Friday, September 17, 2021

A highlight to draw works involvement to a close: Title decider at BMW i Berlin E-Prix

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  • After seven years as ‘Official Vehicle Partner’ and three race seasons with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team, BMW i draws its works involvement in Formula E to a close at the weekend.
  • BMW i, as Title Partner of the season finale in Berlin, makes for another highlight in closing.
  • BMW i Andretti Motorsport still in contention for the world championship title at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix.
  • Stefan Ponikva: “I would like to thank Formula E. The BMW i Berlin E-Prix will be the highlight of the season for us.”

Ending on an absolute highlight, the BMW i Berlin E-Prix presented by CBMM Niobium (GER) this weekend is also the sporting highly exciting finale of Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and BMW i’s farewell as ‘Official Vehicle Partner’ and as a works team in the first-ever race series for all-electric formula cars. For BMW i Andretti Motorsport and its drivers Jake Dennis (GBR) and Maximilian Günther (GER), anything is possible in the battle for the world championship titles in the team and driver standings. Dennis is in fourth place going into the final two races at the Berlin-Tempelhof airport grounds. In the support programme for the races, BMW Group will present its range of electric production cars, the drive of which benefitted greatly from development in Formula E.

“BMW i has been a partner of Formula E from the outset, and we are delighted to conclude this unique partnership, after seven successful years, with another highlight, the title sponsorship at our home event in Berlin,” said Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand Communication and Brand Experience BMW Group. “I would like to thank Formula E and, on behalf of the whole organisation, Alejandro Agag, Alberto Longo and Jamie Reigle. The BMW i Berlin E-Prix will be the highlight of the season for us. As well as the fully-electric BMW i3s and BMW iX3, we also have the MINI Electric Pacesetter in action as the safety car and are delighted to be able to present our latest products, including the BMW i4 and BMW iX, to the guests and spectators permitted at the event. We have our fingers crossed for our drivers Jake Dennis and Maximilian Günther, and the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team at the season finale.”

Dennis goes into the final two races in fourth place in the overall standings with 81 points after his second win of the season at the London E-Prix (GBR), and trails leader Nyck de Vries (NED, Mercedes) by just 14 points. Günther has 62 points to his name. In the team standings, BMW i Andretti Motorsport is in fifth place with 143 points, which sees them trail the top spot by 22 points.

Both of the races at the weekend will use two track versions familiar from last year in Tempelhof. Saturday’s race will be held on the standard track. Then the track will be driven in the opposite direction on Sunday. This will require the track to be converted, which will take place overnight. Saturday’s race gets underway at 2.00 p.m. CEST, while Sunday’s race starts at 3.30 p.m. CEST.

BMW i Berlin E-Prix.
© BMW Group

Quotes ahead of the BMW i Berlin E-Prix:

Roger Griffiths (Team Principal BMW i Andretti Motorsport):

“Berlin will be a very special race weekend for the whole team; not only is it the end of the championship and there is all to play for, but it is also the final two rounds for the factory partnership between BMW i and Andretti Formula E. A partnership that came together formally in Season 5, it started with a pole position and a win, and hopefully we can close out together in a similar manner. I am sure there will be many mixed emotions come the end of the weekend. The championship points are so close, almost anything can happen between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. The unique nature of the track surface means that tyre management will be key. The weather also looks to be quite hot and that should suit the efficiency of the BMW i drivetrain.”

Jake Dennis (#27 BMW iFE.21):

“It feels like it was just yesterday that I contest my first Formula E race in Diriyah. We’ve come a long way since then, won two races in my rookie season and are right in the middle of the battle for the world championship. I’m really excited for Berlin and will give it my all to make use of the momentum and drive for the title. But we can already be very proud of what we have achieved as a team this season.”

Maximilian Günther (#28 BMW iFE.21):

“I’m super excited for the season finale in Berlin. Two track layouts in two days is a real challenge, and one that we have prepared well for. We are still right there in the battle for the title in both championships, and the home fans at the track make the atmosphere even more special. We will give it everything we’ve got once again for the final two races for BMW as a works team in Formula E.”

TRACK FACTS BERLIN.

Track length2.355 km. Saturday: Anti-clockwise. Sunday: Clockwise.
Corners10 – In both layouts 5 right turns and 5 left turns.
Track surfaceThe special airfield surface causes high levels of tyre wear. There are also bumps on the armour panels, albeit fewer than at other tracks.
Grip levelMedium to high. Should increase from day 1 to day 2. Disadvantage for early qualifying groups lower than on other tracks.
Track layoutCharacteristics of both versions are very similar, so hardly and set-up adjustments necessary. Mainly slow turns, except T4 and T7. Wide track with good overtaking opportunities and reduced risk of accidents.
Tyre wearVery high. Heavy wear on the rear axle in particular on the long straight which is why two sets of tyres are available per race day for each car, instead of the usual 1.5.
Top speedApprox. 220 km/h – depending on wind direction on the finishing straight or back straight.
Attack zoneOn the outside of T5 and T6. Slightly modified position for the reverse version on Sunday.
Key factorsEnergy management, tyre management, qualifying performance in the early starting groups in particular, battery temperature if it’s hot.
BMW i Berlin E-Prix.
© BMW Group

The FANBOOST vote.

FANBOOST gives Formula E fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite driver and award them an extra boost of power during the race. The five drivers with the most FANBOOST votes receive an extra 100 kJ of power, which they can make use of during a brief time frame in the second half of the race. Fans can vote for their favourite driver in the four days prior to, and leading up to 15 minutes into, each race. Each fan can vote once per day. There are two ways to vote: Online at https://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/ or via the official Formula E App.

The BMW Group Safety Cars.
The BMW Group has been represented in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship as ‘Official Vehicle Partner’ since the very beginning and will continue to provide the fleet of safety cars for season 7 of the fully-electric racing series. Alongside the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car (fuel consumption (combined): 2.0 l /100 km; energy use (combined): 14.5 kWh /100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km)*, which has been modified specially for racing use, the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW will be appearing as a new safety car from the Rome E-Prix onwards. The development of the car based on the new MINI Cooper SE represents a hitherto unique collaboration between MINI Design, BMW Motorsport, the FIA and Formula E. The fleet also includes the BMW i3s (Power consumption in kWh/100: 14.6-14.0 (NEDC); 16.6-16.3 (WLTP), electric range in km: 278-283 (WLTP))* as ‘Race Director Car’ and the BMW iX3 (Power consumption in kWh/100: 17.8-17.5 (NEDC); 19.0-18.6 (WLTP), electric range in km: 450-458 (WLTP))* in its roles as ‘Medical Car’ and ‘Rescue Car’.

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