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Ad Diriyah E-Prix Facts and Figures

New cars, new teams and a new track. Season 5 of the ABB Formula E Championship kicked off in style in the Saudi Arabian city of Ad Diriyah. After waiting almost four years to stand on the podium again, Antonio Felix da Costa claimed victory with a smart drive. We now take a look at the facts and figures behind the days racing in Ad Diriyah.

Race facts

  • – Antonio Felix da Costa’s Pole Position marked his first front row start in Formula E. Before Qualifying in Saudi Arabia the BMW driver was the only current driver with over 25 race starts to have not started In the top two.
  • – Stoffel Vandoorne took FanBoost on his debut with a voting percentage of 35.55%, the highest ever percentage. The previous record was held by Lucas di Grassi with 28.83% in the 2017 Montreal ePrix Race 2.
  • – The 28 points da Costa scored in Ad Diriyah almost surpassed the combined tally he has scored over the last two seasons (10 points in Season 3 and 20 points in Season 4).
  • – Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler finished 2018 as the highest scoring team, having picked up 259 points in the last 11 races. DS Techeetah were very close behind the reigning Teams’ Champions having scored 258 points between Lotterer and Vergne. We will look at how the drivers did in 2018 later on.
  • – After a very quiet drive to fourth place, Mitch Evans scored 12 points and became the 14th driver to score 100 points in Formula E.

Overall Position changes

After starting down in 18th due to a technical infringement in Qualifying, Lucas di Grassi carved his way through the field to finish ninth, less than 1.2 seconds behind his Audi teammate, and gaining the most positions in the process.

Jose Maria Lopez started a personal best second on the grid in Ad Diriyah. After dropping down to fifth, the Argentinian moved up to third when the Techeetah drivers took their drive through penalties. However, only a few laps later, Lopez had an issue with his left rear suspension and was forced to retire, meaning he was the driver to lose the most places.

After finishing second from fifth on the grid, Jean-Eric Vergne became the first driver to go a whole calendar year without finishing below where he started (the Frenchman having gained places in seven of those eleven races in 2018).

Attack Mode Laps

With the Ad Diriyah E-Prix being the first race under the new Attack Mode format, we have a look at which laps the drivers were using the 25kW boost.

The first use of Attack Mode in Formula E occurred on Lap 6 when both NIO drivers, Oliver Turvey and Tom Dillmann, took the first of their two power boosts.

Many drivers decided to save the boosts for the end of the race, with only one third of the Attack Modes having been deployed by the end of Lap 19 of 33.

Lap 23 saw a surge of drivers using attack mode with half of the grid having the 25kW boost, which was the most drivers at any one time. As a result of the late Safety Car, every driver who still needed to deploy Attack Mode decided to use the mandatory power increase for the restart of the race, meaning ten cars had a speed advantage over their rivals.

Driver's Points in 2018

Jean-Eric Vergne finished 2018 as the highest scoring driver having scored 183 in 11 races. As a result of his dominant year, the DS Techeetah driver becomes the first driver to score over 170 points in a single year.

Out of the 30 drivers to race in 2018, only 21 of them scored points (the second lowest total and only behind the 20 drivers of 2018).

German drivers ended up being the highest scoring nation in 2018 picking up 234 points, a little ahead of French drivers (197) and Brazilian drivers (192).

About Tom Bryan
Tom is a data analyst, who runs the @FormulaEStats twitter page, which gives a variety of facts and stats about the ABB Formula E Championship.