An eloquent illustration of Formula E’s reputation for breaking new ground was provided by the 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix, the first world class motorsport fixture to be hosted by the Middle-Eastern kingdom and scene of the debut of the championship’s new, futuristic Gen2 which combine an upgraded performance package with batteries that are able to last full race distances. The Saudi authorities also permitted the organisation of three free-access public concerts which attracted thousands of spectators, while the weather highlighted Formula E’s ‘green’ side when rain swept over the desert region on race day!
The timetable effectively had to be adjusted by Race Control after heavy showers and the formation of big puddles made the track impracticable. The morning’s first free practice session was cancelled and the second was postponed until 10:15am to give marshals time to sweep aside excess standing water. Two qualifying sessions then followed at 11:25am.
The new MICHELIN Pilot Sport consequently faced a rare challenge for its debut but the French firm’s latest Formula E tyre successfully rose to the occasion thanks to its exceptional versatility, despite tipping the scales at nine kilograms lighter per set of four. The race itself showcased the newcomer’s performance and consistency in near all-dry conditions.
The winner of the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix was Antonio Felix Da Costa. The BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver crossed the line clear of the 2017/2018 champion Jean-Eric Vergne (DS-Techeetah) – who pushed all race – and Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing) whose consistent drive was rewarded with third place.

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