Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne started on pole and led for the majority of the race only for the 23-year-old German to slip past him with just fourth minutes to go to take the chequered flag despite team radio requesting he wait until the final lap.

Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns also made use of the Frenchman’s struggles with energy to overtake on the penultimate lap and pushed Guenther all the way as the German won by a nose – the closes finish in Formula E history – with Vergne taking third.

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Drivers’ Championship leader Antonio Felix Da Costa ensured he remains the champion elect after driving a classy race to finish fourth from ninth and maintain his large gap in the standings – 68 points clear of nearest rival Guenther.

And the German – compared this week to electric racing’s own potential Michael Schumacher in German press – admitted he made the decision alone to overtake Vergne and insisted the end had justified the means.

“I knew it was not like Marrakesh where we could wait because I knew the guys had energy behind me so I had to make the move as quickly as possible,” he said. “But once I went past, I just drove as fast as I could.

“It was tough racing but we respected each other and it was my decision to make the move, the team wanted to wait but I felt I just wanted to do it now. So the pressure was up more in this case and it finally worked out, so I am very happy with this one.

“Everything paid off and I am so incredibly happy for myself, for the team and everybody else to win this race in Berlin.”

Vergne secured the fourth Julius Baer Pole Position for DS TECHEETAH in a row and got off to a clean start while Mahindra Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio and Guenther quickly swapped positions twice in second and third over the first lap.

After a quiet start to the race, GEOX Dragon’s Sergio Sette Camara, in only his third Formula E race after moving from Red Bull, and TAG Heuer Porsche’s Neel Jani got caught in a collision with James Calado to bring out the safety car.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Calado said on team radio he had ‘never been taken out as badly’ before in the chaos which began with Alex Sims making an ill-conceived overtake on Camara.

Guenther was pushing Vergne at the front but got boxed in when taking ATTACK MODE to fall down to fifth but the German stunningly almost took the lead shortly after when his opponents were also forced off the racing line.

Guenther and Vergne continued their battle throughout and with just four minutes to go the German made his move despite the team suggesting he wait for the final lap over team radio.

Vergne was struggling with usable energy and this allowed Frijns to also make his move as well as team mate Da Costa who was coming quickly up the rear.

In one of the tightest finishes yet Frijns pushed Guenther to the last moment with both cars crossing the line together – Guenther in front by a nose.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship returns August 9 for Round Nine live on Eurosport 2 at 18:00 BST

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