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Berlin Friday Notebook

e-racing365’s Friday notebook from Tempelhof Airport ahead of the Berlin E-Prix…

Photo: Audi

***The Attack Zone for Saturday’s Berlin E-Prix has been placed on the outside of Turn 6, at the end of the back straight. Drivers are expected to lose more time taking the alternative line than with previous races’ Attack Zone locations.

***A documentary named ‘And We Go Green’, showcasing Formula E’s positive environmental and social impact, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. The film was directed by Leonardo DiCaprio and co-produced by Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville.

***The event was attended by drivers Lucas di Grassi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Andre Lotterer, Sam Bird and Nelson Piquet Jr., while Alejandro Agag and Alberto Longo were also in attendance. Click here to watch the trailer.

***E-racing365 understands that Porsche is closing in on a decision to find its second driver to partner Neel Jani for its debut Formula E campaign next season.

***The German manufacturer is in discussions with several current Formula E drivers in addition to factory driver Brendon Hartley, who has undertaken development work on the car. An announcement is not expected before the end of the current season.

***Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag presided over a special meeting with team principals and FIA officials in Monaco. The working group, which looks at future sporting and economic matters in the series, took place earlier this month following the Monaco E-Prix and comes after the first initial meeting convened at the FIA’s Geneva base in February.

***Details of the meeting were closely guarded but e-racing365 understands that some aspects of the Gen 3 design were discussed. Some details of the new rules iteration could be made public at the pre-season test in Valencia in October.

***An agreement is largely in place for the next generation car to be lighter and able to recuperate more energy through the front wheels. There is also a large consensus among manufacturers and the rules-makers that the design with be rear-wheel-drive only.

***Race director Scot Elkins says there is a unified and consensus approach to ensuring that races don’t end under a Full Course Yellow or safety car period, whenever possible.

***Elkins and his staff managed a difficult situation in Monaco two weeks ago when Robin Frijns’ Envision Virgin Racing Audi had to be winched off track at Sainte Devote in the closing stages to prevent a likely finish under caution.

“I feel there’s a massive amount of support from the promoter for the entire FIA staff and what we’re doing,” Elkins told e-racing365. “The target is always to have as much green flag racing as possible and to always finish under the green flag.”

***German automotive journalist Jens Dralle will drive the Jaguar VIP car in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race.

“As this is the first time I’m taking part in an all-electric powered racing series, I am very curious to see how it works,” said Dralle. “I feel nervous but also excited to race alongside the professionals battling to be crowned champion. I’m so pleased to be competing in the vibrant capital of my home country, Berlin, but racing in front a home crowd does add more pressure.”

***Bryan Sellers and Sergio Jimenez are separated by just one point at the top of the I-PACE eTROPHY standings. Saturday’s race is the third-from-last of the season, with the title to be decided after a double-header in New York City.

***An additional car took part in the eTROPHY shakedown and Free Practice sessions, driven by Bruno Beulen to carry out testing for Jaguar. The car won’t take part in the race.

***Mitch Evans says that concentrating on a single racing program has assisted him with becoming one of the top performers in Formula E since he joined Panasonic Jaguar Racing in 2016.

“From a personal point of view it has worked for me, but also from a team’s point of view it’s just trying to help myself be cemented in the team and also for them I think it was confidence that I’ve got my full attention within this environment,” Evans told e-racing365.

***DS Techeetah is aiming to achieve the FIA Environmental Accreditation, with the support and expertise of leading environment and mobility companies Efacec and APCER.

***“We believe that this initiative will be a case-study, showing how different institutions join efforts to reduce the environmental footprint and care about for the future of the environmental ecosystem”, said Angelo Ramalho, CEO of Efacec.

***Venturi has announced a partnership with leading cyber protection company Acronis, which will see the company, based in Switzerland and Singapore, become an Official Team Partner of Venturi.

***An FIA Girls on Track-Dare to be Different event is being hosted on site this weekend. The initiative aims to shed preconceptions and demonstrate that motorsport is all-inclusive and open to everyone.

***“Our FIA Girls on Track event is the perfect opportunity to show young girls what is accessible to them in motor sport and potentially a competitive career in a mixed environment,” said Michele Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.

***Nico Rosberg has launched Greentech Festival alongside the Berlin E-Prix, running at Tempelhof on Thursday to Saturday. The event claims to be the world’s largest sustainability festival, with an expected attendance in the region of 30,000.

***2016 Formula 1 World Champion Rosberg has co-founded the event with entrepreneurs Marco Voigt and Sven Krueger. A number of leading EV manufacturers and brands are among the event’s 60 exhibitors.

***Former head of Audi Sport Dieter Basche in on site this weekend, attending his first Formula E race.

***Tom Blomqvist is on commentary duties, replacing Dario Franchitti, who is focusing on this weekend’s Indianapolis 500. BMW factory driver Blomqvist made six Formula E race appearances last season.

***The soccer match which led to this weekend’s unique timetable and an early 1 p.m. race start is the DFB-Pokal Final, held in Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

***The title is considered Germany’s second most important soccer title after the Bundesliga championship. Bayern Munich, the record winners of the competition, will play RB Leipzig, which is playing in its first final. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

***Berlin remains the only city to have hosted a Formula E race in all five seasons so far. This weekend is its fourth event, and fifth race, at Tempelhof, while the Season Two round was held on Karl-Marx-Allee in central Berlin.

Sam Smith contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris Llana

    May 24, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Disappointed to hear AWD has been excluded from the next-gen car. AWD is easy to implement in EVs, and has substantial advantages over 2-wheel drive. I guess traditional fossil biases are strong among the old-school motorsport hands. So we now have (and for years to come, apparently) road EVs incorporating cutting-edge technology, while Formula E lags. Hopefully Rimac, VW I.D. R, and the like will have an influence on the electric racing crowd. But at least they’re allowing magnetic braking on the front axle; that’s a big plus.

    • Avatar

      Chris

      May 25, 2019 at 11:53 am

      I think this is a good solution, because RWD is more fun. While you can also have extra regen. I like this plan a lot.

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