Six things to look forward to in Berlin

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Six things to look forward to in Berlin

10 years and 10 trips to Berlin for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.


This weekend, Formula E returns to the iconic Tempelhof Airport for Rounds 9 and 10 of Season 10. It feels like only yesterday we were at the special venue, but this time the circuit layout has gone through some drastic changes and we have some new faces behind the wheel. Here are some of the biggest talking points going into this double-header race weekend. 

Same location, new layout

The net zero carbon race series returns to the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit on the outskirts of the German capital city. Berlin is the only city to have hosted a race in every season of Formula E - 18 total. In all but one of those seasons – Season 2, when the German round took place near Alexanderplatz – Tempelhofer Feld has been the host venue.

CIRCUIT: Berlin track layout gets fresh look for Season 10

However, this season the layout has had some significant changes. The new 2.343km layout features 15 turns and will run anti-clockwise on both occasions. It’s a new challenge for the drivers to learn, but the party fun atmosphere and abrasive track surface will remain the same. 

There will be plenty of places for the drivers to pass too, with last year’s events seeing 362 overtakes across just 83 racing laps! There was also a new Formula E record set here last year, with eight different drivers leading at least one lap during the first race.

Barnard back in for Bird

After sustaining a broken bone in his hand over the Monaco E-Prix weekend, NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird will be forced to watch from the sidelines in Berlin. Bird, who has entered 119 Formula E races, had an incident during Free Practice 1 around the iconic principality when he locked up and hit the barriers at Sainte Devote. 

Bird has now undergone a successful surgery on his left hand, and the team is supporting him and his recovery to ensure he can compete again as quickly as achievable. But, for Barnard, it means he is being called upon again for the Berlin double-header alongside Jake Hughes. The 19-year-old, who became Formula E’s youngest-ever starter last time out in Monaco, managed to finish his debut race in 14th despite starting at the back of the grid. 

Monaco Review 5

“We’re very pleased to report positive progress on Sam’s recovery, with a successful operation on his hand supporting his journey back into the car," Team Principal Ian James said in a statement. 

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“Taylor did a stellar job in his last-minute call-up in Monaco, as did the team, who provided him with great support and guidance throughout. He will now be able to build on that experience, while Sam works on his recovery – with the team’s full support.

Taylor Barnard 2024 Monaco E-Prix highlights

“We’re looking forward to having Sam back in the car soon.”

Seven different winners in eight races

Last time out, Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans got his first race win in Monaco and in Season 10. Evans thanked his teammate Nick Cassidy for his help in securing the first place finish and became our seventh different winner in the first eight races so far this season. 

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In fact, it’s only Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) who can call themselves a double-winner in Season 10. The German leads the championship standings on 102 points, as he boasts two wins in Misano and Mexico City and three Julius Baer Pole Positions over the year so far. 


Before Wehrlein’s Italian victory on the Sunday, Nissan’s Oliver Rowland won his second-ever Formula E race in an untraditional way on the Saturday for Round 6. The Yorkshireman inherited the victory after a post-race disqualification for the Porsche of Antonio Felix da Costa. 

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Before that was Tokyo, where Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther made it five from five as he was crowned winner in the Japanese capital. NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird had an emotional win in São Paulo for Round 4, with Jaguar TCS Racing's Nick Cassidy taking his turn in Diriyah for Round 3. Dennis locked in a victory in Round 2 in Diriyah over the double-header, with Wehrlein victorious at the first race of the season in Mexico City.


From this winner’s list there have been four different powertrains, too. Porsche are top with three victories thanks to Wehrlein and Dennis, with Nissan and Jaguar next on two. STELLANTIS only has one win so far.

Super substitutes get the call up

Formula E will be welcoming several new additions, as well as familiar faces, into garages this weekend up and down the paddock. As a result of a pre-existing commitment to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship from a handful of drivers, teams have had to call upon Reserve Drivers to make the step up. 

Perhaps the biggest change is at Envision Racing. A calendar clash has meant the reigning Teams’ World Champions won’t be able to use Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns for Round 9, with FIA regulations preventing them competing in Round 10 on the Sunday too - with the two races being considered part of the same event. 


Both Buemi and Frijns will be on-site in support of the team on Sunday, but for both Rounds Joel Eriksson and Paul Aron will be behind the wheel.

Eriksson, 25, is the current Jaguar TCS Racing Test, Simulator and Reserve Driver, has been kindly released by Jaguar and will race for the team during the Berlin weekend. The Swede, who tested with Envision back in 2018, has already competed in eight Formula E races to date - and is very familiar with both the GEN3 and the Jaguar powertrain.

Aron, 20, is considered one of the most exciting young prospects in single-seater racing and sits second in the current Formula 2 standings for the season. The Estonian driver has already amassed three podium finishes in his first full FIA Formula 2 campaign this year, rapidly marking himself out as one to watch for the future and had a chance to drive the GEN3 car during the Misano Rookie Free Practice last month. 

The same unusual situation has happened at Mahindra Racing, with Season 7 World Champion Nyck de Vries being replaced by Jordan King. King has extensive knowledge and experience with Mahindra’s M10Electro, having already completed eight test days – plus countless hours on the team’s simulator back at base – as part of his regular Reserve Driver duties.


Kelvin van der Linde will make his Formula E comeback for ABT CUPRA in Berlin, replacing Nico Mueller for the der Linde is the team's Reserve and Simulator driver impressed in three Formula E races at the beginning of Season 9 while Robin Frijns recovered from a hand injury sustained in Mexico City.

On top of this, we’ve also got Barnard in for the injured Sam Bird. 

Racing on the tough Berlin tarmac

Made up of repeating concrete slabs, the surface at the Tempelhof Airport was designed for planes rather than a field of all-electric single-seaters! 

It’s a unique challenge for the teams and drivers, but one they relish – and a favourite of many. The bumpy concrete track means higher than usual degradation for the Hankook tyres and high grip takes a toll on energy management, making race strategies a headache but the action is always among the best on the calendar.

“Berlin is a unique race event for the championship - some long and fast corners and an unusual track surface," DS PENSKE’s new Deputy Team Principal said last season. 


"I call the surface ‘pebblemac’ as it is actually made up of large concrete blocks with stones - the pebbles - pressed into the top surface. These stones are aggressive on the tyres and although it is a short lap, the percentage of time spent cornering is quite high so car setups need to compliment the corner type and the unique cycle the tyres see.

"In addition, it's a tricky energy management race so there is plenty to think about in Berlin but it’s a great track to go to!”

Formula E welcomes back the Berlin Rookie Test

The famous Rookie Test returns in Berlin, as all 11 World Championship teams will nominate two ‘rookies’ for a day of running after the Berlin double-header on 13 May. The special sessions have introduced some of the biggest names in motorsport to the all-electric machinery, many of whom have made the step up to full-time seats in Formula E. 

Teams can field someone who's sampled Formula E machinery before but they must not be drivers included on the Season 10 Entry List and they must not have competed in a Formula E race in their career before.

BERLIN ROOKIE TEST: Here is every team's line-up so far

Almost all teams have announced their line-ups with some huge talent taking to the Berlin circuit in the GEN3 machines. Zane Maloney and Jak Crawford will be in at Andretti, with five-time W Series race winner Alice Powell back at Envision. 2023 FIA Formula 2 Vice Champion Frederik Vesti will be getting his debut at Mahindra, and F1 Academy’s first champion Marta García will be getting an opportunity at ERT. 

20240414_Marta Garcia ID-26

Previously, drivers like Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes, Andretti's Norman Nato and ERT's Sergio Sette Camara all qualified as rookies, and are now some of the brightest stars on the grid. 

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Names like Antonio Giovinazzi, Alexander Albon, Kyle Kirkwood, Arthur Leclerc and Jamie Chadwick have all had their own experiences in Formula E cars as a result of various rookie tests.