Photo: FIA Formula E

Berlin ePrix moves downtown for second season

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After being staged at the Tempelhof Airport portion of the Berlin city center last year, the second Berlin ePrix for the FIA Formula E Championship will move to a more central location in downtown Berlin.

The 11-turn, 2.030-km street circuit will wind its way through Strausberger Platz and towards Alexanderplatz with the pitlane on Karl-Marx-Allee.

The race takes place on May 21.

“It is fantastic news that we have been able to find a new location to race in Berlin and I want to thank everybody who has been involved in making this happen for all their hard work in such a short space of time,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.

“Germany is an incredibly important market for Formula E as the home of DHL, the championship’s Official Logistics Partner, and BMW i, the Official Vehicle Partner of the series. I am sure that this race will capture the imagination of the German fans and be a great success.”

One of the series’ German drivers, Daniel Abt of Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport, added, “Formula E hasn’t only come up with a tremendous alternative location in Berlin but created a circuit with a lot of character. The configuration looks interesting and, with its long straights and hairpin turns, seems to be promising a thrilling race as well.

“When we were in Berlin last time we visited a restaurant and a bar near Alexanderplatz – and now we’re going to race in exactly this part of the city. Now that the circuit has been announced, I’m even more excited about my home round.”

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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