Berlin E-Prix Preview: Wehrlein’s biggest chance for home soil triumph

After two exciting weeks of Monaco E-Prix and Formula E, they return to the German capital this weekend, for the Berlin E-Prix doubleheader. Racing News 365 He will be on the ground to cover all the action at the Tempelhof Airport circuit.

Berlin marks the start of the second half of the season and the countdown to the tournament final in London, where the title fight appears to have been decided.

However, for home champion and championship leader Pascal Wehrlein, Berlin represents a great opportunity to extend his lead over Nick Cassidy and Jake Dennis.

The German has never won in Berlin – his best result is sixth – but Porsche is expected to thrive on the revised design this weekend.

Rookies galore

As was the case last season, the rookie test will take place the day after the second race in Berlin, where 22 young drivers will collect important data for the teams and gain experience for their careers.

However, given this weekend's clash between Formula E and WEC, five rookie drivers will make their debut in competition.

Paul Aron and Joel Eriksson will replace Sébastien Buemi and Robin Frijns at Envision, Jordan King will replace Nick de Vries at Mahindra, and Kelvin van der Linde will make another appearance for Nico Müller at Abt Cupra.

Taylor Barnard will also race for McLaren again, as Sam Bird continues to recover from successful surgery following his crash in Monaco.

Interestingly, two female drivers will be present for Monday's rookie test, Marta Garcia – who spoke exclusively to RacingNews365 – and Alice Powell.

What happened last year?

Last season's doubleheader in Berlin was a chaotic affair as racing style was in full swing. Sébastien Buemi took pole in the first race, but Jaguar was able to claim a top-two finish after the checkered flag, driven by Mitch Evans. All four Jaguar-powered cars finished in the top five.

The big story of the first race was Dennis crashing out of the race and almost taking Antonio Felix da Costa with him. However, the Andretti driver made a great recovery in the second race by taking the podium.

Wet qualifying took place before the second race, resulting in the Abt Cupra taking second place. Unfortunately, the Kempten-based team failed to convert the pole into a victory, with Cassidy clinching victory. Protesters stormed the circuit and attached themselves to the track before the race.

© Simon Galloway / Formula E

Route planning

As has been the case in every pub at the Berlin E-Prix, this weekend's event will take place at the famous Tempelhof Airport.

Drivers will face a new high-speed layout this weekend, which will likely give rise to the peloton again.

The new layout for 2024 consists of 15 turns, is 2.343 kilometers long and has two heavy braking zones at turns 6 and 9. Regarding the weather, temperature will not be an issue with dry conditions forecast.

© Formula E

© Formula E

Favorites for victory

Choosing the favorite to win is actually very difficult for Berlin. On paper, the Peloton should fit Porsche's powertrain better than most, but it was the Jaguar drivers who emerged victorious in both races 12 months ago.

With that in mind, championship leader Wehrlein should be the favorite to pick up at least one win this weekend, given he has been the strongest qualifier this season and has the perfect package for the German capital.

Oliver Rowland is arguably another contender based on the fact that Nissan's efficiency has impressed on the track this year, while the Briton is also a one-lap demon.

Both factory Jaguar drivers – Cassidy and Evans – are also top contenders having mastered the peloton in Berlin last year, although both drivers were eyeing Berlin with caution as it suits Porsche's strengths.

© James Sutton / Formula E

© James Sutton / Formula E

Black horses

The name not mentioned as an outright favorite is of course Dennis. The British driver has the perfect package for Berlin, but has struggled in qualifying this season. While qualifying is less important due to the expected peloton, he will want to start near the front.

Wehrlein is not the only driver celebrating with a home race this weekend, as Maserati's Maximilian Günther will also be targeting home success. Günter has shown great consistency this season and was on the podium in Berlin last year.

Arguably another dark horse is DS Penske's Jean-Eric Vergne, who performed well at Misano where the peloton was at its most intense. Vergne has enjoyed a positive season so far and remains in contention for the title, and a good result in Berlin will increase his chances in the tournament.

What do tournaments look like?

Wehrlein heads into the home event with a seven-point lead over Cassidy in the Drivers' Championship, with Dennis a further six points behind. Rowland is in fourth place with Evans in fifth after his win in Monaco, with just 25 points separating the top five.

In the Teams' Championship, Jaguar maintained its lead by 44 points over Porsche, which is also celebrating its home race in Berlin. Andretti is another 15 points behind in third place, while Nissan is fourth. DS Penske completed the top five.


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