11 Aug 20

PREVIEW: Plenty to fight for in Rounds 10 and 11 from the New Berlin Tempelhof Circuit

The destination of the Drivers' and Teams' Championships may have been decided at the weekend, but there's plenty left to fight for up and down the pit-lane as we hit the New Berlin Tempelhof Circuit on Wednesday and Thursday, 12/13 August.

ABB FIA Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa has been a force of nature since we made our return last week. The Portuguese flew to a two victories in the opening double-header from Tempelhof and took a grip of the Drivers' title from there.

By the end of Round 9 on Sunday, he had the job done - sooner than any driver has  managed in Formula E history. His efforts, and those of team-mate and double title-winner Jean-Eric Vergne who took to the top step last time out, ensured that DS Techeetah also wrapped up the Teams' title in quick-time.

READ MORE: The champions' Round 9 masterplan

The final destination of the championship trophies might now be sorted, but there are two rounds remaining - two potential trips to the podium - and bragging rights to be secured, with DS Techeetah still hoping to scoop another accolade yet to be achieved in the series.

Rounds 10 and 11 - still a lot to play for!

Record breakers

After Vergne's victory on Sunday evening, DS Techeetah hadn't just settled the Drivers' and Teams' Championships in one fell swoop, but they'd managed to do it faster than anyone else before them. No team or driver had taken overall honours in either championship with two races to spare.

Ominously, this signalled three back-to-back Drivers' titles for the team, with the last two delivered by Vergne before da Costa's triumph this time around, as well as consecutive Teams' trophies.

READ MORE: Da Costa's Formula E journey from the brink to the title

At Tempelhof, the Sino-French squad has so far extended its Julius Baer Pole Position run to five, with a record-equalling string of three between Round 5 in Marrakesh and Round 7 in Berlin for da Costa and two on the spin for Vergne.

In terms of race wins, da Costa equalled Sebastien Buemi's three-win run from 2016/17 after his Round 7 victory on the Reverse Tempelhof Circuit and on the more technical New Berlin Tempelhof Circuit layout this week, he has the opportunity to match the Swiss' benchmark of six wins in a single season.

For da Costa, the title and the accolades are even more impressive given they've all been achieved in his first season with DS Techeetah. He hit the ground running and delivered the goods.

The 28-year-old expressed his gratitude to his team-mate for helping him settle and find speed right away, as well as the "all-hours" work ethic of his engineers and mechanics.

Vergne, meanwhile, will be chasing second in the standings. No team in Formula E has seen both of its drivers finish one and two in the Drivers' Championship.

Change up!

We're heading into the third and final double-header of this most intense season finale in motorsport history, and Formula E Sporting Director Frederic Espinos and his team are hiding something special up their sleeves to round out season six in style.

We've seen a first in international motorsport as the beloved Berlin Tempelhof Circuit, a fixture in all but one of the series' six campaigns, ran in reverse for Rounds 6 and 7. We headed back to familiar ground with the 'Traditional', anti-clockwise run around the old airfield last time out for Rounds 8 and 9.

Berlin layouts

Now, the 24 drivers and 12 teams will have their work cut out with Rounds 10 and 11, taking place on a more technical New Berlin Tempelhof Circuit – featuring a tighter, twistier middle and final sector – another challenge entirely for teams, drivers and organisers alike.

“We’re doing something that has never been seen before in world-class motorsport and it’s an example of how reactive and innovative Formula E is – it’s in our DNA,” said Sporting Director Frederic Espinos.

“All along, we aimed to make teams’ lives as tricky as possible in Berlin, limiting the effectiveness of their simulation work and throwing strategies up in the air. I feel the Formula E spectacle fans are familiar with will be pushed a step further still with this additional bundle of variables.

“It is a huge undertaking in terms of production to set up three different configurations, with fewer people on-site to be able to carry out those changes,” added Espinos.

You can see just how much of an undertaking it indeed proved to be in Episode 4 of our behind-the-scenes 9 Days in Berlin series below.

9 Days in Berlin - Episode 4: The track rebuild

Teams' tussle

Though the destination of top honours in the Teams' Championship is decided, the scramble for second is set to be a tooth-and-nail scrap.

Nissan e.dams is the current favourite for second spot on 121 points. A tactically astute performance in the second race of double-header number two from Berlin's Tempelhof Airport on the Traditional layout saw Sebastien Buemi come home third and Oliver Rowland fifth - with the Swiss pushing the DS Techeetah pair all the way to the chequered flag.

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BMW i Andretti Motorsport slipped beneath the Japanese marque in the running following Max Guenther's DNF and Alex Sims' non-score. 

Mercedes-Benz EQ, Envision Virgin Racing are the next-nearest names in the frame, with the teams second-fifth separated by just 29 points. 

Beneath that quartet locked in battle for second, lies Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 43 points back from Nissan e.dams on 78 points, with Panasonic Jaguar Racing on 75 and TAG Heuer Porsche on 59.

There's plenty of time for all-change with 96 points still in play. Watching BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche - four historic German automotive and motor racing powerhouses - trade blows on home turf as they clamber over each other for bragging rights in the standings is going to be some sight.

Scrap for silverware

There are two more race winners' trophies up for grabs this week. Never mind that da Costa has taken the title, the rest of the field still have their eyes on the prize and will be looking to get one over on each other in the standings and their hands on some silverware. 

The DS Techeetahs have been so hooked up in Berlin, and the team is hoping to bring its drivers home one-two in the Drivers' Championship by ensuring Vergne sits second when the final chequered flag falls on season six on Thursday evening.

WATCH: Don't miss a minute of Rounds 10 and 11 from Berlin

BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther ensured that da Costa and Vergne wouldn't have it all their own way in Berlin with his Round 8 victory for his second of the season. He is currently the man closest to second spot and Vergne in the points table, just 11 points back, and will be hoping for another trip to the top step of the podium on home soil.

Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) has shown strong race pace and has an inherent ability to carve through the field. He's tied with Guenther for third in the running, and will be hoping to dial in to his vast reserves of experience to nail qualifying and trouble JEV for second.

The Nissan e.dams duo looked most likely to topple the DS duo on the Traditional Berlin Tempelhof Circuit at the weekend, and were it not for a small error, Buemi believes he would have spoilt the party and taken a race win. He's fifth as it stands, 13 points behind Vergne.

How to watch

The final double-header kicks off on Wednesday 12 August, with Practice 1 at 09:00 CEST followed by Practice 2 at 11:30 CEST. The grid will decided in qualifying and Super Pole at 14:15 CEST before the Berlin E-Prix Round 10 at 19:03 CEST.

Immediately on Thursday 13 August, it is the finale of the 2019/20 season. Practice 3 starts the day at 11:30 CEST with qualifying following at 14:15 CEST. Then commentator Jack Nicholls with say the famous words 'And We Go Green' for the final time of Season 6 at 19:03 CEST.

Don't miss a moment and make sure to sync the calendar to get broadcast reminders.

Don't miss a minute of Formula E's unprecedented nine-day six-race season six finale from Berlin's Tempelhof Airport