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Bern Post-Race Notebook

Sam Smith’s post-race Notebook from the Swiss E-Prix in Bern….

Photo: Formula E

***Jean-Eric Vergne’s third win of the season was also his eighth in his ABB FIA Formula E Championship career. His 28-point haul ensures he now enjoys a 32-point lead over Lucas di Grassi in his quest to become the first-ever two-time Formula E champion.

***In the teams’ title chase, DS Techeetah enjoys a 43-point cushion over Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler with 94 points to play for in New York City next month.

***Sam Bird suffered a puncture after the Turn 1 incident at the initial start. The Envision Virgin Racing driver confirmed that contact with Andre Lotterer’s DS Techeetah was the cause. “Andre gave me a puncture rear right,” Bird told e-racing365. “We had a laugh about it. It wasn’t intentional.”

***The pair infamously had contact earlier this season at the Hong Kong E-Prix when Lotterer suffered a puncture after being hit by Bird.

***Daniel Abt admitted that DS Techeetah was “a step ahead of everyone here this weekend” after he took sixth position. It was Abt’s fifth top-six finish of the season in which the German described his performances as “consistent which is great but this season it seems more eye-catching to have a win and four zeros rather than things not looking so spectacular.”

***Lucas di Grassi believes his drive from 19th to ninth position in the final standings was one of his best races in Formula E. “In terms of how much I extracted out of the car because the car was not perfect today, of course we qualified really bad,” he told e-racing365. “Then in the race I managed to overtake every one, one by one, there was not really any accident up front.”

***BMW i Andretti driver Antonio Felix da Costa was docked five seconds for speeding under the Full Course Yellow deployed to recover Pascal Wehrlein’s broken-down Mahindra.

***Mahindra was investigating the precise reason for Wehrlein’s problem which stopped him while he was in fourth. “We are still looking at it, if it is a technical issue or if it is something from the accident or if a sensor broke,” Wehrlein told e-racing365. “We don’t know. The car switched off and steering wheel went off. The [dash] display too.”

***Alex Lynn confirmed that his Jaguar I-Type 3 sustained no damage in the first start incident which saw him forced against the wall avoiding the spun Robin Frijns. Lynn claimed his second points score for Panasonic Jaguar Racing with a seventh-place finish.

“Luckily there was no damage and after that we collected some more points which is important from the team,” Lynn told e-racing365. “The pace was strong and we weren’t far from the leading bunch. All round it was a good day for the team points wise.”

***Jose Maria Lopez was disqualified from the race after going over the 200 kW power limit on lap 15. The GEOX Dragon driver had finished in 13th in the provisional classification.

***Edoardo Mortara was handed a five-place grid penalty for the first New York City E-Prix for the incident which saw him make contact with Alexander Sims’ BMW iFE.18. Mortara suffered a braking issue which caused him to collect Sims on Lap 4.

***Nissan’s Oliver Rowland’s first retirement since Mexico City in February was caused by a damaged suspension after he tagged the wall at Turn 1 while running in 11th.

***Gary Paffett’s HWA Racelab Venturi was forced to have a last-minute battery change ahead of the race. Paffett, who started 18th on the grid, eventually retired from the race with a puncture after tagging the wall on the ninth lap.

***Paffett’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne inherited a point after Lotterer’s penalty but team principal Ulrich Fritz lamented a largely uncompetitive weekend for the team.

***”We struggled for pace all day,” admitted Fritz. “We must keep our heads up now and focus on the final race weekend of the season.”

***Audi Spot ABT Schaeffler was fined €1000 for an infringement of the Battery Software Implementation Guide in Free Practice 1 on Saturday morning. Di Grassi’s car was found to be outside of the minimum allowable coolant temperature.

***Mercedes EQ Formula E Team managing director Ian James believes that the late November date for the season opening double header in Saudi Arabia will be a better solution for Formula E than the initially planned date of Dec. 20-21.

“For us absolutely it is [preferable],” he told e-racing365. “We would have worked around whatever came up but to have it not just before Christmas from an exposure perspective is better. We just need to make sure we see the momentum going for the following races.”

***Neel Jani says that the recent Porsche Formula E testing “is progressing well” after the latest run in Mallorca earlier this month. The team has completed almost 50 percent of their allocated 15 days so far.

“We are going in to the stage of performance testing to improve things but the difficult thing for us is that we have no reference because we cannot go on a track where we have lap times from another race weekend,” Jani told e-racing365.

***Four-time Le Mans LMP2 winner Nicolas Lapierre was in Bern yesterday watching the action. The current Signatech Alpine driver, who lives in nearby Geneva, briefly tested a Team Aguri Gen 1 car at Donington Park in 2015.

***DS Techeetah has recently appointed Jon Wilde in a Business Development role. Wilde, who has extensive experience in similar jobs with Johnson & Johnson and Errea Sport, will work closely with the teams’ chief commercial officer Keith Smout.

***Among visitors to the Bern paddock on race day were the FIA Secretary General, Peter Bayer, former Panasonic Jaguar Racing powertrain manager Selin Tur, renowned former team owner David Price and three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner.

***Vergne became the inaugural winner of the voestalpine European trophy after his win at Bern. The DS Techeetah driver was presented with his trophy by Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag and voestalpine chairman and CEO Wolfgang Eder.

***Romain Dumas completed a demo lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife and GP loop in the fully-electric Volkswagen I.D. R prototype ahead of the Nürburgring 24 on Saturday afternoon. It came three weeks after the Frenchman set a new lap record for electric vehicles at the ‘Green Hell’. Dumas later took part in the infamous 24-hour race, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Frikadelli Racing Team.

“It’s good that the people can see now, in reality, the car,” said Dumas. “When you see so many spectators here, it’s great to show the car in reality this time. It’s the best track in the world so it’s always great to drive on this track, and even more with a prototype.”

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report.

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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