for Panasonic Jaguar Racing, as Mitch finished in P9 and Nelson reached P13, but this was only practice, and the cars faced no technical issues, so there was an opportunity for the guys to improve during the race and to be able to move further up the grid.
Once training had concluded, qualification followed, Mitch and Nelson were in group one; so they competed together with three other drivers. Mitch held 5th position with a lap time of 1:10.087 for a considerable period, but the last group of drivers was very strong, and in the end Mitch qualified in 9th position and Nelson finished in 15th.
The race was very thrilling and both Mitch and Nelson showed real fight throughout. The first tight and long left turn was tackled shortly after the start of the race, both drivers were able to take it without having a bump or crash. Mitch was constantly catching up with the competitors who were driving in front of him, before he had to change his car towards the middle of the race, he held P6 (this was particularly impressive as he started in P10!).
Nelson’s first half of the race had some ups and downs, as sometimes he was able to pass a driver and sometimes he was passed by another, but during the second half of the race, Nelson showed what he is really capable of. Within the last couple of laps Nelson was overtaking competitor after competitor. The lap before last he took P10 (again this was competitive bearing in mind that Nelson qualified P15). There was a chance to attempt to catch up with his competitor in P9, and whilst he tried, his competitor was a little bit too fast for him.
Fortunately, whilst Nelson was trying his upmost to overtake, he didn’t crash, but had a small bump meaning that he fell back a few positions. At the end of the race Nelson finished in P12 and Mitch finished P6. Nelson really showed the audience how thrilling Formula E can be, but it was a huge shame that his courage didn’t pay off.
After a long day with full of great experiences, we sadly had to leave the world of motor sport…for today at least. After this Formula E experience, we will definitely keep up to date with the upcoming races in both Zurich and New York. Hopefully the future GKN Driveline brand ambassadors will have the same amount of fun as we had. We are grateful to GKN Driveline for having this opportunity and to be able to get an idea as to how GKN Driveline technology is used beyond commercial cars.
Good luck to Mitch, Nelson and the rest of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team with this season and beyond!
Team Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Formula E Berlin
Now a mainstay on the Formula E calendar, the sport returns to the German capital for another electrifying race on the 18 May.
The Berlin track has changed over the years, starting at Tempelhof airport, and moving to a street circuit along Karl-Marx-Allee for Season 2. The track has returned to the Flughafen Tempelhof circuit ever since, a specially designed circuit at the airport just a few miles south of the city centre. The track has changed over the seasons, reducing the number of turns and re-profiling the layout as the Formula E racers have become quicker and more efficient. The airport location is likely to mean the track will be slightly wider than other races on the calendar, leaving the drivers a little more margin for error.
About the circuit
Every track on the Formula E roster has its quirks, and the Tempelhof circuit is no different.
The concrete surface here is particularly abrasive. On the very first turn, a long straight leading into one of the longest corners of the season necessitates simultaneous heavy braking and turning. This generates high g-forces in both transverse and longitudinal directions on the tyres, leading to some serious heating. During the race thermal management will be crucial to maintain performance.
Turn 9 provides the best chance for overtaking on the track. With two longer straights leading in and out of it, and a variety of possible driving lines preventing natural blocking, we should see some really interesting overtaking maneuvers here.
Last season’s race provided EMOTION club ticket holders with seats inside a tunnel the track goes through, and there is every indication this will be available again this year. The structure provides fans with unbelievably close views of the race. If there was ever time to splash out and upgrade your ticket, now’s the time!
The championship races
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