Reigning champion Nyck de Vries took the first win of the 2021-22 Formula E season at the Diriyah E-Prix. The Mercedes team scored a 1-2 podium finish, as Stoffel Vandoorne finished in second position.
De Vries started the opening race of the season from third place but as soon as red lights went out moved up to the second position.
As his teammate and poleman Stoffel Vandoorne went for his Attack Mode early into the race, de Vries took the lead and retained his position until the chequered flag was waved. The Belgian finished right behind his team-mate, marking an excellent race day for the German outfit, collecting pole position and scoring a 1-2 in the podium.
Though there was a clean start at the front, the race was immediately cut short for Antonio Felix da Costa, as had to take his car back to the pits in the first lap. The first round of the Diriyah E-Prix was over for the Portuguese.
The first safety car of the season came out 10 minutes into the race, as Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland hit the wall after making contact with Envision’s Robin Frijns. Rowland subsequently abandoned the race while Frijns got penalised with a drive through penalty for causing the collision. However, Rowland was deemed to be at fault for an early collision between the two and earned a three place penalty for the second race of the weekend.
The safety car didn't trigger any change at the front of the order, but there was a change of position for P3.
After being passed by de Vriest early on, Jake Dennis had been battling to keep Andre Lotterer behind him. The fight that went on for several laps that included both cars making contact in different occasions.
Lotterer was the quicker of the two and managed to pass Dennis after the safety car period. But the position wouldn't last long as he began to fall backwards with an apparent issue.
The German ended up out of the point-scoring positions, while the fight within the top ten was a tight one between Sam Bird Bird, Lucas di Grassi, Edoardo Mortara, and Nick Cassidy.
As the race came to an end, Dennis finished third. Formula E veterans Bird and di Grassi completed the top five, while Mortara was able to slid his Venturi car within the points.
The top ten was completed by Cassidy, Jean Eric Vergne, rookie Oliver Askew, and Mitch Evans.