|2019/20 Formula E Championship|
Porsche are one of two manufacturers set to enter FE in 2019/20.
|No. Rounds||8 (11 Races)|
|First Round||2019 Ad Diriyah E-Prix I|
|Last Round||2020 Berlin E-Prix VI|
|Entrants||Audi Sport; BMW; DS; Jaguar; Mahindra; Mercedes; NIO; Nissan; Penske; Porsche|
|Champion||António Félix da Costa 156 Pt(s)|
|3 Win(s), 3 Pole(s) 3 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||Stoffel Vandoorne 87 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 1 Pole(s) 1 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||Jean-Éric Vergne 86 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 1 Pole(s), 0 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Champion||DS Techeetah 244 Pt(s)|
|4 Win(s), 5 Pole(s) 3 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Second||Nissan e.Dams 167 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 1 Pole(s) 1 Fastest Lap(s)|
|Third||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team 147 Pt(s)|
|1 Win(s), 1 Pole(s) 1 Fastest Lap(s)|
The 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, otherwise known as the 2019/20 Formula E Season, was the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, originally set to be held between December 2019 and July 2020. The 2019/20 season was one of the most anticipated seasons in FE's short history, as German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche joined the series to increase the field to 24 cars.
Jean-Éric Vergne would start the season as the reigning Champion, with his team DS Techeetah likewise starting the season as the Teams' Champions. Furthermore, a fourteen race calendar was organised ahead of the campaign, featuring races in Diriyah, Santiago, Mexico City, Marrakesh, Sanya, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Jakarta, New York City and London.
The season opened with Vergne and new teammate António Félix da Costa failing to score in the opening race in Diriyah, as Sam Bird opened the season with victory. Alexander Sims then claimed victory in the second Diriyah Race, before his new teammate Maximilian Günther scored victory in Santiago.
Mitch Evans would then score a victory with a commanding run at the 2020 Mexico City E-Prix, before da Costa opened his account with victory at the 2020 Marrakesh E-Prix. However, that race would be run under a heavy cloud, with factors outside of the Series' control moving to curtail the season.
Indeed, the season would be heavily affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 midway through the season, which led to the cancellation of multiple E-Prix in early 2020. This was escalated to a full suspension of the series by the FIA and FE when the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global pandemic, which lasted for four months between March and July.
After countries managed to control and reduce the number of Covid-19 infections, FE organised a six race season finale in Berlin, using three variations of the Tempelhofring. The finale was scheduled for the 5 - 13 August 2020, with three pairs of races across nine days to complete the season, with start of the 2020/21 season pushed back to January 2021.
Arriving in Berlin there were six drivers within a maximum score at the top of the Championship, with da Costa leading the charge. However, two stunning victories for the Portuguese racer, combined with a fourth and a second in the second pair of races, ensured that da Costa claimed the title with two races to spare. Furthermore, a first victory of the campaign for Vergne in the 2020 Berlin E-Prix IV ensured that DS Techeetah secured the Teams' Championship with time in hand.
The final two races would hence be about the fight for second, with Stoffel Vandoorne ultimately taking the runner-up spot with a maiden victory for himself and Mercedes. Oliver Rowland would also pick up a maiden win in the 2020 Berlin E-Prix V, which helped to push Nissan e.Dams into second in the Teams' Championship, ahead of debutantes Mercedes.
Come the end of the season 28 drivers had taken part in the Championship, with the majority of changes enforced due to changes in situation during the four month break. Of these, 23 drivers would score points, fourteen would finish on the podium, eight claim victory, and five would make their FE debuts.
Away from the Championship, FE would host the Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of Unicef, a virtual Championship using rFactor2 during the enforced break. Vandoorne would go on to win the title ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, while Daniel Abt managed to lose his real world racing seat with Audi after being caught cheating during the virtual series.
- 1 Background
- 2 Calendar
- 3 Entrants
- 4 Season Report
- 4.1 Pre-season
- 4.2 Race One: Diriyah E-Prix I (22 November 2019)
- 4.3 Race Two: Diriyah E-Prix II (23 November 2019)
- 4.4 Race Three: Santiago E-Prix (18 January 2020)
- 4.5 Race Four: Mexico City E-Prix (15 February 2020)
- 4.6 Race Five: Marrakesh E-Prix (29 February 2020)
- 4.7 Race Six: Berlin E-Prix I (5 August 2020)
- 4.8 Race Seven: Berlin E-Prix II (6 August 2020)
- 4.9 Race Eight: Berlin E-Prix III (8 August 2020)
- 4.10 Race Nine: Berlin E-Prix IV (9 August 2020)
- 4.11 Race Ten: Berlin E-Prix V (12 August 2020)
- 4.12 Race Eleven: Berlin E-Prix VI (13 August 2020)
- 5 Rules and Regulations
- 6 Standings
- 7 References
Early news of the 2019/20 calendar came shortly before the start of the 2018/19 season, with reports of a deal for the South Korean capital of Seoul to host its first E-Prix in 2020. This was part of a plan to establish an Asian leg of the Championship, based around the Hong Kong E-Prix, which was initially set for a date in March 2020. Elsewhere, the second confirmed venue for the 2019/20 season would see the series return to London for the first time since 2016, with a new circuit based around the ExCel Arena planned to host the season finale in July 2020.
A Provisional Performance
The first full, provisional, calendar for the 2019/20 season was released on the 14 June 2019, with fourteen rounds scheduled. The season was to start in Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, with a double header planned across the 22/23 November 2019. A TBC followed, scheduled for the 14 December, before the first FE race of 2020 was set to be staged in Santiago, Chile, on 18 January.
Race five would be staged in Mexico City in February, before an Asian double header in Hong Kong and a second race in China, which was not announced on the provisional calendar. The European season followed, opening with a race in Rome on 4 April 2020, two weeks before the field headed to Paris. The visit to Seoul interrupted the European campaign on the 3 May, with the field returning to fight in Berlin on the 30 May.
The final "fly-away" race of the season would be staged in New York City on 20 June, prior to the season finale, to be held in London. As ever, FE would be completed by a double-header, with two races in the ExCel Centre to be held on the 25/26 July 2020. A late revision to the calendar would alter the schedule, however, with the addition of the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix in place of one of the two TBAs, to be held on the 6 June 2020.
The final full season calendar was formally announced at the World MotorSport Council meeting on 4 October 2019, which saw Hong Kong drop off the calendar in favour of the Marrakech E-Prix due to ongoing political protests at the time, while Sanya returned to fill the last remaining TBA slot, scheduled for the 21 March 2020. That controversially ensured that there would be a direct clash with the World Endurance Championship, although the other clashing date, 14 December 2019, was dropped by FE completely. Elsewhere, the Jakarta E-Prix swapped places with Berlin, with the latter's date changed to the 21 June 2020.
On 2 February 2020, it was announced that the Sanya E-Prix would be postponed, with a view to be cancelled, due to the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. The impact of the Wuhan Coronavirus, renamed COVID-19, outbreak extended into March and April, with FE announcing the postponement of the Rome E-Prix on 6 March 2020. The inaugural Jakarta E-Prix was also postponed on 11 March 2020, although FE did commit to finding an alternate date for the race.
On 13 March 2020 the FE Championship was formally suspended for two months, resulting in the postponement of the Paris and Seoul E-Prix. On 1 May 2020 it was announced that the races in London and New York had been cancelled outright, for both the ExCeL Arena in London and Pier 11 in New York had been converted into temporary hospitals to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
After the series of cancellations, Formula E Holdings entered negotiations with Tempelhof Airport and the Berlin city authorities to organise a means to complete the season, and ensure that it could be classed as a Championship. The result would be a six race special held exclusively at Tempelhof, with three pairs of races held on different circuit configurations to ensure that there would be some variety to the rounds. The races were scheduled between 5 and 13 August, with two days between each pair of races to ensure that the circuit could be changed.
The full calendar for the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship is outlined below:
|2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship|
|1||2019 SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix||Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia||Ad Diriyah Street Circuit||22 November 2019||Report|
|2||2019 SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix||Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia||Ad Diriyah Street Circuit||23 November 2019||Report|
|3||2020 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix||Santiago, Chile||Parque O'Higgins Circuit||18 January 2020||Report|
|4||2020 ABB FIA Formula E Mexico City E-Prix||Mexico City, Mexico||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||15 February 2020||Report|
|5||2020 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakech E-Prix||Marrakesh, Morocco||Circuit Moulay El Hassan||29 February 2020||Report|
|6||2020 Berlin E-Prix I Race 1||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring Reverse||5 August 2020||Report|
|7||2020 Berlin E-Prix I Race 2||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring Reverse||6 August 2020||Report|
|8||2020 BMW i Berlin E-Prix II Race 1||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring||8 August 2020||Report|
|9||2020 BMW i Berlin E-Prix II Race 2||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofring||9 August 2020||Report|
|10||2020 Heineken Berlin E-Prix III Race 1||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofer Park||12 August 2020||Report|
|11||2020 Heineken Berlin E-Prix III Race 2||Berlin, Germany||Tempelhofer Park||13 August 2020||Report|
|2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Tests|
|I||2019 Valencia Pre-Season Test||Valencia, Spain||Circuit Ricardo Tormo||15 - 18 October 2019||Report|
|II||2020 Rookie Test||Marrakech, Morocco||Circuit Moulay El Hassan||1 March 2020||Report|
|CAN||2020 FWD Sanya E-Prix||Sanya, China||Haitang Bay Circuit||21 March 2020|
|CAN||2020 ABB FIA Formula E Rome E-Prix||Rome, Italy||Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR||4 April 2020|
|CAN||2020 ABB FIA Formula E Jakarta E-Prix||Jakarta, Indonesia||TBA||6 June 2020|
|CAN||2020 Qatar Airways Paris E-Prix||Paris, France||Circuit des Invalides||18 April 2020|
|CAN||2020 ABB FIA Formula E Seoul E-Prix||Seoul, South Korea||Seoul Street Circuit||3 May 2020|
|CAN||2020 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix||New York City, USA||Brooklyn Street Circuit||11 July 2020|
|CAN||2020 ABB FIA Formula E London E-Prix||London, UK||ExCeL E-Prix Circuit||25 July 2020|
|CAN||2020 ABB FIA Formula E London E-Prix||London, UK||ExCeL E-Prix Circuit||26 July 2020|
The full 2019/20 FIA Formula E Championship entry list will be outlined below:
- * Mercedes-Benz and NIO were officially registered as British entries during the 2019 Valencia Test.
Race One: Diriyah E-Prix I (22 November 2019)
Qualifying groups for the opening round of the 2019/20 season were based on Championship positions from the 2018/19 campaign, with the top six from that season starting in group one, while the series' five rookies would qualify in group four. It was Sam Bird who emerged fastest in the group stage from the second sextet, joined by debutante Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne (both debuting the new Mercedes entry), Edoardo Mortara (Venturi Mercedes), Alexander Sims (BMW-Andretti) and Jérôme d'Ambrosio (Mahindra). Ultimately, however, it was Sims who emerged from Super Pole with pole position, beating Vandoorne by a quarter of a second.
The start of the opening round saw Sims convert pole into an early lead off the grid, while Vandoorne and de Vries held station in second and third. Elsewhere, Jean-Éric Vergne would make an early rise up towards the points after a disappointing qualifying session, while Sébastien Buemi became the first retirement of the season. He joined debutante Nico Müller on the sidelines, with the Swiss racer having had to sit out the opening race after crashing heavily in qualifying.
Attack Mode came into play on lap four, with Bird the first man amongst the lead group to take it, and duly managed to elbow his way past Mortara before catching the lead trio. The second AM boost then carried the Brit past de Vries for third, before he would follow Vandoorne through past Sims to claim second. A lap later and Bird was selling the Dutchman a dummy into the turn eighteen/nineteen chicane to secure the lead, before powering away at the head of the field.
Sims' race collapsed after that, with the Brit slipping down the field as André Lotterer climbed up the order to third. That became second when Vandoorne armed AM for the second time, although the Belgian racer was unable to use the boost to his advantage due to a late Safety Car. Indeed, a big accident for Daniel Abt would settle the race despite a late restart, with Bird maintaining the lead to claim victory ahead of Lotterer and Vandoorne.
Race Two: Diriyah E-Prix II (23 November 2019)
The second part of the season opening weekend would be staged on 23 November 2019 on an unchanged Ad Diriyah Street Circuit in Diriyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Ahead of the second day of running at Diriyah there were some minor revisions to the circuit, with a barrier moved on the inside of turn four to cover some bumps, at the cost of narrowing the circuit. António Félix da Costa would emerge from the group stage as the fastest driver, with Buemi, d'Ambrosio, Sims, Lucas di Grassi and Mitch Evans also making it into Super Pole. However there would, once again, be no beating Sims in the shootout, with the Brit claiming his third straight pole position ahead of Buemi.
Sims once again translated pole into a race lead when the lights went out, while di Grassi moved up to challenge Buemi for second. Evans and Bird would also make strong starts to chase after da Costa, with the top six quickly breaking clear of the rest of the field. Indeed, da Costa would go on elbow his way past di Grassi to attack Buemi while, out front, Sims managed to arm Attack Mode without losing the lead.
Unfortunately for da Costa his race would unravel after pitching Buemi into a spin, the result of the Swiss racer making a late move to arm AM. Behind, Bird would lose out to Evans after a failed lunge at di Grassi, with the Brit trying in vain to hold on around the outside of the New Zealander through the first sector, before running out of grip a turn four and sliding into the outside wall. Contact with Pascal Wehrlein then sealed his fate, with a Safety Car scrambled to allow the Brit to be retrieved.
Before the restart there would be a lot of chaos over AM, with da Costa almost overtaking Sims when the Brit armed AM, while he carried on without it. Other drivers were, however, found to have overtaken their rivals, with Maximilian Günther, de Vries and Ma Qing Hua penalised for their actions. Regardless, Sims would break clear at the head of the field unopposed, and would only be reined in again when Robin Frijns crashed out in the #4 Envision Virgin.
The race resumed for the final time with a few minutes remaining, with Sims duly sweeping to his maiden FE victory ahead of teammate Günther, di Grassi and Vandoorne. However, once Günther was found to have overtaken behind the first SC he was thrown down to eleventh, resulting in di Grassi and Vandoorne rising up to second and third.
Race Three: Santiago E-Prix (18 January 2020)
The first E-Prix of 2020 was held on the Parque O'Higgins Circuit in Santiago, Chile, on 18 January 2020, with the circuit revised with a removal of the chicane at the back of the circuit, as well as a revision to final hairpins.
Qualifying for the second Santiago E-Prix would be dominated by those in groups three and four, with Evans, Günther and Wehrlein making it to Super Pole from group three, while Buemi, Felipe Massa and a surprised Oliver Turvey moved up from group four. Evans duly emerged on pole having topped the group stage, finding a tenth on his earlier time to beat Günther in the shootout. There was some controversy during the session as Günther was initially excluded for leaving the pitlane when the red light was on, although this was revoked after replays and timing screens showed that he had crossed the pit-exit line before the red light came on.
Very high temperatures in Santiago caused several teams to panic about battery temperatures, although when the lights went out Evans would have no such concerns, sprinting away into an early lead. Günther, meanwhile, would battle the dust in the off-line second place grid slot, and hence lost out to Wehrlein in the sprint through the first corners. Behind, it was a fairly clean start, with little action of note in the early stages barring a brief Full Course Yellow when Sims stopped on track on lap six.
After that interruption there would be more action, with Oliver Rowland spinning Bird to the back of the field, while Evans used both of his Attack Mode boosts within the first fifteen minutes to build a lead. Behind, Günther briefly slipped behind Edoardo Mortara before rally back to claim second from Wehrlein, before swiftly destroying Evans' early lead. He duly shot past the #20 Jaguar before breaking away with AM, while Evans ran in a lonely second.
Behind, Wehrlein would get involved in two intra-team fights, with the two Venturis of Mortara and Massa tripping over each other, before Vergne and da Costa came to blows when the Frenchman made a very aggressive, defensive move. Indeed, contact between the two resulted in the front wing of Vergne's car collapsing on his front right tyre, which rubbed for half a lap before failing in the closing minutes. As he limped to retire da Costa had a late tear, storming past Evans before catching Günther with time running out.
A series of stunning laps and a robust move later and da Costa was ahead, although his aggressive move was met by warnings that his battery temperatures were excessively high. On the final lap the Portuguese racer was in serious trouble, and as they entered turn eight Günther was able to dance past the #13 DS Techeetah and claim victory, much to da Costa's ire. da Costa would, however, secure second ahead of Evans, while sixth place for Vandoorne elevated him to the lead of the Championship.
Race Four: Mexico City E-Prix (15 February 2020)
Due to the more permanent nature of the Mexico City E-Prix circuit, track evolution would have very little impact on qualifying, with the majority of Super Pole spots taken by drivers in group two. Evans led the charge into the shootout ahead of fellow G2 drivers de Vries, Lotterer and Wehrlein, Buemi put in a late charge in group four to join them, while Bird hung on to the final spot despite qualifying in group one. The shootout was subsequently won by Lotterer, claiming a maiden pole position for Porsche in only their fourth E-Prix.
Unfortunately for Lotterer he would be powerless to prevent Evans from charging past at the start, with the #20 Jaguar making an early break at the head of the field. Lotterer then ran wide at turn one and let de Vries and Buemi past, with de Vries trying a failing to take the lead from Evans into turn three and lost out to Buemi. Otherwise, the order would quickly settle down, before Nico Müller misjudged his braking point into turn one at the start of lap two and ploughed head on into the barriers.
A five minute Safety Car period followed to drag the #7 GEOX DRAGON out of the barriers, before Evans sprinted away to secure the lead. Behind, Buemi and de Vries squabbled over second, while Lotterer smacked the back of the Dutchman's Mercedes and punctured his own front right tyre. Elsewhere, Massa was elbowed out of the pack and smacked the wall at the exit of turn one, while Vergne and da Costa began picking their way up the field.
Indeed, the two DS Techeetahs would ominously move into third and fourth after de Vries smashed into Frijns and took both of the Dutchmen out, the result of a major failure at the rear of his car when using FanBoost. The two black-gold cars then tripped over each other when arming AM while hunting Buemi, before da Costa broke away and passed the #23 Nissan e.Dams. Yet, the Portuguese racer would run out of time to catch a dominant Evans out front, with the New Zealander moving to the head of the Championship as a result.
Race Five: Marrakesh E-Prix (29 February 2020)
After the removal of the Hong Kong E-Prix due to civil unrest in the Special Administrative Region, the Marrakesh E-Prix in Morocco was restored to the calendar. The series would use the familiar Circuit Moulay El Hassan on 29 February 2020, with the annual Rookie Test staged on 1 March 2020 the day after the race.
The semi-permanent nature of the Marrakesh circuit ensured that, much like the Mexico City E-Prix, there would be less track evolution during qualifying, with the circuit maintaining the same level of grip. As a result, António Félix da Costa was able to survive from group one, while Maximilian Günther headed the charge from group two, joined by André Lotterer, Nyck de Vries and Edoardo Mortara, while Sébastien Buemi secured his Super Pole spot from group three. da Costa would then go on to claim pole by 0.069s from Günther, while Championship leader Evans missed out on the chance to set a time due to over slowing in group one before they opened their flying laps.
There was also some controversy for Jean-Éric Vergne, who had been in hospital in the build-up to the race weekend for treatment for an unspecified illness. He was forced to pass a fitness test on Saturday morning, missing FP1 as a result with James Rossiter taking his seat, before taking over the #25 DS Techeetah for the rest of the meeting, qualifying ninth. However, Vergne was forced to quarantine away from the rest of his team all the time he was out of his cockpit.
The start of the race saw da Costa blast off the grid cleanly to claim an early lead, leaving Günther to fend off Lotterer into the first corner. de Vries, meanwhile, would first have to keep Mortara at bay before getting involved in the fight for second, with the Dutchman battling with the two Germans over the rest of the opening tour. He duly muscled his way past Lotterer, although in doing so he used too much re-gen and earned himself a penalty, while also allowing Günther to escape and catch da Costa.
After that the race became a story of Vergne's progress up the field, with the Frenchman climbing from ninth to sixth in the early stages, albeit aided by de Vries serving his penalty. Moves on Buemi and Mortara then carried him to fourth, before having to out-think former teammate Lotterer to claim third. With that he was off to hunt down current teammate da Costa, who had just lost the lead to Günther after a decisive lunge from the #28 BMW-Andretti.
da Costa would not fall away from Günther however, and with the aid of his second Attack Mode boost would soon scythe back past the German youth to reclaim the lead. He duly eased clear to claim his first victory of the campaign, while Günther fell behind Vergne, only to reclaim second from the Frenchman on the final lap when Vergne hit 1% battery with half a lap to go. Vergne held on to claim third ahead of Buemi, while Evans completed an impressive recovery drive to claim sixth from the back of the grid.
Race Six: Berlin E-Prix I (5 August 2020)
After the mid-season pause due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Formula E Holdings and the FIA managed to arrange a six race season finale at the Tempelhofring in Berlin, Germany, to be held across nine days. The first of these races was to be held on 5 August 2020, with the field using a reversed version of the familiar Tempelhofring circuit.
Formula E returned to racing on 5 August, with Championship leaders da Costa and DS Techeetah dominating the return to action in qualifying. Indeed, the Portuguese would not only top the group stage despite qualifying in group one, but would go on to claim pole position by 0.322s in Super Pole from teammate Vergne. Lotterer and Buemi would then share the second row ahead of de Vries and Jérôme d'Ambrosio, while Evans was the best of his title rivals down in ninth.
With dusk approaching there would be no stopping da Costa at the start of the race either, with the #13 DS Techeetah rocketing into the lead unopposed. They quickly sprinted clear, as behind Buemi and Lotterer squabbled for third, with the #36 Porsche finally emerging ahead. The German racer then began to hold up the rest of the top ten, while Felipe Massa formed another train of cars containing the main title pretenders down in eleventh.
Robin Frijns would attempt to make the most of the Lotterer train, although his move around the outside of Günther at turn two ended with the #4 Envision Virgin slapping the wall. That triggered a Safety Car that wiped out da Costa and Vergne's four second lead, although when the race resumed the Portuguese racer would instantly sprint away. Vergne, meanwhile, would initially struggle and come under attack from Lotterer, although he was able to escape once de Vries fired past the #36 Porsche.
The second half of the race saw Evans lead Stoffel Vandoorne into the top ten, before Massa caused a Virtual Safety Car by crashing at turn six, just as Vergne armed AM to harry teammate da Costa. By the time the race resumed Vergne was out of AM and was powerless to prevent teammate da Costa blasting away, while also seeming to have lost all of his pace. The Frenchman duly slipped back down the field to ninth, before being wiped out by Lucas di Grassi on the final lap.
Out front, meanwhile, da Costa completed an ominously dominant victory to enhance his Championship lead, also becoming the first driver to claim a Grand Slam in FE history. Lotterer claimed second ahead of Bird, while a late collision with Günther saw Evans spin to the back of the field.
Race Seven: Berlin E-Prix II (6 August 2020)
The second race of the Berlin finale would be staged on 6 August 2020, again using the reversed layout of the Tempelhofring.
For the second race in a row there would be no stopping da Costa in qualifying, with the Portuguese racer sweeping to pole position by 0.417s. Indeed, the only dent in the Portuguese racer's performance would be that he was beaten in the group stage by Buemi, with the Swiss ace beating him in the group by 0.012s. Behind, Alex Lynn performed admirably to claim third ahead of de Vries, while Frijns and di Grassi also made it Super Pole.
Likewise, there would be no stopping da Costa at the start of the race, with the Portuguese ace storming away from the grid to claim the lead. Behind, Buemi held onto second and broke clear with da Costa, while de Vries fired past Lynn to secure third. Frijns then claimed third from de Vries after a strong start to the race, while Günther made some strong early progress, only to suffer front wing damage and litter the circuit with debris.
A quick FCY would see the circuit cleared of Günther's debris, with da Costa continuing to break away with Buemi on his tail. However, just a lap later and the FCY was thrown again, this time to retrieve debris from the same spot on track after Bird had sustained front end damage. At that restart Frijns, di Grassi and de Vries would catch Buemi, while da Costa suddenly found himself with a comfortable margin at the head of the field.
de Vries' race then came to an end as he stopped on track and triggered a third FCY, although the Dutchman would earn himself multiple penalties for climbing out of his car and pushing it away before the FCY was thrown. That, however, would be of no consequence to da Costa, who ran clear through to the chequered flag to claim his third straight victory, and a huge 68 point Championship lead. Buemi, meanwhile, would hold onto second ahead of di Grassi, while Frijns faced a late challenge from Vandoorne to hold fourth.
Race Eight: Berlin E-Prix III (8 August 2020)
For the third Berlin E-Prix of the season the Tempelhofring was restored to its original layout and format, with the field using the usual anti-clockwise version on 8 August 2020.
The qualifying battle for the third Berlin E-Prix would again see a DS Techeetah storm to pole position, although this time it was Vergne who aced the session. Indeed, as title pretending teammate da Costa claimed ninth on the grid, Vergne topped both the group and Super Pole sessions to claim pole position, beating Maximilian Günther in the latter by almost half a second. d'Ambrosio was next up ahead of Vandoorne, while Lynn and Frijns also made it to Super Pole.
Vergne instantly translated pole into an early race lead at the start, while behind strong starts for the two Mahindras saw d'Ambrosio and Lynn climb to second and fourth respectively. Günther would, however, retaliate and reclaim second before chasing off after Vergne in the early stages, with the race otherwise settling down fairly quickly. Indeed, it was only when Sérgio Sette Câmara slammed into James Calado that there was any intrigue, with a subsequently collision between the Brazilian and Neel Jani triggering a Safety Car.
The Safety Car would stay out for ten minutes, meaning the drivers lost 10 kWh of available energy, a factor that would prove crucial later in the race. Furthermore, it allowed Günther to close right onto Vergne's tail, although a rather curious decision to arm Attack Mode on the restart lap saw the #28 BMW-Andretti drop back to fifth. Yet, Günther rallied back well to reclaim second and drop right back onto Vergne's tail, simply sitting in the Frenchman's wake with available energy remaining in his favour.
As the fight for the lead entered an energy dictated stalemate, champion-elect da Costa was stealthily rising up the field, aided by a serious amount of bunching behind d'Ambrosio. Indeed, after being passed by Frijns the Belgian racer formed a rolling road-block, which allowed da Costa to climb from eighth to fourth in the closing stages. He duly broke away to chase Frijns, who was now on the back of the fight for the lead.
In the closing stages Günther had built a 1% energy advantage over Vergne, and duly used it with three laps to go with a lunge for the lead into turn six. Frijns then blasted past Vergne on the following lap, before hunting down Günther with his own 1% energy advantage on the final tour. Yet, Günther had just enough energy in hand to claim victory ahead of the Dutchman, Vergne cruised across the line in third, while fourth for da Costa left the Portuguese ace on the verge of the Championship title.
Race Nine: Berlin E-Prix IV (9 August 2020)
For the fifth race in a row there would be no stopping the DS Techeetah squad in qualifying, with Vergne claiming the fastest laps in both the group stage and Super Pole to claim his second pole in a row, and the fifth in a row for the Sino-French squad. He would be joined on the front row by teammate da Costa, who only needed a handful of points to secure the Championship, while Oliver Rowland and Sébastien Buemi shared the second row for Nissan e.Dams. de Vries and Felipe Massa would complete the third row having made it to Super Pole, while da Costa's closest title challenger Günther was down in 21st on the grid.
Vergne aced his start to secure the lead into the first corner, while behind teammate da Costa had to fend off the attentions of Rowland into the tightening left-hander to hold second. Behind the rest of the field would again make it through the first corner cleanly, only for Günther to take himself out of contention by slamming into the back of Oliver Turvey. That triggered a Safety Car before the end of the opening tour, which would stay out for ten minutes and cause 10 kWh energy reduction for the field.
The restart saw Vergne lead da Costa and Rowland away from the rest of the field, with Buemi instead coming under attack from de Vries. Rowland then played the Attack Mode undercut well to briefly get ahead of da Costa, before the Portuguese racer used AM himself to get back ahead of the #22 Nissan. Vergne then waved the Portuguese racer through for the lead, although Rowland remained glued to their tail as the race wore on.
Into the closing stages and most of the fighting had been held in a train of cars behind Lynn, with the Brit having slipped slowly down the order due to a lack of pace. Out front, meanwhile, da Costa let Vergne through a few laps from the end to leave the Frenchman in the lead, while behind the Nissans swapped places with Buemi having an energy advantage over the lead duo. However, a clumsy execution of the swap cost Buemi time, meaning he burned through most of his advantage in getting back on terms with the two black-gold cars.
That ultimately settled both the race and the Championship, with Vergne claiming victory ahead of da Costa, a result which ensured that the Portuguese racer claim the Drivers' title. It would also secure the Teams' Championship for DS Techeetah, while third for Buemi left Nissan in the runner-up spot with two races to go.
Race Ten: Berlin E-Prix V (12 August 2020)
For the fifth and penultimate Berlin E-Prix the second sector of the Tempelhofring was heavily modified, with six new corners added to extend the circuit to 2.505 km (1.557 mi). The new circuit, dubbed alternately as Tempelhofer Park or the "New Berlin E-Prix Circuit", would hold its first race on 12 August 2020.
Qualifying for the penultimate round would finally see DS Techeetah's one-lap dominance curtailed, with René Rast topping the group stage, while Oliver Rowland conquered Super Pole. Indeed, the two Techeetahs would instead fall to the back of the field after neither they, nor Lucas di Grassi or Sébastien Buemi, set a time in group one as a result of an embarrassing squabble to be last across the line. They would hence start on the grid in the order of their fastest free practice times, while Rowland was joined on the front row by Robin Frijns.
A surprisingly tame start given the number of drivers out of position would herald the start of the penultimate race, with Rowland sprinting into the lead, while Frijns was boxed in by a lunging Rast into turn one. Indeed, Rast was attempting to take Neel Jani for third around the outside of turn one, but instead ended up slipping behind Lynn and André Lotterer. Behind, Sam Bird was put into a half-spin after contact with Turvey and Nyck de Vries, while di Grassi smacked into the back of Günther.
Günther picked up a puncture from that contact, and would limp around to the pits for repairs as a result. On track, meanwhile, the race would settle until Attack Mode came into play, with the order out front changing as the top six each tried to undercut each other using the boost. Elsewhere, di Grassi earned himself a penalty by attempting to squeeze da Costa into the inside wall at turn one, while Stoffel Vandoorne was steadily easing up the field towards the points from the back, taking Vergne, da Costa and Buemi with him.
Into the closing stages and Rowland and Frijns were safe in first and second, with Frijns having to conserve on the final tour in order to make the finish. Behind, however, Lotterer would elbow his way up to third, only for Rast to pull off a sensational, touring car-esque, pass through turn twelve to grab third on the final tour, much to Lotterer's ire. The Porsche pilot duly made his thoughts on the manoeuvre clear after the race, although Rast was officially classified in third place behind Rowland and Frijns after the race with no protest forthcoming.
Race Eleven: Berlin E-Prix VI (13 August 2020)
The alternate Tempelhofer Park version of the Tempelhofring would host the eleventh and final race of the 2019/20 season on 13 August 2020, with no changes made after the race the day before.
The qualifying battle for the season finale would be won by Vandoorne in the #5 Mercedes, earning the marque's first pole position in their maiden campaign. He would be joined on the front row by Buemi, who had set the pace in the group stage, while de Vries put the second Mercedes into fourth behind Rast in the #66 Audi. Edoardo Mortara had also made it into Super Pole for Venturi, making it five Mercedes powertrains in the top six, while just seven tenths covered the top 23 in the group stage of qualifying, making it the closest FE qualifying session in history.
Another tame start to an E-Prix saw Vandoorne ease into an early lead unopposed, with Buemi instead coming under attack from Rast into the tightening first corner. Rast would miss-out and slot back into third place, only for de Vries to elbow his way past early on and join Vandoorne and Buemi in a sprint clear at the head of the field. de Vries would then surprisingly decide to start the Attack Mode ball rolling on lap five, dropping him back behind Rast as he tried to undercut Buemi.
The ploy almost worked, with de Vries duly emerging ahead of Buemi when the Swiss racer took AM for himself, although the Nissan would quickly scramble back ahead of the #17 Mercedes and reclaim second. However, no sooner had his boost ended then de Vries took AM again, and would once again force an undercut exchange amongst the top six, with Lynn and Frijns having caught back onto the lead group. Once again, however, the order would eventually settle back to how it had been before, with Vandoorne still leading from Buemi, de Vries and Rast, while Frijns and Lynn fell away.
Indeed, the latter duo would be passed by a charging Sam Bird in his final race for Virgin, with the British ace claiming fifth when teammate Frijns waved him through. Frijns' race would then come to an end when di Grassi threw an audacious lunge at him at turn seven that ended in contact, while, up front, de Vries was forcing Buemi to go on the defensive. With three laps to go and a 2% energy advantage de Vries finally found a way past the Swiss racer, before darting off to catch Vandoorne who had established a two second lead courtesy of the fight for second.
That proved to be the last significant change to the order out front, with Vandoorne claiming his and Mercedes' maiden victory ahead of teammate de Vries at the final race of the season. Buemi ended the season in third ahead of Rast and Bird, while di Grassi escaped punishment to claim sixth ahead of out-going Champion Vergne. da Costa, meanwhile, would end his title winning season with a ninth place finish, while Massa ended his FE career down in sixteenth, after Venturi and the Brazilian announced a mutual parting of ways shortly before the start of the finale.
Rules and Regulations
There would be some minor revisions to both the sporting and technical rulebooks ahead of the 2019/20 season, with the use of twin MGUs outlawed after its use by Nissan in 2018/19. There was also an extension to the operational life of the Spark SRT05e, which was to be run to the end of the 2021/22 season, albeit with planned performance increases in 2020/21. There were also revisions to Attack Mode and points, as well as the procedures under FCY, safety car and red flag conditions.
The biggest change to the technical rules would be the complete ban of dual motors to power each rear wheel individually, a design pioneered by Nissan as well as their predecessors Renault. While the FIA could not find anything mechanically wrong with the system, Nissan's rivals complained that such a system could be used to store energy, with one motor potentially harvesting energy due to the speed differential between the wheels during cornering. The banning of dual motors was part of a wider clarification of rules and definitions of what an MGU was, as requested by the majority of FE's entrants ahead of the sixth season.
Elsewhere Attack Mode was re-tweaked for the season six, with a small increase of boost to 235kW. Furthermore, the activation of Attack Mode was outlawed under FCY or safety car conditions, preventing drivers from using it as a power boost at a restart.
2019/20 was to see a significant revision to the sporting rules, particularly in regards to energy consumption during races with intervals under safety car and FCY. Indeed, to counter complaints of races not being dictated by energy use, the FIA declared that they would remove 1kWh-per-minute of available energy from each driver under FCY or safety car. This would ensure that drivers could not save too much energy under those conditions, meaning drivers would have to conserve energy under green flag conditions as well.
Further changes were made to the red flag procedure, with the clock effectively stopped to ensure that a full race distance could be reached. There was also a revision to the points allocation, with an additional point set to be awarded to the fastest driver in the group stage of qualifying.
Outlined below is a full breakdown of the point scoring system for the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship:
|2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship Points Table|
|Group Fastest||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers
The full 2019/20 FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers standings are to be outlined below:
|2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers|
2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Teams
The full 2019/20 FIA Formula E Championship for Teams standings are to be outlined below:
|2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Teams|
|3rd||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||5||3rd||3rd||6th||Ret||15th||6th||5th||Ret||12th||9th||1st||147|
|4th||Envision Virgin Racing||2||1stG||Ret||10th||Ret||10th||3rd||6th||13th||11th||20th||5th||121|
|5th||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||27||8th||1st||Ret||5th||Ret||9th||19th||10th||13th||11th||13th||118|
|6th||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||11||13th||2nd||7th||6th||7th||8th||3rd||8th||6th||21st||6th||114|
|8th||Porsche Formula E Team||18||17th||13th||Ret||14th||18th||11th||15th||Ret||19th||6th||15th||79|
|10th||ROKiT Venturi Racing||19||12th||17th||9th||Ret||17th||Ret||NC||19th||10th||13th||16th||44|
|12th||NIO 333 FE Team||3||15th||DSQ||11th||13th||21st||16th||18th||16th||22nd||19th||21st||0|
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- Chris Soulsby, 'Porsche name TAG Heuer as title partner for Season 6 Formula E entry', motorsportweek.com, (Motorsport Week, 26/08/2019), https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/24167, (Accessed 26/08/2019)
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- 'Sims scoops Julius Baer Pole Position in Saudi season opener, Mercedes up front ', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/11/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/november/qualifying-diriyah-2019, (Accessed 22/11/2019)
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- Cite error: Invalid
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- 'Rowland secures pole amid qualifying drama ahead of the Berlin E-Prix Round 10', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/08/2020), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2020/august/berlin-round-10-qualifying, (Accessed 12/08/2020)
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|ABB FIA Formula E Championship Seasons|
|2014/15 • 2015/16 • 2016/17 • 2017/18 • 2018/19 • 2019/20 • 2020/21 • 2021/22 • 2022/23|
|Nelson Piquet Jr. • Sébastien Buemi • Lucas di Grassi • Jean-Éric Vergne • António Félix da Costa • Nyck de Vries|
|Renault e.Dams • Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler • DS Techeetah • Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team|