Mercedes have at last broken their duck of winless Formula E races by snaring a 1-2 for Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries in the final round of the 2019/20 season finale from the Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
Vandoorne led for almost all of the 45-minute race, only relinquishing the lead on two occasions as he moved off line to activate his Attack Mode and both times letting the Nissan of Sebastien Buemi into the lead.
However, ex-McLaren F1 racer Vandoorne quickly regained the lead as he cruised to an unrivalled maiden win in the all-electric formula while Buemi further lost out to a late-race battle to the sister Mercedes of de Vries.
Kiwi Mitch Evans, who only hours earlier had witnessed his older brother Simon clinch the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy championship, had a dismal qualifying to start 23rd and on the last row.
But the Kiwi showed a strong turn in speed across the race as he swiftly charged to 11th at the chequered flag, falling only two-tenths shy of scoring a surprise points finish.
Ultimately, after a promising opening half to the season in which Evans was within earshot of eventual championship victor Antonio Felix da Costa, the 26-year-old concludes the season a disappointing seventh in the championship.
He would also score all but ten of Jaguar’s 81 constructors’ championship haul to carry the British manufacturer to seventh from 12 teams.
Evans’ teammate and former New Zealand karting friend Tom Blomqvist had a more turbulent race as he fell from 13th to 17th to round out his two-race season.
Audi newcomer Rene Rast backed up his podium finish last race to finish fourth in another strong result for the former series champions while Sam Bird gave Envision Virgin a last hurrah by charging from 14th to fifth.
Bird now turns his attention to Evans and Jaguar as he replaces an outgoing James Calado as the team’s second driver for the 2021 season which kicks off from Santiago, Chile on January 2021.
Robin Frijns had a frustrating race after clashing with Lucas di Grassi while duelling for a top-five finish.
The ailing Dutchman then proved to cause havoc behind as Maximilian Guenther ran into the barrier, picking up damage and finishing down in 12th.
Wednesday’s race winner Oliver Rowland was the race’s other retirement as he exited the race prematurely due to damage from an earlier incident.
|Nyck de Vries
|Lucas Di Grassi
|António Félix da Costa
|Sérgio Sette Câmara