Just like in Round No. 5 in the Race At Home Challenge hosted by FIA Formula E, Tempelhof Airport (city of Berlin) hosted the grand finale of the virtual racing challenges. It featured the Challenge Series (that makes up some of the best sim racers in the world) and the Driver’s Grid (featuring real-life Formula E drivers) that made up the grid.
As the sim racers arrived for the grand finale, the Challenge Series sim racers had a unique prize waiting for them. That prize was to test drive a real Formula E car at an upcoming event.
Coming into the last round of the virtual series, Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlien and Lucas Mueller had swept the previous day races at virtual New York.
The last round was a double points championship event for both series.
Mueller was coming in with a head of momentum and extra motivation after getting to compete in a couple of laps, with his favorite racing driver, Wehrlein. He needed to beat rival competitor Kevin Siggy (in the BMW i Andretti camp) to score the championship.
Knowing it would be difficult for Mueller, who has been successful throughout the virtual series, it all started with a decent qualifying position. The grid would be lined up based on points and that meant Siggy would start on the pole and Mueller would be slated alongside Siggy.
As the lights went out, Mueller was all over the back of Siggy, who was trying hard to take the race lead, while Siggy was doing everything in his power to keep Mueller at bay. Mueller got to the back bumper of Siggy a couple of times and even attempted a couple of shunts. Though, Siggy fended off every battle from Mueller.
When the laps started to click down on the short circuit in Berlin, Siggy slowly and surely started to pull away from Mueller. Eventually, Siggy started to stretch his lead and the race pace had settled for the time being.
Mueller kept his pace and a decent distance behind Siggy in hopes of catching him, should Siggy slip in the final moments. However, Siggy proved to be a tough match for Mueller, when the BMW i Andretti driver led all 15 laps from pole position and took the virtual victory over Mahindra’s Mueller.
In the running order, Jaguar’s Petar Brljak was third, the GEOX Dragon of Peyo Peev was fourth, and Joshua Rogers in the TAG Heuer Porsche rounded out the top five finishers.
With Siggy getting another virtual victory and the championship, he will get to test a real life Formula E at a track of his choosing.
When asked if he had a preference to test drive at any track, he said, “any that doesn’t have walls.”
It was a special moment for the sim racer Kevin Siggy, who also set the fastest time of the race with 1:08.943
“I cannot believe it!” Siggy said. “I do not have any words right now. I am so proud of myself that I was able to hold the lead in turn one and on lap one. Lucas [Mueller] was giving me a tough time on the first lap, but I am really happy it ended the way it did. I cannot wait to drive the real car.”
In the driver’s grid, it was a competitive battle, between Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein and Mercedes-Benz EQ driver, Stoffel Vandoorne. After Saturday’s victory in virtual New York, Wehrlein had a 14 point gap over Vandoorne heading into the double points event.
In qualifying, it was actually Nissan e. dams driver, Oliver Rowland who set the pace of 1:09.139. Wehrlein was second 1:09.280, and Vandoorne third with a time of 1:09.283.
Also in qualifying, there was a special guest appearance by W Series and British racing driver, Alice Powell, who competed in the Envision Virgin Racing entry. Although, qualifying proved difficult for her, as she started last.
When it came time to go green, there was a hectic start in the first turn. The Venturi of Edoardo Mortara caused an accident, as he would make contact with Sebastien Buemi, who then got into Vandoorne going through the turns, which then caused Vandoorne to spin around the championship points leader Wehrlein in the going. Vandoorne escaped the melee and came out in second place, as Wehrlein dropped to 15th.
Despite the accident, series officials ruled no penalties for any of the drivers involved.
After the chaos, a calm race was seen just three laps into the event and really, no further shunts as we have seen in previous races.
Rowland in the Nissan e.dams machine continued to set the pace over Vandoorne. Though all Vandoorne had to do was, was have a perfect drive and bring the virtual car home in one piece.
In doing so, Vandoorne could never catch Rowland who went to take the virtual victory at Tempelhof. Vandoorne, who finished second, had just enough to claim the virtual series championship and give Mercedes-Benz EQ the constructors championship.
Wehrlein meanwhile, had came back from the lap 1 incident and originally finished ninth, but was given a 10 second penalty for contact. This saw Wehrlein finish 12th instead in the final running order.
“First of all, I am really happy to win this competition,” Vandoorne said. “It has been a tough day and the start was very chaotic. I had a good start alongside Pascal (Wehrlein) on the outside and then into turn two I got bumped from behind, which sent him into a spin. It would been nice to have had a proper fight on track. But I have been unlucky as well in a couple of races, so it is a well-deserved win for us.”
Official Driver’s Grid Results
- Oliver Rowland
- Stoffel Vandoorne
- Maximilian Gunther
- Edoardo Mortara
- Sebastien Buemi
- James Calado
- Nyck de Vries
- Felipe Massa
- Kelvin van der Linde
- Andre Lottrer
- Antonio Felix da Costa
- Pascal Wehrlien
- Alexander Sims, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Jean-Eric Vergne, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Brendon Hartley, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Sam Bird, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Sam Dejonghe, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Ma Qing Hua, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Lucas di Grassi, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Alice Powell, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Oliver Turvey, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Joel Eriksson, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Neel Jani, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Mitch Evans, OUT, Did Not Finish
Official Driver’s Grid Standings
- Stoffel Vandoorne, 154 points
- Pascal Wehrlein, 130 points
- Oliver Rowland, 122 points
- Maximilian Gunther, 118 points
- Edoardo Mortara, 59 points
- Robin Frijns, 50 points
- James Calado, 41 points
- Neel Jani, 35 points
- Antonio Felix da Costa, 30 points
- Sebastien Buemi, 29 points
- Nico Mueller, 29 points
- Oliver Turvey, 23 points
- Kelvin van der Linde, 20 points
- Nick Cassidy, 19 points
- Felipe Massa, 18 points
- Nyck de Vries, 18 points
- Andre Lotterer, 13 points
- Mitch Evans, 10 points
- Jerome D’ Ambrosio, 2 points
- Ma Qing Hua, 2 points
- Alexander Sims, 1 points
- Jean-Eric Vergne, 0 points
- Lucas di Grassi, 0 points
- Brendon Hartley, 0 points
- Sam Bird, 0 points
- Sam Dejonghe, 0 points
- Alice Powell, 0 points
- Joel Eriksson, 0 points
Official Constructors Championship Standings
- Mercedes-Benz EQ, 172 points
- Nissan e.dams, 151 points
- Mahindra Racing, 132 points
- BMW i Andretti Motorsport, 119 points
- ROKiT Venturi Racing, 77 points
- Envision Virgin Racing, 69 points
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 51 points
- TAG Heuer Porsche, 50 points
- DS Techeetah, 30 points
- GEOX Dragon, 29 points
- NIO 333 FE Team, 25 points
- Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 22 points
Official Challenge Grid Results
- Kevin Siggy
- Lucas Muller
- Petar Brljak
- Peyo Peev
- Joshua Rogers
- Jacob Reid
- Kush Maini
- Cem Bolukbasi
- Jan von der Heyde
- Marius Golombeck
- Markus Keller
- Ben Hitz
- Jim Parisis, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Niek Jacobs, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Noah Reuvers, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Arjan Veltens, OUT, Did Not Finish
- Alisdair Irvine, OUT, Did Not Finish