A historic 1920s airport in the centre of Berlin proved an electric circuit for the eighth FIA Formula E race in the inaugral season of the championship.
After a strong morning finishing in the top four of both free practice sessions, the expectations of Jaime Alguersuari to qualify on the front row were hindered by a technical difficulty that saw him place fourteenth on the grid, a single position ahead of his Virgin Racing teammate Sam Bird, who unfortunately spun on the first corner of his second lap in qualifying.
A brilliant start to the race from Bird saw him gain three places in as many laps and the Brit ensured he made no mistakes whilst pushing hard for several quick overtakes in succession. After the car changeover, which both drivers executed perfectly in a time of 1:05:00, Bird returned to the track in 10th place with his teammate four places behind. Jean-Eric Vergne was put under pressure by Bird early in the second half of the race and the two drivers made contact in the fight for ninth as the Virgin Racing driver went for an inside overtake.
When Da Costa was penalised for speeding in the pit lane with a drive-through penalty, Sam Bird moved into ninth place and stayed there for the remainder of the race. Alguersuari was unable to capitalise on Da Costa’s misfortune as the Amlin driver returned to the track just ahead of him leaving the Virgin Racing driver to finish the race in thirteenth position.
Following Lucas Di Grassi’s disqualification from the race for an illegal front right wing, both Virgin Racing driver’s places were improved by one.
The next ePrix takes place on the 6th June 2015 when the series moves on to Moscow for the ninth round of the FIA Formula E championship.
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing driver (eighth position) said, “The fans here in Germany are crazy about motorsport and it was great to meet so many of them at the Berlin ePrix. From a race perspective, we had good pace throughout and I really enjoyed battling hard with Jean-Eric Vergne. I hope that our fight for ninth was enjoyable for the fans because I certainly enjoyed it. There’s a couple of tweaks to make on the car but I’m really looking forward to getting back in the driving seat in Moscow and bettering my performance here.”
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing driver (twelfth position), said, “The Berlin ePrix track was nothing like we have ever experienced before in Formula E and it was so much fun to drive. Unfortunately we were unable to make the most of a fun track and get our first podium, but as always we are learning so much about this Formula E car and so we have to absorb as much information as possible and improve at the next race. We only have three races left now in the championship and of course, I want to finish on a high. We have a competitive car, so I am looking forward to Moscow where we can put today’s race result behind us.”
Alex Tai, Virgin Racing Team Principal, said, “Firstly, what an incredible event that Formula E have put on in iconic race location. It is brilliant to be able to bring the modern technology of Formula E to such a historic venue and the German fans displayed their passion for this series from the very start of the day. As an ambitious and competitive team, we are always disappointed when we are not on the podium but we learnt a lot from this race and expect to take that into Moscow and ultimately our home race finale in London.”