2022 Formula E: Mercedes, Venturi win at Diriyah season opener

    Nyck de Vries and Edoardo Mortara scored wins at the Diriyah E-Prix double header, while Mahindra faced some early struggles.

    Published On Jan 31, 2022 06:00:00 PM

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    Nyck de Vries, Edoardo Mortara win Formula E 2022 Diriyah E-Prix

    Nyck de Vries (top) and Edoardo Mortara (bottom) won a race each at the Diriyah E-Prix.

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    Reigning Formula E world champions Mercedes and Nyck de Vries kicked off their title defence with a strong showing at the 2022 Formula E season opener at Diriyah. Venturi joined the party, with Edoardo Mortara collecting a win after a late-race safety car in the second Diriyah E-Prix.

    • Mercedes and Venturi score a double podium each
    • Mahindra gets points on board after difficult weekend

    De Vries leads Mercedes 1-2

    Mercedes picked up where they left off in Season 7, with Stoffel Vandoorne leading the pack away from pole position. His teammate, defending champion de Vries, missed almost the entire first practice session after a crash. But that didn’t seem to affect him much, as he quickly jumped Andretti’s Jake Dennis to move up to second.

    An uncharacteristic slip-up from Vandoorne saw the Belgian miss his marks as he attempted his second attack mode activation. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, de Vries slipped into the lead. Vandoorne did close the gap, but ultimately had to settle for second place.

    The Mercedes duo stamped their authority in the race, finishing over eight seconds clear of third-placed Dennis. “It put myself and the team on the backfoot.Tthen you have to rebuild your confidence, and the conditions were very slippery, very different to last year,” said de Vries, referring to his crash earlier during the week.

    “I was actually very happy with what we achieved in qualifying, and then I knew we had a strong race car to capitalise on our qualifying position. We had great pace, the team did a great job and I was a bit fortunate with Stoff [Vandoorne] missing his attack mode, but at the end of the day, it was faultless from our garage and we managed to win the first race. I am very pleased with the way we managed to win this race and start the season strong,” he added.

    Mortara wins for Venturi

    After finishing sixth in the opening race, Edoardo Mortara bounced back to win the next Diriyah E-Prix. It was a tense battle between the frontrunners and Mortara swept past his teammate Lucas di Grassi to take the lead on lap 17.

    His next task was to keep Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns at bay, which he managed to do so successfully till the Safety Car was brought out to collect Alexander Sims’ stricken Mahindra. Slow recovery meant the race ended behind the Safety Car, handing Mortara the win from Frijns and di Grassi.

    “It was a very strategic race, very difficult for the nerves because I didn’t have a lot of energy, but neither did my colleagues around me. They were playing strategy, trying to attack me and make me consume, so I tried to keep my head cool and it worked,” Mortara said.

    Early difficulties for Mahindra  

    Mahindra Racing showed some promising form in practice, but couldn’t materialise that into strong results. Alexander Sims finished the first race in 14th place, but unfortunately an incident with Frijns resulted in a retirement for Oliver Rowland.

    After a three-place grid penalty, Rowland clawed back some lost ground to finish eighth in the next race. But this time around, it was Sims who retired after touching the wall while running 11th.

    Reflecting on the teams’ performance, Mahindra Racing CEO and team principal Dilbagh Gill said, “On track, we had some highlights at the Diriyah ePrix – we showed pace in practice, progressed to the Duel battles in both qualifying sessions and collected our first points of the year. The potential is all there, however, there’s a lot we need to do before round two in Mexico City in less than two weeks. We will keep our heads down, stay focused and keep pushing.”

    Next up on the Formula E calendar is the Mexico E-Prix on February 12.

     

    Who do you think will win the 2022 Formula E season? Tell us in the comments below.

    2022 Diriyah E-Prix Round 1 results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Nyck de VriesMercedes-EQ
    2Stoffel VandoorneMercedes-EQ
    3Jake DennisAndretti
    4Sam BirdJaguar TCS
    5Lucas di GrassiVenturi Racing
    6Edoardo MortaraVenturi Racing
    7Nick CassidyEnvision Racing
    8Jean-Eric VerneDS Techeetah
    9Oliver AskewAndretti
    10Mitch EvansJaguar TCS
    11Pascal WehrleinPorsche
    12Maximilian GuentherNissan e.dams
    13Andre LottererPorsche
    14Alexander SimsMahindra Racing
    15Sergio Sette CamaraDragon/Penske Autosport
    16Robin FrijnsEnvision Racing
    17Sebastien BuemiNissan e-dams
    18Dan TicktumNio 333
    19Oliver TurveyNio 333
    20Antonio GiovinazziDragon/Penske Autosport
    DNFOliver RowlandMahindra Racing
    DNFAntonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah

    2022 Diriyah E-Prix Round 2 results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Edoardo MortaraVenturi Racing
    2Robin FrijnsEnvision Racing
    3Lucas di GrassiVenturi Racing
    4Andre LottererPorsche
    5Jake DennisAndretti
    6Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
    7Stoffel VandoorneMercedes-EQ
    8Oliver RowlandMahindra Racing
    9Pascal WehrleinPorsche
    10Nyck de VriesMercedes-EQ
    11Oliver AskewAndretti
    12Antonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
    13Sebastien BuemiNissan e-dams
    14Maximilian GuentherNissan e.dams
    15Sam BirdJaguar TCS
    16Nick CassidyEnvision Racing
    17Sergio Sette CamaraDragon/Penske Autosport
    18Oliver TurveyNio 333
    19Dan TicktumNio 333
    20Antonio GiovinazziDragon/Penske Autosport
    21Mitch EvansJaguar TCS
    DNFAlexander SimsMahindra Racing

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