He’s done it. After an immense performance since Marrakesh, Antonio Felix da Costa has become the latest Formula E Champion with two races of the season remaining.
“Come Here Baby”
Having been involved in this electric championship since it’s first series, da Costa is someone who is no stranger to Formula E and the emotional rollercoaster it can send you on. Giving an emotional speech after his second place victory, still enough to crown him champion, da Costa reflected on how you can never give up on your dreams – him being living proof of this.
Although da Costa led for a large chunk of the race, the win went to his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who is now second in the standings. Their joint effort also helped DS Techeetah win the constructors’ championship in this fourth race out of six in the Berlin finale.
It is the earliest a driver has ever won the Formula E title, taking the crown from his team-mate Vergne, but it is hardly a surprise when you see his dominance over the past few races.
Understandably, da Costa’s winning ways also sparked a lot of emotion; from himself, his team and those around him. A moving montage played behind da Costa as he chatted post-race to Nicki Shields, displaying the tough but rewarding journey he has been on in his Formula E career.
CLOSE BATTLE AMONGST TOP FIVE
It was a five-car train for first for most of the race, with the two Techeetah’s leading, followed by both Nissan e.dams drivers and Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries bringing up the rear. With the gap between first and fifth being as little as 1.6 seconds at points, it made for entertaining and existing racing.
Both Techeetah’s seemed to have a tight grasp on the 1-2 positions, but behind them Oliver Rowland and Sebastien Buemi seemed hot on their heels. With more remaining energy, a call was made by Nissan to switch the two drivers and promote Buemi to third, however when attempting the manoeuvre Buemi went wide and resulted in both the Nissan’s losing time and destroying any chance of a higher scoring result. To add insult to injury, Rowland was then also passed by De Vries in the final lap – sending him from podium position to fifth in just a few short laps.
Team orders were also in play at Techeetah, with a “swap and attack” call made to allow da Costa past Vergne mid-way through the race. This decision was reversed later on in the E-Prix to allow Vergne to take his first victory of the season.
Hero to Zero for Max Günther
After his impressive race win around the Berlin race circuit on Saturday for Race 3 of the Berlin Finale, Günther’s race was over before it even began. A rare mistake from Günther on the opening lap of the race resulted in a nasty shunt into the back of the NIO 333 of Oliver Turvey.
This accident caused an early safety car and immediately ruled Günther out of the race due to the damage his car sustained. It was also noted that Günther was also not present during the post-race press conference which is a mandatory requirement. It is not yet known why he was absent, but Inside Electric have reached out to BMW Andretti for comment. It is understood that Günther has possibly suffered an injury to his wrist from the accident, and was seeking medical attention.
His BMW team-mate Alexander Sims also had an uneventful day and finished in 13th, with no championship points to add to his name.
Rain Rain, Go Away
Just as the lights went out, rain teased itself around the Tempelhof Airport. Soon a storm presented itself and rain began to fall. Not quite to the intensity that was seen last year in Paris, but enough to cause the track to get slippery and cause some drama.
“The rain, Vergne had that in a race last year where he survived the rain, so I knew he could do that,” Techeetah team principal Mark Preston said post-race. “We were obviously worried about the rain, because you never know what could happen in the rain. We were saying before the race ‘anything can happen in Formula E’ and it usually does and that worked out today.”