Felix Rosenqvist made history in the FIA Formula E Championship as he claimed his, Sweden’s and Mahindra Racing’s first-ever victory in the all-electric series with a triumphant drive in Saturday’s race at the Berlin ePrix.
Rosenqvist won today’s race at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airfield ahead of Lucas Di Grassi (BRA) and local German hero Nick Heidfeld.
The success means Rosenqvist becomes a winner in only his seventh Formula E race, while Mahindra Racing celebrates their breakthrough victory after three years of trying.
“This is a significant victory in my career, and I’m really, really thrilled to have done it,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It confirms that we’ve got a winning package, and I want to thank everybody at Mahindra Racing for all the hard work they’ve put in over the last few months and weeks. It may sound like something everyone says at moments like this, but it couldn’t come more from the heart. It’s a team effort and I really am as happy for the guys as I am for myself today.”
Rosenqvist started the race from third on the grid, having topped the group stages of qualifying but making a small mistake on his Super Pole lap that eventually saw him lose out on pole by just 0.083 seconds.
A good start vaulted the Swede to second behind pole-sitter Di Grassi on the run to the first corner, and – on lap 22 out of 44 – he made a crucial move on the Brazilian to snatch the lead.
The duo then came in for their compulsory pit stops later on the same lap, but the order remained unchanged and Rosenqvist went on to claim victory 2.2 seconds clear of Di Grassi.
Heidfeld finished an additional two seconds in arrears to complete a double podium for Mahindra Racing on the team’s biggest day so far in Formula E, with triple WTCC title winner José María López (ARG) coming home fourth and reigning Formula E champion Sébastien Buemi (SUI) taking fifth*.
The victory sees Rosenqvist slot into fourth in the overall Formula E standings.
“It was a great race today, and an amazing feeling to be on top of that podium,” Rosenqvist concludes. “However, it’s a new day tomorrow and we now need to refocus on that.”
The Formula E Berlin ePrix continues with another race on Sunday.
*NOTE: Buemi was later disqualified as his car failed to comply with the minimum tyre pressure regulations.
RESULTS (top five) – updated
FIA Formula E Championship
Berlin ePrix (Race 1), Germany
1: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 44 laps
2: Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), +2.232s
3: Nick Heidfeld (GER), +4.058s
4: José María López (ARG), +13.638s
5: Nicolas Prost (FRA), +19.068s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS - updated
FIA Formula E Championship
After 7/12 races
1: Sébastien Buemi (SUI), 132 p.
2: Lucas di Grassi (BRA), 110 p.
3: Nicolas Prost (FRA), 68 p.
4: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 65 p.
5: Nick Heidfeld (GER), 62 p.