STRONG COMEBACK TO P6 FOR SERIES LEADER WEHRLEIN
Another solid race performance enabled MIM driver Pascal Wehrlein to retain the leadership in the ABB FIA Formula E championship after the first round of the Berlin double-header Sabic e-prix. Pascal came in sixth after winning back as many as nine positions in the 43 laps race (three extra laps being added to compensate for a safety car period) along the 2.3 Km street circuit built around the Tempelhof airport area. On the eve of the event, Wehrlein’s #94 Porsche 99X car had undergone a scanning which allowed the team to detect a crack in the chassis, probably a consequence of the Hyderabad practice accident. As a result, Wehrlein had received a brand new tub for his ‘home’ race, but even so, the first Qualifying session had proved to be difficult for both works Porsche drivers. Neither Pascal nor his team-mate Antonio Felix Da Costa had managed to put together a final flying lap in the preliminary group A session, resulting in a less than satisfactory P16 grid position for the German-Mauritian driver managed by Monaco Increase.
Yet, Wehrlein once again proved his skills in charging through the field by staying out of trouble at the same time. In the early stages of the race he battled with Müller, then climbed to the Top Ten at the expenses of Rast, Lotterer, Cassidy and Sette Camara and Hughes before the safety car was called in for debris on track. A collision at the restart between Lotterer and Vergne gave him eight position and he was P7 when another major accident caused the second caution period of the race.
Wehrlein and the Porsche team had chosen an aggressive strategy for the race, saving the last 60 seconds of the Attack Modes for the very last stages. This meant that Pascal was down to P9 when he had to take the detour for the extra power lane on lap 40, but his brilliant driving and energy management catapulted him back to P6 across the finish line! With his former main contender Jake Dennis being sidelined by an accident, Pascal Wehrlein gained another precious eight points to brint his tally to 94, twenty-three points clear of new runner-up Nick Cassidy ahead of the second race which is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday April 23rd.