May 23, 2019 - 4min read
On Saturday May 25th the tenth race of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship is set to take place in Berlin. With four races left and standings tight in the race for the Championship, everything is still to play for in the German city.
Track name = Tempelhofer Feld
Track length = 2.375 km
Number of turns = 10
The Berlin E-Prix returns to the former airfield of the Tempelhof airport. However, the organisers have changed the route layout from previous years. In addition to long straights, the course has been re-designed with a more challenging infield; it has also been extended by 100 metres by changing Turn 6 and the pit lane entrance from 2018.
Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to make Germany carbon neutral by 2050, in line with commitments voiced by eight other EU states.
Berlin itself set its own goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 back in January 2018 when the Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Programme (BEK) was adopted by the Berlin House of Representatives.
The city prides itself on being one of the most climate-friendly cities in Germany, is famed for its 2,500-plus public green spaces, parks, and gardens, and aspires to be an important showcase for Germany’s energy transformation or “Energiewende”.
Emissions of carbon dioxide have been cut by roughly one third since 1990, and per capita are well below the national average. However, they have been rising again since the mid-2000s, something the BEK is seeking to tackle, encouraging all citizens to participate in reversing this trend.
The BEK has identified 95 separate actions across six different sectors in order to reach climate neutrality by 2050. One central tenet of the plan is to phase-out coal-based power and heat-generation in Berlin by 2030.
The organisation also calls for increased school education on climate change and clean energy in order to raise awareness among younger generations.
Techeetahs in top spots: Reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne’s confidence will be high after claiming the chequered flag last time out in Monaco, a victory that catapulted him to the top of the Championship leader board. Vergne, on 87 points, leads team-mate André Lotterer by a solitary point and claimed third place in last year’s Berlin E-Prix.
Home-grown heroes: André Lotterer is the highest ranked German driver in the race for this year’s Championship, but it was Audi Sport’s Daniel Abt who claimed victory here in 2018. Abt currently sits ninth in the Championship standings on 59 points and will be looking to close the gap on his rivals. The home crowd will also be hoping for a good showing from Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein (51 points), and Geox Dragon’s Max Günther (10 points), the other two German drivers in the Championship.
Secure pole: In the last two Formula E races held at the Tempelhofer Feld, the driver who has started first on the grid has gone on to claim the chequered flag. Last year it was Abt, and in 2017 it was Felix Rosenqvist. However, in 2017 Rosenqvist was painstakingly denied victory after incurring a ten-second penalty that saw Sébastien Buemi elevated to first.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alexander Sims will be looking to get his Championship back on track and secure some much-needed points, as a string of unfortunate events have prevented him from adding to his points tally since Race 3 in Santiago. Could Berlin provide the opportunity for the former-Formula 3 driver?
“I’m excited to be going to BMW’s home race this weekend. As with all the tracks on the Formula E calendar, Berlin will offer its own unique challenges. It’s quite a big, open, high-speed track, so should allow racing and overtaking to happen more freely, although there is still no real room for error. Additionally, the track’s concrete surface is very rough and abrasive, making tyre wear particularly important. This weekend’s format will be different with Practice on Friday and then straight into Qualifying on Saturday morning. We’ll be looking to make use of every opportunity and hopefully come home with some points.”
The 45-lap race starts at 12:00 (UK time) on Saturday 25th May and is available to watch on the BBC Sport website, Red Button, and BT Sport.
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