Formula E season eight reaches midpoint with double-header in Berlin

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RIYADH: The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship lands at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport Circuit for the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2021/22 campaign on May 14-15.

The 2022 Shell Recharge Berlin E-Prix will see Formula E return to the German capital, a fixture on the calendar since the inaugural 2014/15 season.

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Uniquely, the 22 drivers from 11 teams race in Berlin in both anti-clockwise and clockwise variations of the circuit in the double-header race weekend.

As it stands, just 10 points split Drivers’ World Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ), Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH), Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Robin Frijns (Envision Racing). With 29 points on offer each day, there will be plenty of opportunities for drivers to improve their standings before the chequered flag falls on round eight.

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Last time out, Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) wrestled control of the Drivers’ World Championship after claiming victory in the Monaco E-Prix.

The Belgian fended off the attentions of Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans, with the Kiwi unable to convert his Julius Baer Pole Position and winding up second, and DS TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne coming home third

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Vandoorne has won twice around Tempelhof and will undoubtedly be the driver with the target on his back this weekend.

Monaco saw consecutive podium finishes for Vergne after his second-place finish in Rome’s round five. With consistency key in Formula E and even after losing the Drivers’ advantage to Vandoorne for now, he knows he is sitting pretty just six points back.

Evans is three points shy of Vergne, while Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) is another point behind in fourth spot and stringing together a charge. The Dutchman has scored strongly in all but the opening race of the season, and his three podiums are as good as any other driver in the standings has yet to manage.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team pairing of Andre Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein have shown pace so far this season and will be looking to bounce back after neither car finished the race in Monaco. Ahead of the race, Porsche reserve driver Simona De Silvestro took the Formula E Gen2 car on a spin through downtown Berlin, passing historic sites, including the Brandenburg Gate and Alexanderplatz.

Berlin is the only city to have hosted a race in every season of Formula E, and in all but one of those seasons the expansive Tempelhofer Feld has been the host venue, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world.

The 2.4 km Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit will host two different configurations over the weekend, with Saturday’s race using the traditional anti-clockwise direction and Sunday switching to clockwise. It is a unique challenge for the teams and drivers, but one they relish — and a favorite of many.

The bumpy concrete apron, higher-than-usual degradation and high grip take a toll on energy management and make race strategies a headache, but the action is always among the best on the calendar.

In the final race of 2020/21, the last time Formula E visited, Mercedes secured the Teams’ World Championship alongside teammate Nyck de Vries’ Drivers’ title.

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