World Champion Nyck de Vries wins Formula E opener in Saudi Arabia

World Champion Nyck de Vries wins Formula E opener in Saudi Arabia

The new Formula E season in Saudi Arabia began with a one-two for Team Mercedes-EQ with Nyck de Vries in first place. The second race in Diriyah was won by Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) in a Mercedes customer car.

In the first race, world champion de Vries finished ahead of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who had secured pole position in the new qualifying format. Third was Briton Jake Dennis from the Andretti team, albeit already eight seconds behind. Dennis had driven for BMW i Andretti last season and also scored his first race win in his first season. After BMW's withdrawal at the end of the season, he remained loyal to Andretti.

In the second race, world champion de Vries started from first place on the grid and was also involved in the leading group for a long time, but dropped back to 10th place in the final phase of the race after contact with former champion Jean-Eric Vergne in the DS Techeetah. Swiss Edoardo Mortara of ROKiT Ventrui Racing took the race win ahead of Dutchman Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin) and Venturi team-mate Lucas di Grassi. As both Venturi cars are mercedes-EQ customer cars, the Swabian company's e-power unit currently seems to be the benchmark in Formula E with two pole positions and a total of four podium finishes.

Whether this was only the case in Saudi Arabia or also applies to other circuits will become clear on 12 February at the third race of the season in Mexico City, where Mortara will enter as championship leader with 33 points ahead of Mercedes factory drivers de Vries (29 points) and Vandoorne (28 points). Dennis, the first non-Mercedes, follows in fourth place, but is level on points with ex-Audi driver Lucas di Grassi, who has switched to Venturi following the Ingolstadt exit.