Bird wins on first Jaguar weekend as crash ends race early - The Race
Formula E

Bird wins on first Jaguar weekend as crash ends race early

Feb 27 2021
By Matt Beer

Sam Bird claimed a first win with his new team Jaguar on the opening weekend of the 2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season in Diriyah.

Bird emerged on top of a race-long duel with Envision Virgin’s polesitter Robin Frijns that was brought to an early conclusion by an accident that led to Alex Lynn being hospitalised.

The safety car came out with 10 minutes left as Sebastien Buemi parked his Nissan while separate incidents involving Tom Blomqvist and Maximilian Guenther, and Lynn and Mitch Evans occurred at the same time.

Lynn’s Mahindra is understood to have been launched off Evans’ Jaguar and skated down the track upside down before hitting a wall in a runoff area. He was taken to hospital for checks, but was “conscious and talking”, according to his team.

After a long safety car period, the race was stopped with two minutes on the clock.

From third on the grid, Bird had quickly passed front row starter Sergio Sette Camara’s Dragon Penske Autosport car on the opening lap and set off with Frijns.

Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Diriyah Formula E 2021

Frijns was first of the pair to deploy attack mode, losing the lead as he went through the activation zone before swiftly retaking it with his extra power.

When Bird went for attack mode he fell behind Sette Camara temporarily too and lost ground to Frijns overall.

Frijns took attack mode again just before a full course yellow caused by Pascal Wehrlein shoving Jake Dennis into the wall.

Again Frijns fell behind Bird, but he managed to reclaim the lead with the final moments of his attack mode.

Once they were back on equal power, Bird was all over Frijns and got back ahead in a straight fight.

He still had one attack mode to take and was in danger of losing multiple places as he did so given that charging DS Techeetah pair Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa had caught up to them.

But Vergne and da Costa took themselves out of victory contention with a bout of intra-team wheel-banging that allowed Bird and Frijns to pull clear.

That meant Bird only fell behind Frijns when he went for attack mode again, and was able to reclaim the lead for good using the additional power before the race came to its muted conclusion.

Vergne emerged ahead of da Costa to take third, with Nick Cassidy making it through to fifth in the other Envision Virgin car – though he is under investigation for going too fast during the full course yellow.

UPDATE: Vergne and Cassidy demoted amid eight post-race penalties

As expected, qualifying star teams Dragon and NIO333 fell back during the race, but Sette Camara and team-mate Nico Mueller held on for sixth and seventh ahead of NIO333’s Oliver Turvey.

Oliver Turvey NIO333 Diriyah Formula E 2021

Oliver Rowland and Rene Rast completed the top 10.

Friday winner Nyck de Vries could only reach 14th after Mercedes was required to sit out qualifying while the cause of Edoardo Mortara’s huge practice crash in his Venturi-run car was evaluated.

De Vries’ team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne also had to take a drivethrough penalty for a pre-race powertrain change and finished 18th and last, just behind Porsche’s Andre Lotterer – who had also started at the back due to his practice crash.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 29 11 39m50.836s 1m09.847s 0 25
2 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 29 18 +2.194s 1m09.902s 0 22
3 António Félix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE20 29 0 +6.9s 1m10.108s 0 15
4 Sérgio Sette Câmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 29 0 +12.817s 1m10.225s 0 12
5 Nico Müller Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 29 0 +13.924s 1m10.33s 0 10
6 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 29 0 +15.523s 1m10.383s 0 8
7 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 29 0 +16.389s 1m10.135s 0 6
8 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 29 0 +20.612s 1m09.868s 0 4
9 Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 29 0 +22.482s 1m08.811s 0 3
10 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 29 0 +25.395s 1m10.598s 0 1
11 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 29 0 +27.257s 1m09.364s 0 0
12 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE20 29 0 +28.846s 1m10.202s 0 0
13 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 29 0 +29.112s 1m09.689s 0 0
14 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 29 0 +33.079s 1m09.754s 0 0
15 Alexander Sims Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 29 0 +43.885s 1m09.755s 0 0
16 Norman Nato RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 29 0 +48.192s 1m10.028s 0 0
17 René Rast Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 29 0 +1m06.254s 1m09.454s 0 0
18 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 29 0 +1m09.508s 1m10.557s 0 0
Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 26 0 DNF 1m09.991s 0 0
Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 26 0 DNF 1m09.355s 0 0
Alex Lynn Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 26 0 DNF 1m09.632s 0 0
Sébastien Buemi Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 26 0 DNF 1m09.999s 0 0
Jake Dennis BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 16 0 DNF 1m10.684s 0 0

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