Andre Lotterer

Berlin e-Prix preview – military precision required around the unique Tempelhof airport

Jean-Eric Vergne’s masterful pole to flag victory around the streets of Monte Carlo little over a fortnight ago threw another dramatic twist in this tightest of championship battles, meaning it’s yet again all to play for as ABB Formula E heads to Berlin.

The DS TECHEETAH driver’s win, his second of the season, means that he now leads the championship by a single point from teammate Andre Lotterer. But the drivers told Motorsport Tech in Monaco that they will be allowed to fight one another for the title.

For the popular Lotterer, Berlin marks his home race. And having twice finished second in recent races, he hopes to make it third time lucky in the German capital.

“We’ve had a couple of home races now for the team and for Jean-Éric but now it’s my turn to race on home soil and I’m very excited to race in front of the German fans,” said Lotterer. “We will run a special livery on my DS E-TENSE FE19 car for the occasion.

“It will be the second time I race at Tempelhof and it will be cool to be back. It’s a great location to race and the racing is good there. Our main focus will be on scoring as many points as possible to secure our positions in both championships.”

The DS TECHEETAH boys aren’t the only drivers in with a very realistic shout at the title, however, as less than 20 points separate the top six drivers with almost half the grid having won this season.

And it won’t be easy around one of the more unique circuits on the calendar, drivers fighting for grip on the abrasive surface of the former military Tempelhof airport, as DS TECHEETAH team principal Mark Preston explains.

“Berlin is an interesting track with a very abrasive surface. It took us by surprise the first time we competed in Berlin in Season 3 but now we have a pretty good idea of what to do. It was great to extend our championship leads in Monaco but we’re not settling for that, it’s full force ahead to further extend it. The ranking can literally change in one race as it stands.”

Acronis partner team DS TECHEETAH may be atop the standings, but with three rounds remaining, and New York counting for two, there is still interest aplenty from top to bottom. Fellow partner team NIO Formula E is also chasing points on Saturday. And, after experiencing success around the circuit last year, Britain’s Oliver Turvey is hoping for more of the same.

“I am looking forward to going back to race in Berlin, it’s another exciting city on the Formula E calendar and the track at the Tempelhof is a fast-flowing circuit,” said Turvey. “We had a strong weekend there last year, qualifying on the front row and a strong race in the top five. I will give it my best to fight and achieve the best possible position for NIO.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.