Stoffel Vandoorne won the Formula E Race at Home Challenge Esports championship after having been involved in a first-lap collision with rival Pascal Wehrlein.
The collision allowed Oliver Rowland to secure victory around the virtual Berlin Tempelhof Airport circuit in the double-points finale.
Vandoorne made a solid launch off the line, prompting Wehrlein to pull across the circuit to defend his position. The pair were lucky to escape a collision with Edoardo Mortara, who crashed into Maximilian Gunther.
Rowland’s team-mate Sebastien Buemi climbed to fourth, however was clipped by Mortara into Turn 3 and subsequently knocked into the back of Vandoorne.
The resulting slide caused Vandoorne to hit Wehrlein and send him into a half-spin. However, a second collision saw Wehrlein punted all the way around and plummeted down the order.
The drama for second place permitted Rowland to extract a lofty 2.6s lead over Vandoorne at the end of the first lap as Wehrlein rapidly climbed four places.
Vandoorne was able to close in on Rowland gradually but such was Rowland’s early cushion that he claimed the eventual spoils by 1.796s.
Second place was still plenty for Vandoorne to earn the title, winding up 24 points clear of Wehrlein.
Gunther found himself without a rival for the rest of the race after the first-corner scare and completed the podium ahead of the Venturi of Mortara.
Buemi also remained out of trouble for the remainder and so wound up fifth ahead of Jaguar’s James Calado and the second Mercedes of reigning Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries.
Felipe Massa edged Audi stand-in Kelvin van der Linde, as Porsche driver Andre Lotterer completed the top 10 ahead of real-world FE points leader Antonio Felix da Costa – who was given a 10s penalty for contact.
Wehrlein continued to chip away and recover places but was also reprimanded by 5s to end up 12th and so lost out on the title despite scoring three series wins to Vandoorne’s single success.
It also marked only the second time that Wehrlein – who started sim racing specifically for the Race at Home Challenge – finished off the podium, the other occasion being Monaco.
The tandem Challenge grid race for sim gamers was won convincingly by polesitter Kevin Siggy, despite several opening-lap clashes with front-row rival Lucas Muller.
BMW representative Siggy survived the initial rubs and then pulled clear by almost 1.4s to ensure the runaway championship leader of a prize real-world FE car test drive.