The BMW i Berlin E-Prix 2018 looks set to be even more exciting than in previous years. Due to a new adaptation to the highspeed hairpin at Turn 6.
The changes have been made to the track in Tempelhof to provide new overtaking opportunities o the 1.5-mile circuit.
The arguably most striking difference compared to last year’s layout is the run-up to the 180-degree corner in the southern part of the circuit. A right-handed kink, which was previously located in the middle of the braking zone, has been moved by a few metres, creating a straighter run up to the hairpin.
Moreover, the back straight is between 40 and 50 metres longer. Turn 6 itself also has changed in character: While last year’s layout only allowed for one line to be possible, the 2018 circuit sees a tighter and slower corner being added to the layout. This is believed to promote more overtaking.
“The braking zone is longer, and the track itself is quite wide”, NIO driver Oliver Turvey tells us. In total, the 2018 track is 100 metres longer than last year, which will add up to 2.8 additional miles throughout the 45-lap race.
“The length of the back straight should make things much more interesting than last year”, Turvey adds.
Mitch Evans (Jaguar) agrees with the Brit: “We already have to save a lot of energy this weekend. This challenge only increases with the longer straight. The race will be long, and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to make a mistake.
“If you have one or two bad laps, you’re in the shit. But that’s a task we as a team will have to deal with.”
Tempelhof’s surface “like sandpaper”
A far bigger concern for most teams, however, seems to be the surface in Tempelhof. The concrete slabs on the apron of the former airport are characteristically demanding for the tyres.
“Especially Turn 1 is tough on the right front tyre”, Evans tells. “If it’s hot, this track eats the tyres like chewing gum.”
Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra) adds: “We need to adapt our setup to the new conditions. This surface is like sandpaper for the tyres.”
Interesting point raised by @tobiw_apex earlier today: This year’s #BerlinEPrix track is 98 metres longer than last year’s. Run up to T6 is longer & bends earlier, turn is much tighter. Result: This year’s race is one lap shorter than R2 in 2017. #FormulaE pic.twitter.com/Y97lP6hXdK
— Tobi Bluhm (@TobiTweetings) May 17, 2018