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Stoffel Vandoorne sets the early pace as teams get to grips with managing Gen3 cars around the Berlin E-Prix track.
As teams gear up for one of the most challenging races of the season, Stoffel Vandoorne has powered his way through to the top of the timings.
Practice 1- How it went down
It looked promising for the DS Penske camp during the first practice. Not only did Vandoorne go quickest with a 1-minute 5.803-second lap but his teammate, Jean-Eric Vergne, finished fourth quickest.
DS powertrain customers, Maserati, also showed their potential with Maximilian Guenther and Edoardo Mortara going third and fifth quickest respectively. What’s more impressive is that Mortara did such a great lap despite ending up in the wall earlier in the session.
Edo Mortara out-brakes himself and is in the wall!
Follow and watch Free Practice 1 LIVE: https://t.co/tTNGWyBwke @SABIC #BerlinEPrix pic.twitter.com/po99sbCbZs
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) April 21, 2023
The other driver in the top five was none other than Jake Dennis. The British driver, who is trying to hunt down Pascal Wehrlein for the championship, had a promising practice. He was quickest with ten minutes to go and finished the session in second place.
Dennis has had a run of bad luck. He had no-points finishes in Hyderabad and Sao Paulo due to incidents out of his control. Now that he seems to have good pace in Berlin, will the hunt for the championship come back to the Avalanche Andretti driver?
Troubles at the Berlin Circuit
The Berlin E-Prix circuit, which is at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, provides teams with several challenges. The main challenge is the abrasive surface which makes tyre degradation extremely high and energy management extremely hard.
“In addition, it’s a tricky energy management race so there is plenty to think about in Berlin but it’s a great track to go to”.
Phil Charles, Jaguar’s technical manager, spoke to Formula E saying that the stones that make up the surface are “aggressive” which is what makes the race so hard.
With this in mind, many teams were worried about how the new Gen3 cars would handle the surface around the Tempelhof circuit. Although there has only been one practice so far, the cars seem to be handling well.
The laps seen in the first practice were already quicker than last year’s qualifying times. This means that the race should be full of twists and high-octane entertainment.
Qualifying will take place tomorrow at 9:40 am BST with the race (Round 7) following at 2 pm. The teams will do it all again on Sunday for Round 8.
Feature Image Credit: Motorsport.com