Sebastien Buemi won a thrilling Berlin ePrix, his first victory since Punta del Este, to move within one point of Lucas di Grassi in the Drivers’ Championship.
Before the race started, Buemi had a number of cars in between him and his rival di Grassi. However, he was beaten by Jean-Eric Vergne during qualifying to start second, while di Grassi moved up to eighth.
Before the race, four drivers were excluded from qualifying due to errors with their tyre pressures. Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld on the Mahindra cars moved back to P15 and P16, while Jerome D’Ambrosio start at the back. Stephane Sarrazin also was demoted, but didn’t start the race due to car issues.
Buemi started the race well, as he was able to pass pole-sitter Vergne going into the first corner. Di Grassi was also able to move up to sixth, slotting in behind Buemi’s teammate Nico Prost. Vergne was able to retake the lead a lap later at Turn 1.
At some point during the first lap, Bruno Senna and Rene Rast came together. Senna came into the pits with front wing damage, while Rast stayed out with his rear wing noticeably broken. He was given the black and orange flag on Lap 5, while it was also shown to Nelson Piquet Jr and Sam Bird during the first 15 laps of the race.
On Lap 6, Buemi was able to overtake Vergne going into Turn 10, and was able to gain a useful lead during the rest of the first stint. Daniel Abt also tried to pass the Frenchman on the outside of the first hairpin, but he had to wait until Lap 11 to be able to move up to second place.
Vergne damaged his front wing on two separate occasions going into the first chicane. He was shown the black and orange flag after the first incident, but it came just before the pit stop window. On the last lap of his first stint the rest of the wing was damaged, and he was passed by Prost not long after.
The pit stops didn’t change much in terms of the order, although di Grassi was able to stay out for a lap longer than everyone else, and he was able to get ahead of Vergne in between the two stints.
A full course yellow was brought out after everyone had changed to their second cars to be able to clean up the damage from Vergne, but not before Senna spun coming out of the same chicane. He was able to put on a show for the fans with a large amount of wheel spin while getting back on track.
Di Grassi spent his time trying to get past Prost, failing to get through on the outside of the Renault e.dams driver at Turn 1. On Lap 40 he made the move stick by going on the inside of the same corner. The difference in the Drivers’ Championship between him and Buemi were able to be changed by one fast lap.
The race went from bad to worse for Loic Duval. He was given a drive-through penalty of Lap 35 after overusing his power, and he caused a safety car after crashing into the outside wall of Turn 7 six laps later.
The safety car came in with two laps remaining, with Buemi being able to stay out in front to win the Berlin ePrix. Abt was told by his team to let di Grassi through, but their positions stayed second and third respectively at the chequered flag, with the Brazilian under investigation for speeding under the earlier Full Course Yellow.
Prost was able to make it a top four lockout for the Renault e.dams and Abt Schaeffler teams, falling slightly behind near the end of the race. Vergne fell from pole position to fifth, while Robin Frijns was able to finish sixth. Seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth went to Nick Heidfeld, Mike Conway, Simona de Silvestro, and Stephane Sarrazin.