Six races in nine days: Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team ready to face challenges of final week in Berlin
No time to relax in final sprint to end of season: The team will contest six races with three different track layouts, 5 to 13 August.
- Ian James: “The end to our rookie season could hardly be more intense. We will try to use the opportunity to add some highlights”
- Stoffel Vandoorne: “We have a good basis, on which we can build. Along with the progress made this year, we should hopefully be well placed to fight up front”
- Nyck de Vries: “We will be facing many challenges and everyone will experience some ups and downs during these nine days. That is why it is important to stay calm and take everything one step at a time”
- Further information, statistics and facts about the upcoming E-Prix can be found in the Race Facts on our media site
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is back. The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team will return to the race track on 5 August for the first time since the end of February with a unique racing marathon of six E-Prix in just nine days.
Berlin Tempelhof will host races six to eleven of the 2019/20 season, the team’s first in the all-electric race series. So far, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries have secured 56 points, including the first two podium finishes for the team.
The first two pairs of races (Races 6 & 7 and 8 & 9) will feature a track configuration, which is already familiar. For the first two rounds, the circuit will be run twice clockwise in reverse. After that, the traditional layout will be run.
For the finale, drivers and teams will face a new challenge. The new 2.505 km circuit variant has been modified considerably in the second and third sector with a series of tight and twisty turns, thus giving fewer overtaking opportunities.
Tyres will play a key role on all three track configurations, as the track surface in Berlin with its slabs of concrete is the only one of its kind on the Formula E race calendar.
What has been happening at the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team?
The team has had a five-month wait since the last race in Marrakech before being able to continue its first season in Formula E. We take a quick look at what has happened in the team in the meantime:
Showing solidarity against racism: Following recent events all over the world, the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport family calls for diversity and is taking a stand against racism and all forms of discrimination. The team will contest the final six races of the season with an all-black base livery and the slogan ‘End Racism’ will appear on the halos of the two cars driven by Stoffel and Nyck.
New Technical Director: 51-year-old Nick Chester from the UK is new to the team and started his duties as Technical Director in early July. He was Technical Director for Renault’s F1 team until recently and can call on the experience of three decades in motorsport.
Familiar face: Daniel Juncadella is supporting the team as reserve driver in Berlin. The Spanish driver was behind the wheel during this year’s Formula E rookie test following the Marrakech E-Prix.
For a good cause: During the break from racing, Stoffel and Nyck switched to the virtual racetrack as part of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge to raise funds for UNICEF. The outing on the home simulator was particularly successful for Stoffel, who won the Race at Home Challenge in an exciting final round on Berlin’s virtual circuit.
Comments in the run-up to the races in Berlin
Ian James, Team Principal:
“The whole team has been looking forward to this week. The end to our rookie season could hardly be more intense. We have spent the past few weeks working hard on all of the areas where we noticed that we were behind earlier this year. It’s just part of the learning curve.”
“The passion shown by the whole team while preparing for the days ahead and how they adapted to these special circumstances make me proud and confident. Every individual team member is aware of how big the challenge will be.”
“We still have more than half the season ahead of us. Everything is possible for all of the teams, especially as preparation time for the three track variants has been quite short. Managing the tyres will be a crucial factor in every race in Berlin. The surface at Tempelhofer Feld will put huge demands on tyres. But as far as we’re concerned, we will try to use the opportunity to add some highlights.”
“First of all, I’m really looking forward to racing again. I almost can’t remember the last time out. It’s definitely been a good while and feels a bit weird that we can finally go racing again. It’s crazy to think that we’ll have completed six races in just less than two weeks and everything in the championship will be decided. It’s going to be a super intense time, but there’s everything left still to play for. I feel optimistic about the finale, because we’ve been able to reset as a team and improve one or two details. Thanks to these bits of progress, I can feel confident about the upcoming races. We achieved good results in Berlin last year. We qualified second and ended the race in P5, which gives us a good basis on which to build. Along with the progress made this year, we should hopefully be well placed to fight up front, but let’s wait and see! We have a week packed with emotion ahead of us, some positive and some maybe not quite as positive, but it will be the same for everyone, and we will all have to deal with these different scenarios. We’ll see very soon how things work out.”
Nyck de Vries:
“Of course, I’m really looking forward to racing again. It’s been a while since I last lined up for the team in Formula E, and I’m pleased that the people in charge have found a good compromise so that we can end our season. It’s going to be a very intense nine days with a lot of points to be scored. After all, we’ll be contesting more races in the next few days than we’ve had all season! I hope that we as a team are well prepared for it, but then probably, no one really can be hundred percent, as we will be facing many challenges and everyone will experience some ups and downs during these nine days. That is why it is important to stay calm and take everything one step at a time. And then, hopefully, we can score a decent haul of points and end the season with a good outcome.”
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