Berlin's Formula E street circuit switched in 2016 to a new venue in the Mitte district, with the famous Alexanderplatz and Fernsehturm providing notable backdrops.
Only ever intended as a stop-gap solution due to the unavailability of the Tempelhof Airport circuit, the new street course was a relatively simple T-shaped course, with long straights punctuated by hairpin bends until reaching the narrower tree-lined section around the fountain at Strausberger Platz.
After its one use in 2016, the race returned again to Tempelhof.
The circuit was hastily prepared after Tempelhof Airport (used successfully in 2015) was turned into a refugee camp as part of the German capital's response to the European migration crisis. The new central location saw a 2.030km circuit laid out around Strausberger Platz and towards Alexanderplatz with the pitlane on Karl-Marx-Allee.
The lap began with a long start/finish straight on Karl-Marx-Allee, which lead to Turn 1, a tight right-hand hairpin. The pit entry and exit both fed off from this hairpin, with the timing for laps actually beginning on the corner exit.
The track then headed back along Karl-Marx-Allee in the opposite direction, before the road tightened into a left-right chicane. Continuing down a slightly curving section for a short distance, the racers then entered the tighter right hand corner of Turn 4, taking them onto Lichtenberger Straße. Continuing down a short straight, the field then reached Turns 5 and 6, a pair of 90 degree left-handers which took the field back up Lichtenberger Straße in the opposite direction towards the Strausberger Platz.
A slight kink to the right at Turn 7 led into the left-hand sweeping Turn 8, which ran across the top of the Platz itself. A further right-hander at Turn 9 brought the cars onto Lichtenberger Straße on the opposite side of the fountain, before a sharp hairpin bend at Turn 10. Exiting the hairpin, the final corner approaches, a long apex-right hander which fed onto the start finish straight.
In qualifying for the race, Jean-Éric Vergne proved to be the man to beat, taking pole in his Abt Audi entry by just 0.016s from eDAMS Renault's Sébastien Buemi. In the race though it was Buemi who got the jump at the start and while Vergne retook the lead on lap two, Buemi dived past decisively on lap six. Despite two caution periods caused by debris at the chicane and a crash late in the race by Loïc Duval, Buemi held on to take victory from the Abt Audi cars of Daniel Abt and Lucas d Grassi. Despite an earlier spin caused by the debris at the chicane, Bruno Senna took the fastest lap and thus the all-time race lap record, albeit finishing two laps down on the winner.
This is a historic circuit which is no longer in operation.
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The Berlin ePrix Circuit was located near to Alexanderplatz in the Mitte district of central Berlin. Inevitably, the nature of the temporary circuits organised by Formula E means there is nothing on the ground to signify the race ever took place.
There is still plenty to recommend a visit to the Mitte district, should you be visiting Berlin, including the original parliament building, the Reichstag, and numerous museums and attractions.
The closest and main airport is Tegel (TXL) located just three miles (5km) from the city and well connected via the underground system. Alternatively, there's Schönefeld Airport (SXF), situated in the south-east around 11 miles (18km) from the Ost district. Both offer easy access to the city via public transport.
Getting to Mitte is probably easiest by public transport as Berlin benefits from one of the best networks in Europe (www.bvg.de), consisting of buses, trams, U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (elevated) trains. A standard ticket (BVG Einzelfahrschein) costs around €2.70 and is valid for two hours in all directions and on all forms of public transport. A 24-hour ticket costs around €6.90, or for those staying for longer you can purchase a Berlin Welcome Card (€26,70), which entitles holders to 72-hours use on public transport.
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