Pascal Wehrlein romped to his third victory in the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF to take the lead in the title race with just one round to go – but the German admitted his relief post-race after enduring camera issues.
The Mahindra Racing driver took Julius Baer Pole Position to level the points in the drivers’ standings with Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne ahead of Round Seven, with the Belgian only able to qualify in fifth position.
And he drove a flawless race to take the chequered flag ahead of Nissan e.dams’ Oliver Rowland, who has kept himself in with a shout of the title, and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler debutant Kelvin van der Linde who finished third.
But Wehrlein revealed post-race that he was unable to see the start lights from his cockpit camera due to the halo and switched to a different camera view – one he was unable to switch back from during the race.
And after taking the chequered flag, the 25-year-old said the difficulties meant that this was his hardest race victory of the season.
"Yeah it was a good race, but it was one of the most difficult ones for me,” said Wehrlein. “I didn't see the starting lights because of the Halo so I tried to switch the camera position so it would change to a TV position. Then I couldn't change it back anymore so the whole race I was driving with the wrong camera.
“It was really hard, but I was so happy that I had a small gap and I could manage that gap, otherwise it would have been a very difficult race for me."
Despite starting in fifth place as the standings leader Vandoorne made a fantastic double overtake on the first lap to move up into third place but hit the wall in the process to fall back one place – a position he was unable to improve on.
The fourth place ensures he remains well within the title hunt just seven points behind Wehrlein and there will be little room for error in tomorrow’s race in Berlin Tempelhof – a track the Belgian started in pole last time out.
While the race lacked the chaos seen in other rounds, Rowland had enough time for a robust move on Van der Linde on one of the final corners to sneak into second place in the final seconds.
Despite the victory for Wehrlein, it will still be all to play for tomorrow with double-points on offer or the Grand Final with Vandoorne, Guenther and Rowland still mathematically capable of lifting he trophy.
Earlier in the day Lucas Mueller won the Challenge Race to confirm he will start in second place for omorrow’s winner-takes-all race but Kevin Siggy – who finished second – will start on pole after opening an unassailable points-lead in the competition so far.
The Grand Final of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF takes place live on Eurosport 2 at 15:30 tomorrow Sunday June 7.