DS VIRGIN RACING CONTINUE STRONG POINTS HAUL IN BERLIN
Double points finish for Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird with 5th and 7th
Drivers face challenging conditions in longest ever Formula E race.
Team heads to next rounds in New York in comfortable fourth place.
Following on from Saturday’s double points score, DS Virgin Racing once again picked up an impressive points haul during the second race of this weekend’s FIA Formula E Berlin ePrix.
Held at the city’s Tempelhof Airport, Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird finished fifth and seventh respectively to leave the team in fourth place overall heading into the next event in New York – 40 points clear of its nearest rival.
The morning practice sessions once again showed the pace of the DSV-02 with Lopez topping the timesheets in the second session and setting the quickest lap of the entire weekend. This continued into qualifying where Bird and Lopez ended first and second, promoting them to the Super Pole shootout. However, the two narrowly missed out on a front row spot, instead settling for P3 and P4.
It was a clean getaway for Lopez and Bird as the 46-lap race got underway where energy consumption would prove to be crucial. Running fourth and fifth, Bird attempted a move on Lopez into Turn 1 on lap 17 but the Argentinean defended his line costing him time, as well as a couple of places.
Bird was able to gain a place back during the pit stops with the two now running sixth and seventh as the race entered the final stages. Lopez then moved into fifth after a great move around the outside of Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne at the hairpin, holding the place until the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Bird worked frantically to also pass Vergne but was unable to get by to cross the line seventh.
“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,” said Lopez. “Everyone worked really hard and we’ve been able to come away with some good points.”
Team-mate Bird said: “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.”
DS Virgin Team Principal Alex Tai said: “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.”
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director, added: “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.”
The next rounds (nine and 10) of the FIA Formula E Championship take place for the first time in New York on July 15 and 16.