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António Félix da Costa won the second of the two Formula E Berlin E-Prix


Porsche Formula E title fight continues with da Costa Berlin E-Prix victory

António Félix da Costa took victory in the second Berlin E-Prix, as the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team kept itself in the Formula E title fight

António Félix da Costa took a fighting win out of the Berlin E-Prix double header, as the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team's kept itself right in the thick of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship contention.

The two TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric cars were right in the mix all throughout both races, and it was Da Costa's #13 car that ultimately prevailed to round out the weekend.

It added to the Portuguese driver's fantastic track record at the Berlin Tempelhof venue, despite this year's round introducing an entirely new layout - that nonetheless clearly sapped none of Da Costa's affinity for the airport circuit.

In the #94 TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric, Pascal Wehrlein continued to assert himself as one of the season's standout qualifiers, bringing his total number of duels appearances to a best-on-the-grid nine in 10 attempts.

But single-lap performance was very much a secondary factor in Berlin, where both races played out in that increasingly familiar 'peloton' style of competition.
António Félix da Costa drives the #13 TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric in the Berlin E-Prix
António Félix da Costa took victory in the second Berlin E-Prix

Salvage job on Saturday

Both Wehrlein and Da Costa were protagonists throughout the first race, originally scheduled to cover 40 laps but being extended to as much as 46 due to two separate safety car stoppages.

They combined to lead 10 of those 46 laps and were a consistent presence in the top six, never far from the very front of the pack.

Wehrlein got his two mandatory attack mode activations out of the way early, and Da Costa used them in quick succession mid-race, but while they had held up well on useable energy, the attritional nature of the event meant discretion was the better part of valour in the closing stages.

So with Wehrlein constrained by a front wing hanging off precariously and scraping the ground - and damage elsewhere on the car thanks to hitting the inevitable debris the chaotic race produced - he kept things clean in the end to finish fifth, while Da Costa followed him home just a tenth behind in sixth place.

It was Wehrlein's sixth top-five finish of the campaign - and another would follow the next day.
Pascal Wehrlein drives the #94 TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric in the Berlin E-Prix
Wehrlein leaves the weekend just 16 points off the Formula E championship lead

Da Costa’s magic moment

Like on Saturday, there were two separate safety car interruptions during the equally-rambunctious Sunday contest - and, like on Saturday, the race was extended against the originally-planned distance, this time by three laps.

But despite the constant 'chop-and-change' action out front, Da Costa was the race leader at both the safety car restarts - and when he overtook Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans in the closing stages, it was daylight in front of Da Costa as he made a crucial getaway.

He ended up winning by nearly a second, celebrating the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team's third win of the season and a fourth win for the Porsche powertrain.

Wehrlein, too, won some crucial battles in the closing stages.

The German fought off final-lap attacks to score a crucial 12 points for fourth place - in a race where he twice found himself squeezed into the outside wall.

It meant he leaves the weekend just 16 points off the championship lead, with six races left to run and a total of 174 points on offer.
Jake Dennis drives the #1 Andretti Formula E car in the Berlin E-Prix
Andretti driver Jake Dennis leaves Berlin 38 points off the championship lead

Andretti’s Turnaround

A pole position for reigning ABB FIA Formula E World Champion Jake Dennis was the highlight of the weekend for Porsche's customer supported team Andretti - especially it had struggled in Saturday qualifying before a remarkable transformation on Sunday.

Before that, both Dennis and team-mate Norman Nato were making good progress in the Saturday race - their pace underlined by Nato setting the fastest lap of the event - but both had their charges halted by punctures stemming from contact with other cars.

Nato's puncture left him a lap down, while Dennis - having lifted himself into podium and potentially even victory contention from 20th on the grid - had to retire from the race.

But on Sunday, both Dennis and Nato were strong contenders in the duel phase of qualifying - and after defeating Nato in qualifying, Dennis went on to fight off Jaguar TCS Racing's Nick Cassidy in the head-to-head contest for pole.

The race itself was again chaotic for both, Nato stymied by a 10-second penalty for a collision but Dennis successfully nursing heavy front wing endplate damage to finish fifth, to leave Berlin 38 points off the championship lead.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship's next stop is in Shanghai, for a May 25-26 double-header, as the season and its title races approach their final stretch.