Formula E weekend talking points as Nyck De Vries claims maiden world title after eventful Berlin ePrix
Nyck de Vries and Mercedes EQ celebrated a double on Sunday after claming the driver's and team championships but there was also joy to be had elsewhere with race wins for Norman Nato - the first of his career - and Lucas di Grassi across an eventful weekend on the track. Here are the latest talking points.
Berlin ePrix: Highlights as De Vries seals Formula E World Championship; Nato wins dramatic race
Mercedes EQ’s Nyck de Vries crowned Formula E World Champion
Mercedes EQ’s Nyck de Vries was crowned the ABB FIA Formula E World Champion after a dramatic final race of the season in Berlin.
The Dutchman went into the Sunday race top of the Drivers’ Standings after a double podium in the previous rounds in London and made it count by climbing five places from 13th to 8th to seal the title.
Few would have bet on De Vries, in his second season in Formula E after winning the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2019, overcoming the quality of drivers on the grid in the championship at the start of the season.
But after a mid-season wobble in which he managed just one points-scoring race in six, the 26-year-old showed immense composure in the final rounds to see off his rivals and bring the Season 7 title home.
'It's really emotional' - New Formula E world champion Nyck De Vries speaks after claiming title.
Mercedes-EQ claim Teams’ Championship
Mercedes continued their dominance across motorsport with the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team also picking up the Teams’ Championship title at their home race in Berlin.
As well as De Vries' championship victory, the German manufacturer also relied on their other driver Stoffel Vandoorne’s third-place finish at Round 15 in Berlin.
Mercedes-EQ finished the season top of the pile on 181 points, with Jaguar Racing (177) and DS TECHEETAH (166) finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The team, led by drivers De Vries and Vandoorne, secured three victories during the season along with five more podium places.
Title contenders do best to hand victory to De Vries
There was pure drama at the beginning of the race – which was great news for subsequent championship winner De Vries – when Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans failed to emerge from the start point, with ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara crashing into the back of the Kiwi to force an instant red flag and delay the start of the race.
But the drama did not end there as BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Jake Dennis – who began the race in third place in the standings – suffered an unknown battery error whilst lifting to save energy around a corner which put him into the wall and out the race.
It meant that three of the top four going into the Sunday finale were forced out within the first five minutes – and the championship was then De Vries’ to lose.
'What a disaster' - title contenders Evans and Mortara in dramatic startline crash
ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Norman Nato wins first E-Prix of his career
Despite the dramatic scenes on track, it was Norman Nato of ROKiT Venturi Racing’s who eventually took the chequered flag in the second race of the Berlin E-Prix double header.
The win meant he still only finished 18th in the Drivers’ Championship but was the Frenchman’s first ever victory in Formula E in his first season in the series.
Lucas di Grassi takes remarkable 12th win in Saturday race
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi secured victory in the first of two races to extend his impressive pedigree in the series on the Saturday.
The Brazilian put in a red-hot performance in the searing heat of the German capital, with Mortara finishing second and Evans taking third.
Di Grassi’s win – coming at a home race for his team Audi in front of a passionate support in the grandstands – is his 12th in Formula E and reminded the grid of the old adage that nothing counts as much as experience.
The 37-year-old is still looking for a seat for next year but gave his potential suitors a timely reminder of his ability in the Gen2 car.
DS TECHEETAH will be left ruing what could have been after seemingly having a third Teams’ Championship title in their hands.
The two DS TECHEETAH drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa began Saturday’s race on the front row of the grid with Vergne claiming the Julius Baer Pole Position, and Da Costa starting in P2.
But the pair finished sixth and seventh respectively after a mix-up when Da Costa was allowed to overtake Vergne – seemingly a planned move by the team – and the Frenchman fell down the standings, with his teammate following suit.
And it got worse for Da Costa on the Sunday as a collision with Di Grassi forced him out of the second race of the double-header – and confirmed he would hand his title over to De Vries.