FORMULA E:ACCELERATE ROUND 3 REVIEW
12 February 2021 – The third round of the Formula E Accelerate esports competition saw the world’s best sim racers tackling Berlin-Tempelhof, the home track of own Lucas Muller. In a race where energy management proved paramount, our drivers worked intelligently to build on a tough start.
The event began with a difficult qualifying session that saw Mahindra Racing’s Olli Pahkala achieve P17 and Muller snatch P20, despite a quick first sector that, if maintained, would have seen him easily in the top ten.
Once the race started, Lucas was quick to demonstrate the pace seen in qualifying, gaining three positions within the first lap. Olli also climbed a position before the end of lap 1 and looked quick around the Tempelhof circuit. The Finnish driver was the first of our pair to use Attack Mode, taking his first boost with eighteen minutes left on the clock. Despite losing out on two places in order to activate it, the extra power saw him quickly back up to P16. Lucas followed closely behind in P17.
With time still left on his Attack Mode boost, Olli demonstrated some impressive skill, overtaking Gassner and Peev to snatch 14th place and secure Fastest Lap.
With thirteen minutes left to go, Olli sat in P16 and Lucas in P18 after they both lost positions to their competitors while activating Attack Mode. Just a few minutes later though, Lucas used his second boost to move up to P17. With just over one minute left, Olli used his second and final attack mode, a manoeuvre that, despite causing him to lose two places at first, saw him back in P16.
On the final lap, with many drivers having drained their energy, Olli and Lucas managed their power well, and as they neared the chequered flag, their competitors began to grind to a halt around them. With at least five drivers failing to complete the final lap, Olli and Lucas rocketed up the leader board, crossing the line P11 and P12 respectively.
After all post-race penalties were distributed, Olli was classified in the points in P10 and Lucas in P11 – a fantastic comeback from their starting grid positions. Olli also scored for setting the Fastest Lap in the race.
Olli said: “The fact that one tenth mistake in qualifying costs ten places on the grid makes the series really exciting to race. A human error put us in a challenging situation for the race this time in that qualifying session. The race was the best we’ve done so far though. Lucas and I put in a massive team effort that meant I was able to climb to the points. The energy management was near perfection and the pace with it really good so, after a short break, we will sort the qualifying performance and start climbing up the order.”
Lucas said: “Once again the qualifying wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Until the second-to-last corner I was on for possibly P5 but a small mistake costed me 0.150s, which put me down in P20. In the race the pace was insane again. Olli and I worked very well as a team and with our energy management, which helped us a lot in this race. We knew that the race going to be 22 laps long, so we prepared for that and we really benefited in the end. We gained a lot of confidence and knowledge, which will help us a lot in the next race.”
The next round of FE Accelerate will take place on 11th March, after a four week break that sees the 2020/21 FIA Formula E World Championship get underway in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.