Mercedes dominates first Formula E night race with de Vries - The Race
Formula E

Mercedes dominates first Formula E night race with de Vries

Feb 26 2021
By Matt Beer

Mercedes dominated the opening round of the 2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season as Nyck de Vries controlled the first Diriyah night race from pole.

Though there were times when de Vries was under moderate pressure from Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein or Audi’s Rene Rast, he was able to make crucial rapid breaks both in the opening laps and on the restarts from the race’s two safety car periods and ultimately won by a comfortable four seconds.

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Mercedes therefore starts the 2021 season in the same commanding way it had ended the 2019/20 campaign in Berlin, where it won last August’s finale with Stoffel Vandoorne.

Edoardo Mortara made it a Mercedes 1-2 with a battling drive for its customer team Venturi.

Mortara set up that result by overtaking Wehrlein and Mitch Evans’ Jaguar in a sublime two-at-once move in which he zig-zagged diagonally through a narrowing gap between them when using attack mode.

That placed him third and he later outfoxed Rast during the attack mode deployments, with Evans demoting the Audi off the podium soon afterwards.

The second Jaguar of Sam Bird was involved in the first of the safety car prompting shunts, ending up entangled with Alex Lynn’s Mahindra as they fought over sixth.

Maximilian Guenther caused the second safety car with 11 minutes to go when he heavily smacked the wall in his BMW.

Wehrlein fended off aggressive late attacks from Oliver Rowland’s Nissan to take fifth on his Porsche debut, chased by Alexander Sims and Vandoorne.

The other Porsche of Andre Lotterer was in top six contention before having to pit to replace a punctured tyre. He finished 16th.

Lucas di Grassi progressed from 16th on the grid to ninth, while behind him Oliver Turvey ended NIO333’s long points drought with 10th.

Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa could only make it as far as 11th after qualifying down in 18th. His DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was 15th.

Race Results

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 32 32 46m44.765s 1m09.757s 0 29
2 Edoardo Mortara RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 32 0 +4.119s 1m09.987s 0 18
3 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 32 0 +4.619s 1m09.751s 0 15
4 René Rast Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 32 0 +4.852s 1m09.655s 0 13
5 Pascal Wehrlein TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 32 0 +7.962s 1m10.52s 0 10
6 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 32 0 +9.318s 1m09.981s 0 8
7 Alexander Sims Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 32 0 +9.686s 1m10.353s 0 6
8 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 32 0 +9.973s 1m09.583s 0 4
9 Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Audi e-tron FE07 32 0 +11.089s 1m10.572s 0 2
10 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 32 0 +15.518s 1m10.996s 0 1
11 AntĂłnio FĂ©lix da Costa DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE20 32 0 +16.225s 1m10.708s 0 0
12 Jake Dennis BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 32 0 +17.025s 1m10.761s 0 0
13 SĂ©bastien Buemi Nissan e.DAMS Nissan IM02 32 0 +17.273s 1m10.387s 0 0
14 Norman Nato RokIT Venturi Racing Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 32 0 +17.312s 1m10.804s 0 0
15 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS E-Tense FE20 32 0 +18.402s 1m10.408s 0 0
16 André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Porsche 99X Electric 32 0 +18.417s 1m10.495s 1 0
17 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 32 0 +18.822s 1m10.444s 0 0
18 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 Formula E Team NIO 333 001 32 0 +19.072s 1m10.343s 1 0
19 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE07 32 0 +19.951s 1m10.356s 0 0
20 SĂ©rgio Sette CĂąmara Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 32 0 +20.174s 1m09.599s 1 0
21 Nico MĂŒller Dragon / Penske Autosport Penske EV-4 32 0 +20.586s 1m09.662s 0 0
Maximilian GĂŒnther BMW i Andretti Motorsport BMW iFE.21 23 0 DNF 1m11.113s 0 0
Sam Bird Jaguar Racing Jaguar I-Type 5 22 0 DNF 1m11.093s 3 0
Alex Lynn Mahinda Racing Mahindra M7Electro 16 0 DNF 1m11.144s 0 0

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