Currently reading: Formula E: Mercedes racer de Vries clinches title in Berlin
Dutchman claims world championship glory despite struggling through a chaotic double-header

Mercedes-AMG driver Nyck de Vries clinched the ABB Formula E World Championship in a dramatic double-header season finale in Berlin.

Thew 26-year-old Dutch driver could only manage 22nd and eighth place finishes in the two races on the Tempelhoff Airport street circuit, but that was enough to claim the crown in the seventh season of the electric single-seater series.

Mercedes-AMG had plenty of cause to celebrate, with de Vries and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne doing enough to clinch the constructors’ championship.

De Vries goes from despair to delight

De Vries entered the weekend leading the championship, but was on the back foot after qualifying just 19th for the opening race. He made good progress early in the race, but a puncture forced him to stop and dropped him to 22nd.

That meant de Vries’s championship lead was cut to a single point for Sunday’s season finale, but the Dutchman’s path to the title was eased after early dramas for his main title rivals. But de Vries found himself right in the thick of a frenzied battle in the lower reaches of the top ten, and he survived several scrapes to finish eighth and clinch the crown.

Dennis and other titles hopefuls left in despair

The Berlin event marked the final Formula E event for BMW, and early in the second race it looked like Jake Dennis might claim a fairytale championship for the marque.

The British racer finished fifth in race one, but shortly after the start of the second race he seemed to have a clear path to glory. Jaguar’s Mitch Evans stalled at the start, and Edoardo Mortara ploughed into the back of him, prompting a red flag and eliminating both drivers - who were both in title contention.

That left Dennis in seventh at the restart, and with de Vries well down the order he was on course for the title, until a battery failure while he was lifting caused him to crash into the wall and out of the race.

It was a tough end to what has been a brilliant first Formula E season for Dennis - and hopefully he can secure a drive following BMW’s withdrawal. 

Amazingly, such was the chaos in race two that Mortara, Dennis and Evans finished second, third and fourth in the final points.

Audi says au revoir in style

Berlin also marked Audi’s final weekend in Formula E, and Lucas di Grassi ensured the marque went out in style with victory in Saturday’s race. The Brazilian battled with the two DS Teecheetah cars early on, and in the closing laps of the race has to use his attack mode boost to fight past Norman Nato and Mortara for his second win of the season.

Back to top

Nato ends the second in style

Venturi driver Nato might have missed out on Sunday, but the French driver excelled in Sunday’s chaotic outing, battling his way to the front and expertly managing a number of restarts to claim his maiden Formula E at the end of his first season.

Formula E continues to grow - but faces challenges

Formula E’s seventh season was its first as an official FIA world championship, and it is amazing to reflect on how far the car has come since its slow start (with far slower cars) in 2014. While it has still to win over some racing purists, it has developed its own brand of entertainment and both an enviable calendar of races and line-up of manufacturers.

The calendar becomes even more impressive for the 2021-2022 season that starts next January, with the addition of races in Seoul in South Korea, Vancouver in Canada and Cape Town in South Africa.

But the championship will have two fewer manufacturers, with Audi and BMW withdrawing their works support (although BMW will still provide powertrains for current partner) Andretti Autosport. And reports emerged over the Berlin weekend that Mercedes are set to quit Formula E after next season, which will be the last before the new Gen3 car is launched.

Motorsport championships have always been reliant on the whims of manufacturers, but it’s certainly not a positive trend, and one that Formula E bosses will want to address.


Overheard in London: Autocar listens in to pit radio for a Formula E race

BMW to quit Formula E at the end of 2020/2021

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
FastRenaultFan 16 August 2021
Good to see someone other than just Autosport mention Formula-e. They were to fantastic races full of lots of excitement overtaking and some crashes too. As for how do you stall an electric car I think either the electronics went or it was a bad motor.
It is sad to see that very little media of any type mentioned this race over the weekend but I think that is partly Formula-e's fault for been all over the place with there broadcasting and sometimes even behind a pay wall like WTF.
How will they fix it I honestly do not know.

Still I enjoyed the two races but ye they do not make it easy. I very nearly gave up on Formula e this year because there was some races I could not see because they were behind a pay wall like WTF again. This is Formule e that has only been around for 7 years not even a decade onlike F1 which is also struggling behind a Sky pay wall so if F1 could not make that work with all its illustrous history how the hell do Formule e thing they can?

289 15 August 2021

Sad thing is - no one really cares. Formula E has failed to gain interest from most motorsport fans (and Formula 1 is shedding them every event). Not surprising when you have seen the podium ceremony and then find out later that it wasnt actually THE result!

By the way, how DO YOU stall an electric car on the grid!!!!!?

Peter Cavellini 15 August 2021

Congratulations to him, but, can't see this replacing F1,and, if he gets an offer of an F1 Seat, do we think he'll turn it down?