Nyck de Vries emerged victorious in Formula E’s Diriyah E-Prix season-opener after his Mercedes EQ team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne lost the lead having missed the attack mode activation.
Vandoorne led the first half of the race from pole position, but the former McLaren Formula 1 driver missed the sensors when attempting to activate his second of two three-minute attack modes in the race.
This dropped Vandoorne behind his reigning champion team-mate de Vries, who ran away with the race lead thereafter.
It marks the second successive year that de Vries has won the Diriyah season-opener on a less than perfect weekend so far.
The Dutchman crashed in first practice and a mistake lost him his semi-final qualifying duel to Vandoorne and left him third on the grid.
But he recovered in style by passing Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis at the start and then Vandoorne when the Belgian made his attack mode activation error.
De Vries was 0.636s ahead of Vandoorne at the chequered flag, but in reality, was relatively unchallenged by his team-mate.
With the Mercedes duo largely unthreatened at the front of the field, the fight for the places behind them took centre stage in the second half of the race.
Porsche’s Andre Lotterer passed Dennis for third place through the second attack mode phase, and he fended off two attacks from Dennis shortly after, with the first prompting Dennis to complain of illegal defending.
But Lotterer couldn’t resist Dennis’ third attack as finally he got through despite making contact.
Dennis feared he had a puncture and told his team “something is wrong” but he held onto the final place on the podium until the end of the race.
Lotterer’s race fell apart thereafter, and he tumbled out of the points-paying positions, having used too much energy early on in the race.
Jaguar’s Sam Bird benefitted to finish fourth ahead of Venturi’s new signing Lucas di Grassi.
Di Grassi’s team-mate Edoardo Mortara recovered from a qualifying shunt to move from 12th on the grid to sixth place after passing Envision driver Nick Cassidy on the final lap of the race.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans was eighth with two laps to go but lost positions to two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and FE rookie Oliver Askew who collected two points on his series debut with Andretti.
Evans ended up 10th at the chequered flag ahead of Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein and the lead Nissan e.dams of Maximilian Guenther. Lotterer was 13th.
The first safety car of the season was deployed just over 10 minutes into the race, with practice pacesetter Oliver Rowland backwards on the exit of the fast Turn 16 right-hander.
Rowland, who was making his debut for the Mahindra team after two years with Nissan e.dams, ran into the back of the Envision of Robin Frijns into the Turn 14 right-hander and Frijns returned the favour a couple of corners later, sending Rowland into the barriers.
Frijns was handed a drive-through penalty later in the race and dropped out of 12th position, eventually finishing in 16th place.
The 2019-20 Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa was eliminated on the opening lap of the race, breaking the suspension on his DS Techeetah after coming off worst in a four-wide fight into Turn 1 at the rear of the field.
The other two 2022 rookies, Dan Ticktum and F1 convert Antonio Giovinazzi, finished in 18th and 20th respectively with Ticktum beating his more experienced NIO 333 team-mate Oliver Turvey.
|Pos||Name||Team||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|1||Nyck de Vries||Mercedes-Benz EQ||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||41||28||52m14.642s||1m09.611s||0||25|
|2||Stoffel Vandoorne||Mercedes-Benz EQ||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||41||13||+0.636s||1m09.684s||0||21|
|3||Jake Dennis||Avalanche Andretti||BMW iFE.021||41||0||+8.802s||1m09.884s||0||16|
|4||Sam Bird||Jaguar TCS Racing||Jaguar I-TYPE 5||41||0||+14.925s||1m09.733s||0||12|
|5||Lucas Di Grassi||RokIt Venturi Racing||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||41||0||+15.152s||1m10.117s||0||10|
|6||Edoardo Mortara||RokIt Venturi Racing||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||41||0||+16.015s||1m09.48s||0||8|
|7||Nick Cassidy||Envision Racing||Audi e-tron FE07||41||0||+17.265s||1m09.207s||0||7|
|8||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah||DS E-Tense FE21||41||0||+25.076s||1m10.214s||0||4|
|9||Oliver Askew||Avalanche Andretti||BMW iFE.021||41||0||+25.699s||1m09.63s||0||2|
|10||Mitch Evans||Jaguar TCS Racing||Jaguar I-TYPE 5||41||0||+27.32s||1m09.692s||0||1|
|11||Pascal Wehrlein||TAG Heuer Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric||41||0||+28.781s||1m10.08s||0||0|
|12||Maximilian Günther||Nissan e.Dams||Nissan IM03||41||0||+30.536s||1m10.462s||0||0|
|13||André Lotterer||TAG Heuer Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric||41||0||+31.521s||1m09.855s||0||0|
|14||Alexander Sims||Mahindra Racing||Mahindra M7Electro||41||0||+34.572s||1m09.891s||0||0|
|15||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Dragon / Penske Autosport||Penske EV-5||41||0||+36.781s||1m10.389s||0||0|
|16||Robin Frijns||Envision Racing||Audi e-tron FE07||41||0||+39.953s||1m09.431s||0||0|
|17||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||Nissan IM03||41||0||+41.334s||1m10.498s||0||0|
|18||Daniel Ticktum||Nio 333 Racing||NIO 333 001||41||0||+49.222s||1m10.341s||0||0|
|19||Oliver Turvey||Nio 333 Racing||NIO 333 001||41||0||+50.965s||1m10.394s||0||0|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Dragon / Penske Autosport||Penske EV-5||41||0||+1m16.527s||1m10.789s||0||0|
|Oliver Rowland||Mahindra Racing||Mahindra M7Electro||7||0||DNF||1m10.201s||0||0|
|António Félix da Costa||DS Techeetah||DS E-Tense FE21||0||0||DNF||0s||0||0|