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Berlin Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-race notebook after Audi’s 1-2 result at the Berlin E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

***Berlin winner Daniel Abt was allowed to keep his pole position despite switching to maximum power ahead of the final sector before his Super Pole flying lap. The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver was placed under investigation after qualifying but was later handed an official reprimand by the stewards.

***An official FIA bulletin read: “The stewards understand that this regulation is in place for reasons of battery longevity on this circuit. This early usage of maximum power does not lead to a performance advantage for the car on its fastest lap. Accordingly, the stewards feel that a sporting penalty is inappropriate in these circumstances.”

***Alex Lynn suffered an electrical glitch that compromised his power in the first stint of the race. The issue, which has occurred on the DS Virgin DSV-03 before, cost Lynn several positions in the opening exchanges. The DS Virgin Racing driver fought back from last to 16th but was unable to end his three-race pointless streak.

***Mahindra Racing suffered another poor race with Nick Heidfeld picking up the team’s only point in an eventful run to tenth. “Tough day for us, it’s just been one of those races where things didn’t start well. We pushed hard on the track and we tried something a little different with the strategy to move up the field,” said team principal Dilbagh Gill.

***All four German drivers collected points at their home race yesterday as Maro Engel, Andre Lotterer and Heidfeld claimed eighth, ninth and tenth, in addition to Abt’s victory. It marked the first time this season that each member of the quartet has finished in the points together.

***Jose Maria Lopez told e-racing365 that his late-race spin was caused by a clash with Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist. The Dragon driver was tapped from behind as the pair battled for the final points on offer through the turn 1-2-3 sequence. “He said I came too aggressively,” said Lopez. “But I was the car in front and you need to look at the car in front when racing. I then had very low energy at the end because I spent too much recovering from the spin and defending.”

***David Coulthard has backed ABB FIA Formula E Championship CEO Alejandro Agag to further grow the series in the face of increased manufacturer involvement. “I think if they keep Alejandro in charge and they keep an eye on the fans and the commercial side of things I think that will temper the self-destruct button that is there when manufacturers end up fighting together sometimes,” Coulthard told e-racing365.

***Felipe Massa will get his first taste of the Venturi Gen 2 car in a two-day test at the Ales test track in France next week. The Brazilian is also expected to attend the Zurich E-Prix next month.

***Initial planning for a first-ever Japanese E-Prix is starting to gather traction with the city of Yokohama emerging as a favorite to host a potential race. E-racing365 understands that a location for the circuit has been decided but a change in the structure of the city’s mayoral office has resulted in some delays. A possible Season Six date is currently under discussion.

***Porsche had a large presence of senior personnel at the track on race day with LMP1 vice president Fritz Enzinger, LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl and 2015 World Endurance champion Mark Webber spotted enjoying the action. Webber was fresh from a test drive in the new Porsche Mission E electric car last week.

***E-racing365 understands that plans to introduce a three-tiered pit structure for Season Five of Formula E have been put on ice. The new garages and offices are believed to have been shelved because of the extra disruption their assembly will cause in some of the city centers the championship visits.

***Recently-signed NIO simulator driver Harry Tincknell was on site with the team in Berlin. The British driver told e-racing365 that he suffered no side-affects from his spectacular accident at the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa earlier this month, and has already been back behind the wheel of a Ford GT at Monza.

***Dragon Racing engineer Andy Brown is believed to be exiting the American team at the end of the current season. The vastly experienced Brown, who has worked in F1 and Indycar for over 30 years, joined the Jay Penske-owned team at the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign.

***German soccer legend Lothar Matthäus drove the Formula E demonstration car at Tempelhof on Sunday. The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan midfielder lifted the World Cup for his country in 1990. Elsewhere, Alejandro Agag, who was briefly the chairman of English club Queens Park Rangers, showed off his football ‘skills’ on a mini pitch in the E-Village.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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