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A solid start to the weekend in Berlin for Envision Racing’s super subs

Joel Eriksson and Paul Aron performed well in the opening race of the Berlin E-Prix weekend with Aron running in the points to cap a mature and speedy display

With Envision Racing’s regular chargers Sébastien Buemi and Robin Frijns occupied by the World Endurance Championship this weekend, it was left to a Formula E returnee and a rookie to take the wheel for the team at the Berlin E-Prix for the opening race of the double-header weekend. 

And after 46 laps of the punishing Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, Joel Eriksson drove like an experienced hand on his Formula E return, running in the points until an early race retirement ended his first outing of the weekend. His team-mate Paul Aron was left to lead the Envision Racing charge, and performed superbly.

The Estonian ended his maiden E-Prix 13th, mixing it with the big boys, and narrowly missing out on the points only after suffering late contact.

Eriksson started the first race of the weekend in 18th, with Aron one place behind. By the end of the opening lap the field was headed by polesitter Edoardo Mortara, with Erikson holding 17th, and Aron 19th.

By the second lap, Eriksson moved up to 15th as Mortara led Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne. Two laps later Envision Racing’s debutant looked comfortable in 16th with Attack Mode taken. By lap five, the Swedish racer claimed 14th place, which soon became 13th with a fastest lap to boot, as team-mate Aron held 17th. On lap eight Eriksson hit the points by claiming 10th as Vergne cycled to the lead, followed by team-mate Vandoorne.

Eriksson’s return to Formula E came to a halt on lap 10, triggering a lengthy safety car period. At the restart, the only remaining Envision Racing machine, piloted by Aron, found itself in 15th.

By lap 20 of the originally scheduled 40 lap duration, Aron remained in 15th, running ahead of Jake Hughes in the McLaren, as the multi-car battle at the sharp end of the field really started to heat up.

Retirements and pit stops promoted Aron to 12th by lap 22, which became 11th one lap later – with a points-paying finish just one place further up the road. Six laps later, the Envision Racing driver took Attack Mode, dropping to 12th, but crucially maintained contact with the frantically battling top 10.

An incident for Maximilian Günther allowed Aron to sneak up into ninth before a second safety car was called. At the restart, the scrap for first somehow intensified, with multiple lead changes. Behind the chaos, Aron moved up to eighth as the leaders all tripped over  themselves.

After jumping between eighth, ninth and 10th position, Aron found himself 14th on lap 40, as six laps were added to the initial E-Prix duration. On lap 42, Aron was involved in contact with Jehan Daruvala, losing his front wing, yet gained a few places to claim 11th.

With three laps remaining, Aron moved into the points, taking 10th place, and suddenly the Estonian driver found himself in eighth place as Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy moved into the lead as the laps wound down.

Starting the final lap, Aron dropped to ninth, behind Mortara and in front of Sacha Fenestraz, who passed the Envision Racing driver, forcing him to settle for 13th at the flag.

Up front, Cassidy claimed the win ahead of Vergne and Oliver Rowland.

Drivers’ standings (after Rd 9):
1. Nick Cassidy, 121pts
2. Pascal Wehrlein, 112pts
3. Oliver Rowland, 103pts
4. Jake Dennis, 89pts
5. Mitch Evans, 89pts
14. Robin Frijns, 21pts
15. Sébastien Buemi, 20pts

Teams’ standings (after Rd 9):
1. Jaguar TCS Racing, 210pts
2. Porsche Formula E Team, 146pts
3. Nissan, 129pts
4. DS Penske, 126pts
5. Andretti Formula E 113, pts
8. Envision Racing, 41pts