De Vries and Mercedes claim Formula E world titles - The Race
Formula E

De Vries and Mercedes claim Formula E world titles

Aug 15 2021
By Matt Beer

Nyck de Vries and Mercedes claimed the first Formula E world championship titles in the Berlin finale, on the day when it emerged Mercedes is likely to pull out of the series after 2022.

An eventful run to eighth for de Vries and third for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was sufficient to keep de Vries at the head of the drivers’ championship – despite 18 drivers having gone into the final weekend with a title shot – and to vault Mercedes from fifth to first in the teams’ standings.

Mercedes also took the race win via its customer team Venturi and rookie driver Norman Nato, ahead of Oliver Rowland’s Nissan.

Jaguar and Mitch Evans had gone into the race as title favourites after Evans qualified six places clear of any of the other 12 remaining championship contenders by putting his car third on the grid.

But a sudden technical failure stopped Evans’s Jaguar at the race start, and it was violently collected by second-in-the-championship Edoardo Mortara’s Venturi Mercedes.

That prompted a red flag. Both drivers were unhurt, although Mortara is having precautionary checks in hospital because of the severity of the impact registered on his car.

Mitch Evans Jaguar crash Berlin Formula E 2021

The crash appeared to set up a Jake Dennis versus de Vries title fight as they took the restart from eighth and 11th on the grid respectively.

But the situation changed again immediately after the safety car pulled in to restart the race, with Dennis’s BMW slewing into the wall at the first corner of the racing after an apparent mechanical failure.

Jake Dennis (gbr), Bmw I Andretti Motorsport, Bmw Ife.21, Retires From The Race

Nato managed to make a break up front via wise early use of attack mode, while polesitter Vandoorne lost out to Rowland by running wide as the attack mode deployments jumbled the order.

Meanwhile de Vries made quietly effective progress up to fourth.

Then with a quarter of an hour to go, the safety car was required because outgoing champion Antonio Felix da Costa had been eased into the wall by Saturday winner Lucas di Grassi.

While Nato successfully fended off a strong Rowland challenge at the restart, de Vries twice ran wide in attempts to take third from Alexander Sims’ Mahindra.

That set up a worrying moment for Mercedes as its two cars pincered Andre Lotterer’s Porsche during a wild shuffle prompted by de Vries’ error, but all involved escaped with just minor bodywork damage.

De Vries still wasn’t taking it easy, and had another scare when an attempt to pass Pascal Wehrlein’s Porsche for sixth ended in more contact.

The points leader then took another hit on the final lap but made it to the flag in eighth place.

Nato eased away to win by two seconds over Rowland and Vandoorne, with Lotterer, Sims and Wehrlein completing the top six.

Sam Bird snatched seventh from de Vries on the final lap, while a late charge took Rene Rast up to ninth in Audi’s farewell race ahead of qualifying hero Tom Blomqvist.

Jean-Eric Vergne ended up outside the points in 11th having been pounced on by Rast on the last lap.

Robin Frijns, Alex Lynn and Nick Cassidy all went into the race with title shots but finished 12th, 13th and 17th respectively.

Di Grassi’s Audi FE career ended with 20th and last place after a penalty for the da Costa collision.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Norman Nato RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 36 26 1h11m57.152s 1m08.639s 0 25
2 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM03 36 0 +2.27s 1m09.138s 0 18
3 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 36 10 +2.837s 1m08.831s 0 19
4 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 36 0 +7.105s 1m09.487s 0 12
5 Alexander Sims Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 36 0 +8.453s 1m09.223s 0 10
6 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 36 0 +8.847s 1m08.982s 0 8
7 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 36 0 +10.473s 1m08.603s 0 6
8 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 36 0 +11.108s 1m08.812s 0 4
9 René Rast Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 36 0 +12.189s 1m08.486s 0 3
10 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 36 0 +12.679s 1m09.219s 0 1
11 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 36 0 +13.437s 1m08.8s 0 0
12 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 36 0 +13.748s 1m09.069s 0 0
13 Alex Lynn Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 36 0 +14.366s 1m09.17s 0 0
14 Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM03 36 0 +14.692s 1m09.439s 0 0
15 Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 36 0 +15.528s 1m09.175s 0 0
16 Joel Eriksson Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 36 0 +15.94s 1m08.912s 0 0
17 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 36 0 +16.306s 1m08.967s 0 0
18 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-5 36 0 +16.961s 1m09.26s 0 0
19 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 36 0 +21.076s 1m09.181s 0 0
20 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 36 0 +35.155s 1m08.305s 0 0
António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE21 21 0 DNF 1m09.263s 0 0
Jake Dennis BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 2 0 DNF 0s 0 0
Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0
Edoardo Mortara RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 0 0 DNF 0s 0 0

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