Mercedes EQ FE driver Nyck de Vries admitted he was ‘satisfied’ after his debut in the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix, but also disappointed he was not closer to team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
De Vries qualified third for the race, just behind Vandoorne, and ran in that position throughout the first half of the race.
But the current Formula 2 champion lost out through the attack mode strategy to race winner Sam Bird, before eventually finishing in sixth place.
“We can be well satisfied with this result. We had a slight advantage in qualifying, as we were in Groups 3 and 4, but still, I’m delighted for the team that we are able to begin our adventure in such a positive way,” said de Vries.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed that I did not finish behind Stoffel in the race. It might have been possible but for the contact with Andre Lotterer and the missed opportunity with the Attack Mode.
“That cost me 1.8 seconds. I was unable to use Attack Mode and had to try again, but all in all, we can be satisfied with the result.”
De Vries’ lap time on lap 23 of the race was a 1m18.543s, compared to a 1m15.977s the lap before, however he did not get the benefit of attack mode from that lap.
On lap 24, he did get activate attack mode after posting a 1m18.757s lap time.
Team principal Ian James claimed the result of third and sixth was more than expected by the team and was expecting a different race tomorrow.
James said: “Finishing third and sixth in our very first race is far more than we expected and a huge reward for the whole team. The race has shown that we have achieved a certain level of consistency for our cars over the last months.
“But as you could see throughout, there is strong competition between all of the teams. Going at a fast pace, the field was really close from start to finish.
“Still, I am certain that we will see a very different race tomorrow. It will be a fresh start for everyone. We need to stay focused and not be distracted by today’s rather very pleasing result.”