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Closed Circuit: DS Virgin Racing in Berlin

Focus | ePrix

  • Bird was a constant presence in the sharp end of the timing sheets
  • Lopez fully focused on proving his improving form

The Berlin ePrix was a mixed weekend for the DS Virgin Team, but they scored some vital points and solidified their place, once again showing that they remain a strong contender at each and every race.

THE TEAM

Overall, a solid weekend for the Anglo-French squad that saw them pick up some solid points from both races to cement their place in fourth in the team standings. DS Virgin will be hoping they can go one better and win in New York.

Team mate comparison: qualifying

  • Sam Bird
  • Jose Maria Lopez

Team mate comparison: race

  • Sam Bird
  • Jose Maria Lopez

“Today’s rising track temperatures and race distance certainly made for challenging conditions for both car and driver but we’re pleased to come away with yet more championship points. Clearly the pace is there, as we’ve consistently shown in qualifying, so I know the team can work on this and convert it into podium finishes.”

Alex Tai, Team principal

“It’s been a good weekend for the team and great to have the drivers in the Super Pole on both days, helping us to strengthen our position in the championship. We will now work to improve on our race pace for New York to allow us to fight for better results.”

Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director

Championship standings

  • DS Virgin Racing

Sam Bird

Saturday

Sam Bird was matching his team-mates performances throughout the morning, also slotting himself into Super Pole but after a few mistakes on his lap meant that the Brit qualified fifth place.

The race for Bird was fairly uneventful, getting off of the line decently, in the race he was passed by Daniel Abt and Nico Prost, but the DS Virgin driver drove a respectable race to reach the chequered flag in seventh place.

Sunday

Sunday got off to a better start for Bird, after setting the pace in qualifying. The 30-year-old went one better than he had the day before and placed his car in fourth place for the race, helped by Jean-Eric Vergne with some brake issues but a disappointing five tenths behind pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist.

The second round of the Berlin ePrix was quite a contrast to the first one for Bird, he got off the line well and lead a steady race in fifth. However, on lap 17 the Brit made a move on his team-mate for fourth, of which Jose Maria Lopez defended in spectacular fashion, pushing Bird off line and in turn costing him a few places.

Bird managed to keep a cool head until the pit stop phase of which where he gained a position to be running in seventh, but sadly as the race came to an end the Englishman couldn’t pass Vergne to reach the chequered flag in seventh, the same result he achieved in Saturday’s race, bagging some solid points for the team.

Sam Bird: lap chart

  • Saturday
  • Sunday

Saturday

Best time in FP1: 1:09.649 (P5)

Best time in FP2: 1:08.471 (P7)

Best time in qualifying: 1:08.321 (P2, P5 in Superpole)

Best time in the race: 1:10.949 (lap 27)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 50.843s (+2.843s)

Sunday

Best time in FP3: 1:09.266 (P7)

Best time in FP4: 1:07.916 (P4)

Best time in qualifying: 1:07.805 (P1, P4 in Superpole)

Best time in the race: 1:11.850 (lap 25)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 48.773s (+0.773s)

“It’s shame we didn’t come away with more today but overall I’m happy with yet more points. The team gave me a good car but we’ll look to work on our energy consumption and look to improve in the coming races.”

Championship standings

  • Sam Bird

Jose Maria Lopez

Saturday

Lopez got familiar with the Tempelhof circuit on Saturday morning, after placing fourth 1.2 seconds off the pace in practice one, the Argentinian was soon on the pace in practice two finishing just under four tenths of a second behind first place. Then it was time for qualifying, the DS Virgin Racing driver managed to get his DSV-02 into the Super Pole shootout of which Lopez had a superb lap that placed him just one thousandth of a second off of pole behind Lucas di Grassi.

TAfter a superb qualifying, Lopez set his sight out for a strong result in the race, but after what seemed to be a decent launch was then passed in the race by the Mahindra duo of Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld, but went on to finish in a very respectable fourth place.

Sunday

Again, Lopez managed to slot his car into Super Pole and qualified in a respectable third place, just over two tenths of a second behind pole position man, Rosenqvist.

Like his team-mate, Pechito managed to get off of the line well and drove a great race despite coming under pressure from his team-mate and managed to perform a great move to get past Vergne for fifth in the end of the race, which was a solid result for the Argentinian and team as a whole, which further cemented his solid performance from Saturday’s race.

Jose Maria Lopez: lap chart

  • Saturday
  • Sunday

Saturday

Best time in FP1: 1:09.369 (P4)

Best time in FP2: 1:08.458 (P4)

Best time in qualifying: 1:08.313 (P2 in Superpole)

Best time in the race: 1:11.224 (lap 27)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 48.339s (+0.339s)

Sunday

Best time in FP3: 1:08.951 (P3)

Best time in FP4: 1:07.670 (P1)

Best time in qualifying: 1:08.454 (P3 in Superpole)

Best time in the race: 1:11.840 (lap 32)

Pit stop time and difference to minimum pit stop time: 48.708s (+0.708s)

“The team have been doing a great job over the last few races and we know there’s more to come from the race pace. Everyone worked really hard and we’ve been able to come away with some good points.”

Championship standings

  • Jose Maria Lopez

Jordan Peacock | e-racing.net

Images courtesy of FIA Formula E Media

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