TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team remain in the lead of the Constructors’ Championship; however, their advantage took a huge dent at their home weekend in Berlin.
The Berlin E-Prix was very mixed for the German manufacturer, who were unable to claim a podium in either race at the Tempelhof Airport Circuit. Saturday’s race was arguably the harder of the two for the team, after Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa qualified poorly. Wehrlein started fifteenth whilst Da Costa started nineteenth, meaning both drivers had a huge task ahead of them to claim any points.
To no surprise, both drivers did work their way into the top ten, with Wehrlein having incredibly finished sixth. Da Costa would’ve also finished in the top five had he not been hit late on by Jake Dennis, with the Portuguese driver having had nowhere to go. He was forced to retire as a result of the damage sustained, much to Team Principal Florian Modlinger‘s disappointment.
Whilst he was gutted to see Da Costa retire, Modlinger was impressed by both drivers performance, after labelling the race as “spectacular”.
“That was a spectacular first race at our home event with lots of thrills and spills,” Modlinger said on Saturday. “Our drivers concentrated on working their way up the field from their grid positions and they did a good job. António was in fourth place and on track for a very good result. But very unfortunately he was then knocked out of the race and couldn’t do a thing about it. That’s such a shame, he could’ve earned very important points.
“Pascal progressed from P15 to sixth, scored critical points for the championship and held on to his lead in the drivers’ standings. It was a good conclusion to the race for him but not so much for the team. Now we need to make sure we bring home more points tomorrow.”
After struggling in qualifying on Saturday, both Wehrlein and Da Costa qualified significantly better on Sunday, in what was the first wet qualifying session of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Wehrlein started sixth with Da Costa in tenth, giving both drivers a great chance of scoring points.
The duo did just that, with Wehrlein having finished seventh, whilst Da Costa managed to claim fifth. It was a solid result for Porsche which could’ve been even better perhaps had they gone for some risky overtakes; however, the priority for the team was just scoring “valuable points”.
“Our home races in Berlin marked a very successful end to the first half of the season,” Modlinger said after Sunday’s race. “We have underlined that we’re competitive on a wide range of different circuits. In this race, Pascal and António fought their way into the top three over the first laps with some great overtaking moves and at times even led the race. In the duels with other vehicles, they then lost positions.
“The race became so fast in the end that it would’ve been hugely risky to overtake. Still, we’ve earned valuable points towards the championship. We’re leading both classifications and will now focus on continuing to bring home strong results in the second half of the season.”