Vandoorne crowned inaugural FE Race At Home champion

Stoffel Vandoorne claimed the Formula E Race at Home Challenge Esports championship title after he was involved in a first-lap collision that spun pre-event points leader Pascal Wehrlein.

Vandoorne crowned inaugural FE Race At Home champion

As Mercedes and Mahindra drivers tangled, it allowed Oliver Rowland to score victory around the virtual Berlin circuit in the double-points finale for the series that runs in partnership with Motorsport Games to raise money for the UNICEF coronavirus relief effort.

Rowland bagged pole at the Tempelhof Airport circuit, where the Nissan driver already earned a win in round five of the eight-race series, as second-starting Wehrlein pipped Vandoorne by just 0.003s.

Vandoorne made a solid launch, which forced Wehrlein to pull across the track to defend position into Turn 1 and the pair were fortunate to escape the late-braking Edoardo Mortrara who crashed into Maximilian Gunther.

This allowed Rowland’s teammate Sebastien Buemi into fourth, but on the approach to Turn 3 he too was clipped by Mortara and subsequently knocked into the back of Vandoorne.

That forced the Belgian into a slide, and he then hit into Wehrlein - who entered the race with a 14-point cushion - into a half-spin.

But Wehrlein’s chances of recovery were then dashed as a second tap punted him all the way around and he dropped out of the title lead and down to 21st place.

The drama for second place permitted Rowland to extract a lofty 2.6s lead over Vandoorne at the end of the first lap as Wehrlein rapidly climbed four places.

Vandoorne was able to close in on Rowland gradually but such was Rowland’s early cushion that he claimed the eventual spoils by 1.796s.

Second place was still plenty for Vandoorne to earn the title, winding up 24 points clear of Wehrlein.

Gunther found himself without a rival for the rest of the race after the first-corner scare and completed the podium ahead of the Venturi of Mortara.

Buemi also remained out of trouble for the remainder and so wound up fifth ahead of Jaguar’s James Calado and the second Mercedes of reigning Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries.

Felipe Massa edged Audi stand-in Kelvin van der Linde, as Porsche driver Andre Lotterer completed the top 10 ahead of real-world FE points leader Antonio Felix da Costa - who was given a 10s penalty for contact.

Wehrlein continued to chip away and recover places but was also reprimanded by 5s to end up 12th and so lost out on the title despite scoring three series wins to Vandoorne’s single success.

It also marked only the second time that Wehrlein - who started sim racing specifically for the Race at Home Challenge - finished off the podium, the other occasion being Monaco.

The tandem Challenge grid race for sim gamers was won convincingly by polesitter Kevin Siggy, despite several opening-lap clashes with front-row rival Lucas Muller.

BMW representative Siggy survived the initial rubs and then pulled clear by almost 1.4s to ensure the runaway championship leader of a prize real-world FE car test drive.

Formula E Race at Home Challenge – Final championship standings

1 Stoffel Vandoorne 154 points

2 Pascal Wehrlein 130

3 Oliver Rowland 122

4 Maximilian Guenther 118

5 Edoardo Mortara 59

6 Robin Frijns 50

7 James Calado 41

8 Neel Jani 35

9 Antonio Felix da Costa 30

10 Sebastien Buemi 29

11 Nico Muller 29

12 Oliver Turvey 23

shares
comments
Saudi Arabian Esports Federation is title sponsor for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

Previous article

Saudi Arabian Esports Federation is title sponsor for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

Next article

Russell wins third-straight Virtual GP at Baku, Leclerc struggles

Russell wins third-straight Virtual GP at Baku, Leclerc struggles
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E , Esports
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Author Matt Kew
How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize Prime

How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize

An unlikely partnership between World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateers Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's highly-successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How seriously should Esports be taken? Prime

How seriously should Esports be taken?

As interest in Esports has increased during the coronavirus lockdown, the lines have become blurred between what's real and what's virtual - especially when some high-profile participants seem to be playing for laughs, says Luke Smith

Esports
Jun 10, 2020
Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice Prime

Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

Daniel Abt's suspension by the Audi Formula E team - and possible loss of his drive - for fielding a ringer in an Esports event could be considered an overreaction. But in a wider context, his employers had little other alternative

Esports
May 26, 2020
How Leclerc is embracing his new mission Prime

How Leclerc is embracing his new mission

The emergence of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc as a Twitch streaming star has been one of the pleasant surprises of lockdown so far. He says it is giving fans a greater insight into his nature, but that's not his primary purpose

Formula 1
Apr 23, 2020
Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Prime

Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Prime

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

The lack of real track action so far this year hasn't stop drivers from keeping their racing brains 'fresh', as former F1 star Stoffel Vandoorne suggested last weekend.

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now Prime

Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now

MotoGP's virtual #StayAtHomeGP was a sad reminder of some of the storylines that could be unfolding had the real-life season not been delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic. While we can bemoan Esports as being a poor relation of the real thing, it has an even more important function to perform

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2020
F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Prime

F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020