First two winners are Sam Bird and Alexander Sims.
After few months of vacation, last weekend a new, sixth season of Formula E has started with a double race – one in Friday, the other one in Saturday at traditional opener of the season in Diriyah. However, while this has been just like the last year, there has been few changes ath the lineup, where two new teams are now pressent: Mercedes-Benz EQ and Tag Heuer Porsche. And it looks like, they might just be one of those, needed to pay attention on with the first one having Stoffel Vandoorne at the first wheel while the latter having Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani in their cars.
Both number ones at mentioned teams actually managed to get on the podium with Lotterer taking the second step, while Vandoorne, came in third, only good three tenths of a second later. Still, at the very front, there was one guy who came in a good second before everybody all and who became a household name in Formula E championship.
"I felt confident going into the race. Envision Virgin Racing gave me an amazing car. I think some of it is down to the new beard! Last year was difficult and I went through a sort of transformation involving plenty of thinking and mental stuff. It’s very special to win today. There are 23 other amazing drivers out there, so to come out on top means a lot. It’s a great start to the year, but the hard work doesn’t stop. We have another race tomorrow. There’s potential in the car so we need to maximise what we can," commented Envision Virgin Racing driver after the race.
Results 2019 SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix (Rd 1):
1 Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 46:17.371s (26)
2 Andre Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche +1.319s (18)
3 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ +1.672s (15)
4 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams +1.944s (12)
5 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing +3.983s (10)
6 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ +4.560s (8)
7 Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing +5.122s (6)
8 Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport +5.715s (7)
9 Jerome D’Ambrosio Mahindra Racing +6.628s (2)
10 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing +7.048s (2)
Second race however was totally dominated by the third (out of four) German car manufacturers or its teams, BMW in the form of BMW i Andretti Motorsport. Their drivers, Alexander Sims and Maximilian Guenther manged to get a one-two at the end of the race. This was also the first ever victory for Sims in Formula E. The lowest third step on the podium has been taken by Lucas di Grassi from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, while both Porsche drivers only managed to get to 14th and 15th place.
"That was pretty much a dream race! We executed everything really well and we made the right decisions at the right time. Crossing that line was an amazing feeling. We keep learning so many lessons and there are many more to come in the near future. The team have put a lot of effort in and to deliver a win now… it’s really cool," commented Sims after the race.
This results did not last long though. After careful investigation, race marshalls found out that Guenther was overtaking mid-race while safety car was still out, thus penalizing him with two penalty points and 24 seconds time penalty, pushing him to 11th place, just shy from two championship points. Same penalty has also been given to Nyck de Vries. Nevertheless, this was still better than the penalty, given to Oliver Turvey. Turvey, managing to spend more energy than allowed has been disqualified, leaving ninth place to Brendon Hartley.
Results 2019 SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix (Rd 2):
1 Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 46:48.327s (28)
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +2.817s (18)
3 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ +3.581s (15)
4 Edoardo Mortara ROKiT Venturi Racing +4.294s (12)
5 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams +5.475s (10)
6 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler +16.942s (8)
7 James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing +17.221s (6)
8 Jean-Eric Vergne DS TECHEETAH +19.394s (4)
9 Brendon Hartley GEOX DRAGON +20.702s (2)
10 Antonio Felix da Costa DS TECHEETAH +22.634s (2)