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Behind the Race: “The most intense motorsports season finale”

Six races in nine days and on three different circuits at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. The Formula E climax was billed as “the most intense season finale in motorsport history”.

Antonio Felix da Costa, DS Techeetah celebrates on the podium

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

But Antonio Felix da Costa would get the job done with two rounds to spare. It’s the earliest anyone has wrapped up the electric championship title in the series’ six-year history. 

Building on his two pole positions and two expertly managed wins in the first double-header, da Costa consolidated his points lead with a fourth and second-place finish as FE switched from the reversed layout back to the conventional track configuration. 

In the latest episode of Behind the Race from ThEVox, Autosport's Formula E correspondent Matt Kew is joined by Italian racer Michela Cerutti to review the most recent two races and, with both titles decided, why there might be fireworks in the last two rounds of the season.  

 

It wasn’t just the Portuguese driver making history, however. Maximilian Guenther’s victory in race three for BMW Andretti was the closest ever finish to date in FE, as he fought off a large charge from Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns to triumph by just 0.128s. 

That followed a slip to third for reigning double champion Jean-Eric Vergne after a software glitch meant he over-consumed energy while running in attack mode. 

Wind on to race four and the DS Techeetah pilot was out to score his first win of a lacklustre title defence, which he achieved in no small part down to team orders. 

Having aired his frustration over radio about da Costa ignoring a pre-agreed race one strategy to manage the pace as they led 1-2, Vergne could have blocked his stablemate. 

Instead, and against the threat of hard-charging Nissan e.dams duo Oliver Rowland and Sebastien Buemi, Vergne graciously moved aside to give da Costa a one-car buffer as the black-and-gold machines found themselves down on energy compared to their rivals. 

When that threat faded in the final laps, once again instructions came to swap positions, and Vergne returned to first place and delivered the spoils for DS Techeetah. 

Da Costa in second was crowned the FE champion, and with it the squad wrapped up its second successive teams’ title.  

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