Sebastien Buemi wins Berlin, Abt refuses to let teammate by for 2nd
Title rivals Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi finished 1st and 3rd in Saturday’s Berlin ePrix after Daniel Abt refused to let his teammate by for second.
Now, di Grassi leads Buemi one point heading into the season-ending doubleheader in London on the July 2-3 weekend.
Coming into the race with an 11-point lead over Buemi, Lucas di Grassi qualified in a dismal 10th position for Saturday’s race, but got to move up two spots when the Mahindra Racing teammates were moved to the back of the field for incorrect tire pressures in qualifying.
The race was run for 48 laps on the streets of Berlin on Saturday, as opposed to last year’s race which was held at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
Sebastien Buemi, meanwhile, had qualified in second and took the lead from pole-sitter Jean-Eric Vergne into the first turn. The two traded the top spot back and forth but Buemi had it to himself after Lap 6.
The black “meatball” flag then began to take its toll on some of the frontrunners as Sam Bird’s front wing was knocked loose in the early going and he was forced to pit for repairs from fourth. Additionally, Jean-Eric Vergne’s front wing fell to pieces just ahead of the halfway point as the DS Virgin Racing driver attacked the chicanes, but the flag was thrown right at the time where he could pit for his new car.
A brief Full-Course Yellow period was then thrown to clear debris from the track, and then the track was clean and green from then unless six to go, when the Safety Car was deployed after Loic Duval hit the wall.
During that run, Di Grassi had worked his way up to third after starting eighth on the grid, and the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team got on the radio to tell Daniel Abt to let his teammate by for second position – and the points lead – in the final two lap shootout.
Abt didn’t, and now race-winner and Renauld e.Dams driver Buemi has the point-lead heading into the season-ending doubleheader in London.
Unofficial race results:
1. Sebastien Buemi – Renault e.Dams
2. Daniel Abt – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
3. Lucas di Grassi – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
4. Nico Prost – Renault e.Dams
5. Jearn-Eric Vergne – DS Virgin Racing
6. Robin Frijns – Andretti
7. Nick Heidfeld – Mahindra Racing
8. Mike Conway – Venturi
9. Simona de Silvestro – Andretti
10. Stephane Sarrazin – Venturi
11. Sam Bird – DS Virgin Racing
12. Oliver Turvey – NEXTEV TCR
13. Nelson Piquet – NEXTEV TCR
14. Qing Hua Ma – Team Aguri
15. Bruno Senna – Mahindra Racing
16. Jerome d’Ambrosio – Dragon Racing
17. Rene Rast – Team Aguri
18. Loic Duval – Dragon Racing (DNF)