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Berlin E-Prix: Cassidy wins after surviving an intense battle up front

The Berlin E-Prix saw Nick Cassidy charge through the field and expertly lead the race

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Nick Cassidy pulls off an incredible victory in Berlin after surviving the race lead for countless laps.

Nick Cassidy expertly managed the Berlin E-Prix as he overtook Wehrlein for the lead and held on. Image Credit: @Envision_Racing

After an epic qualifying in Berlin, which saw Robin Frijns take pole, the race that followed had countless overtakes and an incredible drive to the finish line.

The victory came after an upsetting Saturday for Envision which saw harsh exchanges between Cassidy and teammate Buemi.

Cassidy’s victory also means that he is now four points behind championship leader Pascal Wehrlein.

The race started unusually as the yellow flags showed and protesters stormed the track. There was a long delay in the start of the race as it took some time to remove the protesters. Race control also reported that a substance had been placed on the track which also delayed the start.

After nearly ten minutes the start sequence began and the grid went racing.

The first laps

Frijns and Müller had a decent start and held their lead for the first lap. The exciting part was the immediate battle for fifth with Mitch Evans, yesterday’s race winner, defending from Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis.

Unfortunately for Mahindra, Oliver Rowland appeared to have a technical issue and fell to the bottom of the order. Sam Bird made some great moves to get up to ninth place but other than that, the opening laps were relatively quiet.

Laps 4-9

The order changed up quickly as Frijns and Müller took attack mode and fell down the order. Buemi took the lead but didn’t want to be at the front so he also took attack mode. By lap 5, the order was Vergne, Frijns, Evans, Müller and Buemi.

It was a game of cat and mouse for the lead as no one appeared to want it at this point in the race. Lots of the drivers took their attack mode early to fall back into the pack and save some energy from slipstreams in front.

By lap 8, Müller took the lead from Vergne but then immediately took his second attack mode for three minutes.

Jake Dennis, although have not used any of his attack mode minutes, struggled and moved back into tenth place.

The top seven all moved around as they took their attack modes but by lap 10 Müller retook the lead and lead Wehrlein from Da Costa.

Laps 10-19

By Lap 11, Pascal Wehrlein had just taken the lead by overtaking Müller at turn 9. Wehrlein used his attack mode at lap 12 and Müller retook the lead.

On Lap 12 Andre Lotterer went into the wall and the nose of his Avalanche Andretti was

Nick Cassidy went through the attack mode and then tries to defend against losing position to his teammate

Lap 14 saw some incredible as Buemi, Cassidy and Vergne all battled with Cassidy nearly pulling off a double-overtake. Buemi also went to take the lead as Wehrlein, Da Costa and Müller all battled to keep up and fight for second place. There was also some debris from Lotterer’s front wing that had moved all over the track and posed a hazard at turn 7.

On Lap 16, Porsche managed to come out of the hairpin with a 1-2 as Da Costa got past Buemi for second place.

Eduardo Mortara had front wing damage entering his next lap and had to make his way around the circuit and go to get a front wing change.

Unfortunately for Sam Bird, who had made up a good number of places, he suffered a similar fate and had to go and change his front wing which effectively ended his race.

Laps 20- 24

Jake Dennis finally joined the party on Lap 19 as he made it up to the top five. He still had three minutes of attack mode left to use whereas most of the grid had used it all now.

Sebastien Buemi picked up damage on Lap 19 but managed to hand onto seventh place. Unfortunately for the Envision driver, his wing went underneath the car which made it difficult for him to steer and stay on track. He finally pitted for a change on lap 23.

Whilst this all was happening in the mid-section of the pack, the lead changes as Jean-Eric Vergne took the lead from Wehrlein. This lead didn’t last for too long tho as Vergne then went through attack mode on the following lap, as did Jake Dennis.

This meant that Wehrlein took the lead, once again. This quickly slipped away as Cassidy overtook on the start/finish straight. Jake Dennis also managed to get past Wehrlein.

The whole grid was constantly shuffling apart from Maximilian Günther who gained 16 positions from 21st on the grid and ended up in fifth by lap 23.

Laps 25-29

With 15 laps to go, Cassidy led from Dennis, Vergne, Evans and then Wehrlein. All the drivers’ energy levels were similar by this point too, except for Frijns who most likely used lots at the start of the race hanging onto his start.

“I need to go now”

Da Costa, who has been holding back for the whole race, told his team he wanted to start racing harder. This worked as he managed to get past his teammate Wehrlein just a lap later.

By lap 28, Cassidy was still in the lead but was clearly struggling to manage his energy as he said on the radio he couldn’t go on for “much longer”.

The reluctance to take the lead was still apparent, even in the closing stages of the race as Jake Dennis was not willing to get past Cassidy.

On lap 29, Wehrlein tried to get past Vergne but in doing so, he nearly lost out to Günther who was managing to hold onto the top group.

Laps 30- 38

By this point in the race, you’d expect some of the drivers to want to push for the lead, however, no one wanted it. Still.

By lap 32, the order was still Cassidy in the lead and Dennis in second with Vergne making up the podium places.

The Porsches, which looked promising mid-race, were now in fifth and sixth and Wehrlein got on the radio to ask to swap places with Da Costa.

On lap 34, Mitch Evans was hit by Antonio Da Costa and because of this, Wehrlein got held up Günther finally got past Wehrlein after trying to do so for so long.

Jake Dennis, who was still holding back from Cassidy, was on the radio seeming reluctant to push for the lead, even with four laps to go. Dennis said it was “high risk” despite the team wanting him to try and overtake.

Three laps to go and Dennis had nearly 2% more energy than Cassidy.

The last two laps

Jake Dennis was still biding his time during the penultimate lap and Cassidy was surviving. For the battle for third, Mitch Evans was trying so hard to get past Vergne and the pair were both pushing their limits and going deep into corners.

On the final lap, Cassidy survived and took victory with Jake Dennis not able to get past.

Post-Race conclusions

Jean-Eric Vergne spoke about how he managed his race by trying to stay within touching distance rather than leading. He said if he fell down to sixth place, he would try and overtake, but if not he was happy to manage rather than push.

Jake Dennis, who managed to come home in second, said that he was happy with second and gathered he bring it home for 18 points rather than risking it all for the victory.

Nick Cassidy seemed delighted to win the race despite previously stating that he didn’t want to lead in Berlin. Funnily, Cassidy led the race for 15 laps.

The Results
  1. Nick Cassidy
  2. Jake Dennis
  3. Jean-Eric Vergne
  4. Mitch Evans
  5. Antonio Felix da Costa
  6. Maximilian Günther
  7. Pascal Wehrlein
  8. Stoffel Vandoorne
  9. Nico Muller
  10. Dan Ticktum
  11. Sacha Fenestraz
  12. Lucas di Grassi
  13. Rene Rast
  14. Oliver Rowland
  15. Sergio Sette Camara
  16. Norman Nato
  17. Robin Frijns
  18. Jake Hughes
  19. Sam Bird
  20. Sebastien Buemi
  21. Andre Lotterer
  22. Eduardo Mortara

Feature Image Credit: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

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