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.”

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).