Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries looked overcome with emotion as he bounced back from some disappointing performances to win the second race of the 2022 Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix double-header in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
After winning the first race of Season 8 in Riyadh, De Vries has failed to replicate the form of his Mercedes team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, finishing higher than P10 just once in the subsequent races – at the Mexico City E-Prix in Round 3.
The Season 7 champion’s hopes of a second successive title seemed to be fading as he languished behind his title rivals, most notably Vandoorne who leaves this weekend top of the Drivers’ Championship after back-to-back podiums.
Berlin ePrix
Mortara takes Berlin E-Prix spoils to reinvigorate championship push
16/05/2022 AT 00:05
But an excellent drive in front of 15,000 fans at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, in which he took the race lead after turn one with a brilliant move to usurp Julius Baer pole setter Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing), has propelled the Dutchman to sixth in the standings and back amongst his title rivals.
And De Vries admitted after the race he had to execute a near-perfect performance due to the strength of his challengers and amidst some recent poor results.
"We have had a difficult ride the past three races,” he said holding back the tears. “Honestly I am just very pleased to be back. I have had a bad time in the past three races, so I am very pleased to come back after a difficult day yesterday. My engineer is always really positive which is nice!
"Of course [I was worried about the driver challenges behind], Edo had been very strong all weekend, so we definitely had to keep it clean, but the team managed it very well on their side and I executed it. I am very pleased."
Reigning champion De Vries’ victory came at the scene of his Season 7 title triumph, with Mortara following 2.5s back as Saturday's windy conditions made way for weekend-high temperatures.
Vandoorne made it two Mercedes-EQ-run Silver Arrow 02 cars on the podium and three Mercedes-EQ powertrains in the top three. The Belgian's third-placed finish also extended his silverware streak to three races. Lucas di Grassi (ROKiT Venturi Racing) came home fourth to extend that to four Mercedes-powered cars in the top four in a dominant outing on home soil.
Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) wound up a battling fifth after a race-long back-and-forth between the Dutchman, Antonio Folix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH), who finished in sixth and a gaggle of cars behind all fighting to maximise their points haul as Season 8 passed its half-way stage.
Oliver Rowland (Mahindra Racing) made good progress from 10th at the outset to an eventual seventh - the Yorkshireman running as high as fifth at one stage. TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team's Andre Lotterer finished in eighth position, not quite able to capitalise on practice and qualifying pace.
Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) crossed the line in ninth, just ahead of fellow title challenger Mitch Evans [Jaguar TCS Racing] who took the final point in 10th.
After eight races and at the halfway point in Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Vandoorne is top of the Drivers' standings running on 111 points, with Mortara moving into second on 99 points and Vergne now third, a further four points back.
Mercedes-EQ sit atop the Teams' standings on 176 points, with ROKiT Venturi Racing next on 148 points.
Round 9 in the biggest-ever 16-race calendar is the Jakarta E-Prix on 4 June, the first time the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has raced in Indonesia.
Berlin ePrix
Mortara takes Berlin E-Prix spoils to reinvigorate championship push
14/05/2022 AT 16:34
Berlin ePrix
‘Lights-to-flag victory’ – Mortara wins in Berlin to reinvigorate championship push
14/05/2022 AT 16:14