Berlin E-Prix: Oliver Rowland dominates for Nissan

Nissan’s Oliver Rowland expertly controlled the fifth Berlin race to score his maiden Formula E victory over Robin Frijns as Rene Rast just crept onto the podium with a last-lap overtake.

Rowland built a 1% useable energy advantage on the extended Tempelhof Airport circuit to control proceedings over Envision Virgin Racing driver Frijns. He led from lights to flag to seal a 1.9s win in a 36-lap race, even though the timing screens had to reset after scoring the classification one tour prematurely. 

Frijns drew his car’s nose alongside into Turn 1 but Rowland had the inside line to lead by 0.4s at the end of the opening lap as newly-crowned champion Antonio Felix da Costa jumped from 21st to 16th after his disastrous qualifying. 

With Frijns activating both of his 35kW attack mode boosts before Rowland, the Briton never dropped from first place and, with Jean-Eric Vergne failing to score points, Rowland jumped from ninth in the championship standings up to second. 

Audi driver Rene Rast scored a last-ditch podium, having harried the rear of Andre Lotterer’s Porsche for much of the closing third of the race. Rast took his second and final attack mode later than Lotterer, but he failed to put it to use as he remained in fourth as the four-minute advantage ran out. 

Lotterer bullied his way up the inside through the second sector and the pair remained rubbing side-by-side for a string of corners until Rast held the inside line at the Turn 15 hairpin. But Rast, who replaced Daniel Abt at the Audi team for the Berlin races, remains under investigation for the manoeuvre.  

Similarly, team-mate Lucas di Grassi was handed a 5s penalty after he spun in an incident with  da Costa. The pair made progress through the field as they recovered from a group-one qualifying blunder, but as di Grassi passed into Turn 1 he cut across the DS Techeetah car’s nose and slid. Di Grassi was given the blame and classified 21st, while a late car failure dropped da Costa from the points down to 22nd. 

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