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Diriyah E-Prix Facts and Figures

Formula E has returned, and Season 6 kicked off in style with two unpredictable races in Diriyah. After claiming two pole positions and a win, BMW’s Alexander Sims left Saudi Arabia with the lead in the drivers’ championship and newcomers Mercedes left with the lead in the teams’ championship. We now take a look at the facts and figures behind the racing in Diriyah.

Race facts

  • – For the first time since Hong Kong last season, Sebastien Buemi failed to make it into Super Pole in Race 1. The Swiss driver qualified 14th after struggling with the grip levels in Group 1. This marks the lowest grid slot for the Season 2 champion since the second Hong Kong race in Season 4 and ending a 23-race streak of qualifying in the top eight.
  • – New for Season 6 is the point to the driver who is fastest in the Qualifying Groups session. Sam Bird claimed the point in Race 1 and Antonio Felix da Costa took the point in Race 2. Both drivers ended up being fifth in Super Pole and having varying success in the race. Bird took the win in Race 1, but da Costa crossed the line in 16th in Race 2 and was elevated to tenth as a result of other driver’s penalties.
  • – Three of the four Formula E rookies scored points in Diriyah. Nyck de Vries claimed a sixth place in Race 1 and James Calado and Brendon Hartley finished seventh and ninth respectively in Race 2. Nico Müller, on the other hand a weekend to forget, having failed to start Race 1 and having to retire towards the end of Race 2 with a puncture.
  • – Two drivers ended their longest pointless streaks in Diriyah’s first race, Andre Lotterer and Edoardo Mortara. Lotterer scored for the first time in five races after claiming Porsche’s first podium with a second place. Mortara scored for the first time in nine races after finishing seventh (the Swiss driver had previously only finished one of the last seven E-Prixs).

Overall Position changes

After starting near the back of the grid in both races, James Calado finished 16th in Race 1 and after a late flurry of penalties the Briton finished seventh in Race 2, making him the first driver to gain 20 places in races in a double header weekend. The previous record for the most places gained in a single weekend was held by Jerome d’Ambrosio, who had gained 18 places in the Season 5 New York City weekend.

Two other drivers gained ten or more places in Race 2: Oliver Rowland and Jean-Eric Vergne. This marks the first time that a Nissan e.dams driver has gained ten places in a single race. Since the Japanese team joined Formula E last season, Rowland had a best of having gained seven places in last season’s Ad Diriyah E-Prix and Sebastien Buemi had only gained places from his grid position in a race once (Rome where he gained one place). Vergne gained 15 places in Race 1, the most a driver has gained in a single E-Prix since Lucas di Grassi in the Season 3 Hong Kong E-Prix when the Brazilian gained 17 places.

Races before first podium

RacesTeam
1Audi (1st, Beijing S1), BMW Andretti (2nd, Beijing S1), Virgin (3rd, Beijing S1), Porsche (2nd, Diriyah 1 S6), Mercedes (3rd, Diriyah 1 S6)
2Renualt e.dams (3rd, Putrajaya S1)
3NIO (2nd, Punta del Este S1), Techeetah (2nd, Buenos Aires S3)
4Team Aguri (1st, Buenos Aires S1)
6Nissan e.dams (2nd, Sanya S5)
7HWA Racelab (3rd, Rome S5)
8Dragon (1st and 3rd, Berlin S1)
9Venturi (3rd, Moscow S1)
12Mahindra (3rd, Beijing S2)
14Jaguar (3rd, Hong Kong 2 S4)
No podiumsTrulli

Porsche and Mercedes came into Diriyah having set the tenth and eleventh fastest team times in pre-season testing (being only ahead of NIO). No one expected the two newcomers would leave Saudi Arabia with silverware, however, the two German teams left with a second and third place in Race 1. This marked the first time since the inaugural Formula E race (Beijing Season 1) that a team had achieved a podium in their opening race.

Dragon have been the only team to have had both drivers on the podium on the team’s first visit to the rostrum. Jerome d’Ambrosio claimed victory and Loic Duval third place, after Lucas di Grassi was disqualified in the Season 1 Berlin E-Prix.

The other four teams to have entered Formula E since the opening season (Techeetah, Jaguar, Nissan and HWA) have all had varying success in their first race. Both Techeetah and Jaguar failed to score in their opening race in Season 3 and neither Techeetah driver saw the chequered flag. The first race of Season 5 saw the first E-Prix for Nissan e.dams, who scored 14 points and HWA Racelab, who had Stoffel Vandoorne finish 16th and Gary Paffett retire.

Most common finishing position

In Race 2, Lucas di Grassi claimed his 15th second place finish in Formula E, becoming the first driver to finish in the same position 15 times. Having also claimed ten Formula E victories, the Season 3 champion is the only driver to have finished in the same position ten times twice. A total of 13 drivers have finished in the same position five or more times.

Having spent four seasons in the midfield, Antonio Felix da Costa’s most common finishing position is 11th place, having finished in that position four times in the space of ten races in the middle of Season 4.

Of the four drivers to have entered all 60 Formula E races, Jerome d’Ambrosio is lowest on the list, having finished in 11th place just six times. This is mainly because d’Ambrosio holds the record for having finished in the most different positions (18). The Belgian driver has finished in every position from 1st to 17th, as well as 19th.

The driver to have taken place in the most E-Prixs and not appear on the list is Robin Frijns. The Dutch driver has taken part in 37 races, but never finished in the same position more than three times (having finished in 5th, 6th and 11th three times).

 

Picture source: FIA Formula E Media

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.