Hitting the Apex: Berlin E-Prix

Formula E is back in Berlin! ATRL’s Eline Luna previews the Tempelhof Airport circuit.

With 8 races down and 8 to go we’re exactly at the halfway point of Season 10. And it’s been an exciting one so far with 7 different winners out of 8 races. Berlin is the only city to host a Formula E race in every single season to date of which it hosted 6 races during the COVID affected Season 6 within 9 days. This weekend the Berlin E-Prix will run for a 19th and 20th time on a completely new layout.

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6Start (©Simon Galloway/FIA Formula E)

Of 18 races in Berlin, 17 have been run at the Tempelhof Airport. The Airport opened in 1923 but was closed in 2008 and has since hosted countless events and was also used as a refugee camp in 2015. The race at Tempelhof Airport has seen several different configurations over the years with this year’s race seeing a fifth configuration.

 

Compared to last year the start/finish line is at the other side of the circuit and the hairpin that started the lap has been changed to five left hand kinks ending the lap instead. The straights remain relatively unchanged which means that the peloton style of racing we saw last season will likely be taking place again. The Misano E-Prix earlier this year saw the exact same and several drivers were particularly upset about this.

 

Because the circuit is placed on an old airport the surface drivers will race on is quite different to the usual Formula E track. The surface is made of concrete and provides high levels of grip but also wears out the tyres quicker than usual. Energy saving will be vital as well due to the slipstream effect at the track.

Overhead view of the track (©FIA Formula E)

What to look out for?

Tag Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein leads the championship by 7 points over Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy. Wehrlein is the only driver so far to have taken 2 wins and has only finished one race outside of the points. 

 

Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis is 6 points behind Nick Cassidy while Nissan’s Oliver Rowland is only 1 point behind him. With an unpredictable race ahead it will be important for all these drivers to salvage as many points as possible towards a championship challenge.

 

A Mixed Grid

A clash with the FIA World Endurance Championship, in which several full-time drivers race in, means several drivers are forced to miss the race in Berlin. Envision’s Robin Frijns and Sébastien Buemi will be replaced by Paul Aron and Joel Eriksson. Aron will make his Formula E debut in Berlin while Eriksson returns to Formula E as he raced half a season with Dragon Penske in 2021.

 

Kelvin van der Linde replaces Nico Müller at ABT Cupra. Van der Linde also races in WEC but will be replaced by Ritomo Miyata there. It won’t be the first time in Formula E for Kelvin van der Linde as he replaced an injured Robin Frijns at ABT Cupra during the start of Season 9. 

Taylor Barnard, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, e-4ORCE 04, at the Monaco E-Prix last month (©Sam Bagnall/FIA Formula E)

Jordan King will replace Nyck de Vries at Mahindra Racing. King will make his debut in Formula E but has spent several years as a Reserve driver with Mahindra already.

 

NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird was injured in a crash during FP1 for the Monaco E-Prix and was replaced by Taylor Barnard for the remainder of the E-Prix. Barnard made history as the youngest-ever Formula E driver and will continue with the team in Berlin as Bird is yet to recover.

Rookie Test

Formula E will once again host a rookie test on the Monday following the race. 22 drivers will take part in 6 hours of testing at the Tempelhof Circuit. Among the rookies are drivers such as F1 Academy Champion Marta García, McLaren Development Driver Ugo Ugochukwu, FIA Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich and current FIA Formula 2 Championship Leader Zane Maloney.

 

Track Layout:

Past Winners

2023: (R1) Mitch Evans, (R2) Nick Cassidy

2022: (R1) Edoardo Mortara, (R2) Nyck de Vries

2021: (R1) Lucas di Grassi, (R2) Norman Nato

Race Info:

  • Race Length: 40 Laps (R1), 38 Laps (R2)
  • Turns: 15
  • Attack Mode Place: T2
  • Attack Mode: 6 Minutes (R1), 4 Minutes (R2)
  • Track Length: 2.343 km

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eline follows a variety of motorsports from Formula E to IMSA to Nascar to WEC. They hope to study Mechanical Engineering to work in motorsports one day.

Related Articles

Raising Mental Health Awareness Beyond Formula 1

Raising Mental Health Awareness Beyond Formula 1

To raise mental health awareness, Formula 1 teams are partnering with charities like Mind. Founded in 1946, Mind emphasizes community-based mental health support despite controversies. Their collaboration extends to engaging fans and hosting events, supported by advocates like Lewis Hamilton, and promoting destigmatization through open conversations and support.

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Interested in Writing for ATRL?

Contact us now! Fill out the form below and wait for an email from us to get started.

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to updates when we post a new article! 

 

COMING SOON!

 

 

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ATRacingLine