Oliver Rowland dominated the final double-points round of Formula E’s inaugural Esports Race at Home Challenge but Stoffel Vandoorne’s runner-up spot in Berlin handed the Mercedes driver the virtual series’ title.
Vandoorne’s crown was practically sealed on the opening lap at Tempelhof Airport after a contact between the Belgian and points leader Pascal Wehrlein sent the Mahindra driver spinning and down the field from where the German only partially recovered.
The chaos ensued when Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi tagged Vandoorne on the approach to Turn 3, the inadvertent maneuver pitching the latter into the unfortunate Wehrlein.
The commotion immediately gave poleman Rowland some breathing space and a clear path ahead, while Vandoorne installed himself in second place over 2 seconds behind the Briton.
BMW i-Andretti’s Max Guenther had a stronghold on third after a first corner clash with Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, with Buemi in fifth.
The positions among the top five remained unchanged while Jaguar’s James Calado, Mercedes’ Nyck De Vries, Venturi’s Felipe Massa, Audi’s Kelvin van der Linde and Porsche’s André Lotterer rounded off the top-ten.
Overall, Vandoorne secured the Race at Home Challenge title that supported UNICEF’s COVID-19 relief efforts with a 24 point edge over Wehrlein.
“After eight weeks of back-to-back virtual racing, I’m mega happy to have won the Race at Home Challenge,” said Vandoorne.
“We’ve had a lot of amazing races during this time and took a fair number of pole positions and podiums plus a win along the way.
“Perhaps we should have taken a few more victories, but it was our consistency that counted in the end. We had another great race today with a P2 finish. I had a really intense battle with Pascal, and it’s terrific that we were able to win the team competition as well.
“I hope we can resume real racing very soon now that we’re done with these virtual races. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully, we can then build on our virtual success when we tackle the real thing.”
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