ABB Formula E – Ad Diriyah ePrix – Race
The Riyadh Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia plays host to the Ad Diriyah ePrix; the opening round of season five of the ABB FIA Formula E championship.
Heavy rain through practice and a chaotic qualifying made for an extremely disjointed weekend. A host of grid penalties also added to the confusion and tension.
Antonio Felix da Costa started on pole position for BMW alongside Jose Maria Lopez for Dragon Racing. Sebastien Buemi started 3rd for Nissan with rookie Stoffel Vandoorne 4th and Jean-Eric Vergne 5th.
The start of the race was clean, but frantic, with numerous overtakes playing out. Overtaking was something that critics were concerned about with this circuit, but as it turned out, there was a tonne of passing out there today. Admittedly, the new attack mode feature was a big contributor to that. Going into the race, I had my doubts about attack mode, but boy did it add to the excitement! At one point, I was unable to keep up with the amount of action – it was chaotic; it was brilliant.
The story of the race was that Techeetah clearly had an exceptionally fast car with both drivers working their way up to 1st & 2nd. Unfortunately for them though, both cars would receive drive through penalties for a technical infringement (overuse of power), which would allow Portuguese driver da Costa to take his 2nd win in Formula E! Interestingly, Antonio has only had two podiums in Formula E – both wins.
Jean-Eric Vergne would finish 2nd, despite the penalty, with Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio coming home in 3rd place. Mitch Evans finished 4th for Jaguar, ahead of Andre Lotterer. The two Nissan’s lead home the two Audi’s with Sebastien Buemi (6th) ahead of Oliver Rowland (7th), and Daniel Abt (8th) ahead of Lucas di Grassi (9th). Nelson Piquet rounded out the top ten for Jaguar.
So many talking points from that race! BMW winning their debut race. Techeetah’s seemingly incredible pace. Oliver Rowland sticking with Sebastian Buemi. Daniel Abt beating Lucas di Grassi. Attack mode impact. There’s too much to mention really! One thing’s for sure though – Saudi Arabia have provided a superb start to the new season.
What was the highlight of the race from your point of view? Please do let us know in the comments below.