Bern e-Prix preview – title up for grabs approaching penultimate race venue

In a season that has seen as many twists and turns as most of the street circuits raced on, several drivers are still very much in the hunt to win the ABB Formula E title in its fifth year of racing.

Defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne’s Monaco victory and Berlin podium means he still heads the drivers’ standings by a narrow six points from the only other driver to win more than once this season, Lucas di Grassi.

“June is one of the busiest race months of the year with both Bern and Le Mans, so I’ve prepared myself thoroughly to be able to deliver an apex performance,” commented DS TECHEETAH driver Vergne. “It will be crucial to score as many points as possible in Bern to be able to enter the Season Five finale in New York with the best circumstances so that’s my goal for this race.”

Vergne’s DS TECHEETAH teammate Andre Lotterer is still awaiting his first victory in the series despite a number of near misses, and the German lies third in the standings, only 16 points adrift.

“It was a real shame to have a bad race in Berlin, but that’s behind me now and I’m very keen for my first Formula E win before the end of the season,” added Lotterer. “However, the championship is the ultimate goal so that’s where the focus lies, we will collect all the points that we can so that we come to New York with a solid foundation. It will be the first time that I experience a Formula E paddock with a split pitlane and garages so this will be interesting. The track looks like good fun and like it will suit me.”

The circuit itself, located in one of the most beautiful of European cities and UNESCO Heritage site, represents a unique challenge. At 2.75km, it is the second longest on the calendar and presents a tough test in terms of energy management, braking and dynamics. The narrow nature of the circuit also means that, as is often the case, qualifying will be crucial.

“I lived in Zurich for three years at the start of my F1 career and I have really good memories of Switzerland and its people,” said VENTURI Formula E Team driver, Felipe Massa. “The Swiss love motorsport and I’m looking forward to driving in front of them for the first time. The layout of the track represents an interesting challenge but it’s new for everyone, as this is the first time a FE race has been held in the streets of Bern so we’ll all be learning it together. Hopefully we can score some more points and perhaps even get back on the podium.”

Although the major focus will be on the drivers realistically fighting it out for the ultimate prize, there remains interest all the way down the grid as teams and drivers look to finish their season on a high note.

NIO Formula E Team driver Oliver Turvey is one such driver who is looking for a strong finish to the season and put a spanner in the works for some of the leading contenders.

“It will be exciting to race in a new city for Formula E in Bern,” said Turvey. “The track looks like a lot of fun, with large gradient changes, some challenging corners and a number of straights for overtaking. The atmosphere last year in Switzerland was amazing so I’m looking forward to racing again in front of such passionate fans.”

 

Fraser Masefield

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.

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