In the knockout phase of qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne and Alexander Sims faced off in the first of two semi-finals on Saturday morning. In their duel, both pilots completed a lap over the former Tempelhof Airport in 1.06.050. Sims had been quicker in the early sectors but Vergne saved quite a bit of time in the latter part of the track.
The rule is: if two drivers drive the same time in a duel, the one who knocked him down first continues. Because Sims placed his Chrono earlier on the leaderboard, he was allowed into the finals. In it, the driver from Mahindra had to compete against Edoardo Mortara. Sims lost the duel for pole position and was given second place on the grid. Vergne had to start from the second row. The DS Techeetah driver got out of the car, his ears ringing and shouted that he eaten up was formerly. The line, he says, is “the dumbest I’ve ever seen.”
He later continued Motorsport.com-Colleagues of Motorsports† “So many people have looked, so have many friends, and nobody understands this rule. The FIA must come up with something smarter and fairer in a situation like this. For example, look at the drivers’ second-fastest time in qualifying.” In that case, Vergne would have advanced to the final. He had eliminated Stoffel Vandoorne in the quarterfinals with 1.05.893. Sims had reached 1.05.939 in his quarterfinal against Pascal Wehrlein. In the group stage, Vergne was four tenths faster than Sims.
Despite taking advantage of the rule, Sims agrees to Vergne. “I also think it’s fairer to look at the times of the duels beforehand,” said the Briton. “Whoever was quicker in this stage or in the group stage has to keep going. It’s an interesting subject.”
On the afternoon of the race, Vergne took his revenge. He finished second behind Mortara. Sims dropped to ninth place, marking his first points of the season. The fact that he was in the knockout phase was actually a matter of luck. Sims set the fifth fastest time in the group stage, where the four fastest move on. Because Sebastien Buemi was deferred from the organization, Sims became a Lucky loser† “I think the race better reflects where I am at right now,” said an honest Sims after the race.
Sunday is the second run of the Berlin E-Prix.