The seventh season of the Formula E World Championship may just be the most intense and most dramatic yet as it heads towards its conclusion this weekend at the Berlin E-Prix.
With one more double-header presenting two different opportunities to gain points, the 2021 Formula E Championship remains a prize that almost anyone in the field can still win -- provided they are able to adapt to the distinct challenge that this weekend's Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit presents.
Here are some of the storylines to watch for the Berlin E-Prix and conclusion of the Formula E season. Coverage begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
Race for the Championship
After earning a double podium in London, Nick de Vries enters this weekend as the Formula E points leader, leading the championships standings by six points over Robin Frijins and 14 points over Sam Bird. While de Vries' path to a championship would seem clear-cut, it's anything but thanks to the sheer amount of points on the line.
With a maximum of 30 points available in both races, a total of 18 drivers -- from de Vries to Alexander Sims at 18th in points -- still have a mathematical shot at the championship. The razor-thin margins of the points standings are best reflected from third to sixth, as just three points separate Bird, Jake Dennis, Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Lynn.
This season, becoming the Formula E Champion carries with it a special significance. The 2021 campaign marked the second season that Formula E has raced as a Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)-sanctioned World Championship Series.
Putting it in Reverse
While the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit will be the site of both races in this weekend's double-header, the Formula E field isn't going to run the same version of the course twice. After the first race of the weekend is run on the track's standard layout, the direction of the course will be completely reversed for the finale on Sunday.
Running two distinct versions of the course is important to preserving the challenge of claiming the series championship, as Formula E has raced at Tempelhof Airport more than any other circuit. The series has raced at Tempelhof every year since 2014 (sans 2016), and last year hosted six races in total at the track due to schedule alterations forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The alteration will help mitigate the advantage that some veterans in the field would otherwise have.
Team Championship at Stake
While much of the focus this weekend will center around the hotly-contested driver's championship, there will also be an eye on the Team Championship coveted by the manufacturers. Envision Virgin Racing, which fields the cars driven by Robin Frijins and Nick Cassidy, currently leads the Team Championship standings by seven points over Mercedes-EQ, with Jaguar Racing and DS TECHEETAH also in the picture.
While Envision Virgin Racing has not won a race this season, the Silverstone-based team has earned their way to the top of the standings by virtue of consistency with four podiums and a great deal of points-scoring races. Frijins has led the way for the team in these categories, and has a chance to become the first driver to win the Formula E Championship without winning a race if he can make his way to the top of the driver's standings by weekend's end.