2022 Formula E Diriyah E-Prix Race 1 Highlights

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I say Diri, you say Yah. Diri… YEAH”.

Formula E is back for the eighth edition in 2022. Let’s see how everyone did at the Diriyah E-Prix race 1. 

Super Mercedes

Formula E Season 8 kicks off with an impressive new shoot-out style qualifying format. The Belgian star who had the most poles and the least luck last season starts on pole in Diriyah. His teammate and reigning world champion starts in 3rd. They were split by Rookie of the Year, Jake Dennis in the new Avalanche Andretti outfit. The top three were followed by Andre Lotterer, Sam Bird, Nick Cassidy, Robin Frijns, and Oliver Rowland rounding up the top eight.

Da Costa out

Lights out and Vandoorne shot off the line, along with his teammate Nyck De Vries who also had a strong start and climbed up to second place. Jake Dennis had a poor reaction time and dropped behind the Dutchman. Behind them, the two Envisions tangled as Nick Cassidy overshot turn 1 and took his teammate with him. 

Both escaped unharmed but dropped two positions to P8 and P9 respectively. Season 6 champion Antonio Felix da Costa had the worst start of all and he dropped towards the back, among two new rookies of Dan Ticktum and Antonio Giovinazzi. The three collided and damaged Da Costa’s rear suspension. The first ten laps of racing in 2022 concluded with only one retirement, pretty low for Formula E standard.

Rowland crashed

The brand new Porsche Taycan safety car made its first appearance after Robin Frijns tapped the back of Oliver Rowland and sent him into the wall at turn 18. It happened just a few corners after Rowland touched Frijns when both were side-by-side. The stewards issued Frijns a drive-through penalty for the incident. He finished the race in a disappointing P16, having started in the top eight. 

The crucial moment of the race came 25 minutes from the end as Stoffel Vandoorne decided to take his second Attack Mode and missed it, handing the lead to his teammate. Both drivers took their second Attack Mode together and cruised home for an impressive and dominant 1-2 for the reigning Constructor’s Champion, eight seconds ahead of the field.

Porsche struggles

Most cameras were on Andre Lotterer in the second half of the race, but not for a good reason. Earlier in the race, in the first round of Attack Mode, he attempted to undercut Jake Dennis and succeeded. However, it left him vulnerable as he overconsumed and dropped down the field, ultimately finishing behind his teammate in P12. This race highlights the weakness in energy conservation of the Porsche 99X Electro as both had no race pace. Nick Cassidy took the fastest lap just before he ran out of energy, as Edoardo Mortara overtook him for P6 just a few corners from the line. 

Check out Di Grassi’s wonderful move here.

Full classification can be found here. Round 2 of the Diriyah E-Prix will be at the same hours on Saturday.

My last article: 2022 Formula Regional Asian Championship: Drivers and teams guide

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images