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Diriyah E-Prix: Mortara takes 1st from champion de Vries in surprise finish


AS IT HAPPENED: ROKiT Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara wins second Diriyah E-Prix race

DIRIYAH: It was a successful second day of the Diriyah E-Prix weekend for ROKiT Venturi as Edoardo Mortara won Saturday’s race and Lucas di Grassi got himself on the podium.

Dutchman Robin Frijns sealed second for the Envision team.

Saturday’s race followed an action-packed first day on Friday as the drivers got to grips with the new format, and Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries took the first win of the season.

Follow all the coverage of day two below… (All times GMT)

17:55 – CHEQUERED FLAG! Edoardo Mortara crosses the line ahead of the pack! A third Formula E win for the Venturri driver, followed by Frijns in second and Edo’s teammate Lucas di Grassi in third.

A superb performance for the Swiss driver, but unfortunately for his team, Frijns took away Rokit Venturi’s hope of a 1-2 win in the second round of the Diriyah E-Prix.

After it seemed like the race was going to end with the safety car leading the drivers under the yellow lights. There was one final lap of ‘racing’, which unfortunately meant many of the drivers who wanted to fight more, did not get a chance to.

17:50 – The new Porsche Taycan Turbo S safety car now leads the drivers with 6 minutes left… 

17:45 – Now 10th, the Flying Dutchman Nyck de Vries loses hope of seeing double victory in Diriyah, but his countryman Robin Frijns takes second place Lucas as di Grassi fails to defend on the straight, will this be the end a Venturi’s 1-2 win tonight?

Meanwhile, Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne’s fan boost has gone to waste! As the safety car is deployed after Alexander Sims crashed into the wall, finding himself out of the race after he broke his drive shaft with 8 minutes left.

17:40 – Mortara breaks early forcing Lucas di Grassi to go wide on the straight with 15 minutes left, Robin Frijns and de Vries follow.

Vergne tries to go for it on the straight, contact made between him and de Vries!

It’s clear that de Vries took some sort of damage to his steering as he falls down the grid to 9th place below his counterpart Vandoorne who found his way to 6h place with 12 minutes left on the clock…

17:35 – Edoardo Mortara leads the E-Prix with 24 minutes on the clock, the race sees a current 1-2 for Venturi for the first time.

Lotterer moves up to fourth place with 23 minutes to go, making slight contact with Frijns to do it, he then cut the apex beautifully surpassing the Envision Racing driver.

The battle is at the front with de Vries yet to activate his attack mode.

17:30 – DRAMA! Di Grassi leads the race after he makes contact with de Vries before forcibly bumping him out of his position. Mortara in second, followed by de Vries and Frijns.

17:25 – Mortara drops to fourth for the first time in the race after he goes through an activation zone to go on attack mode, with 27 minutes on the clock.

17:25 – Two places lost for Oliver Askew, as former Formula One driver Pascal Wehrlein takes advantage of the rookie sliding past him with Askew unable to defend. Frijns still chasing down ‘Edo’ with 29 minutes left.

17:20 – With 34 minutes left, Vandoorne who started in 12th has found his way to 9th place. An attack mode would bring him up to 250kW but the Belgian driver waits for an opportune moment.

De Vries leads, followed by Mortara, Frijns, di Grassi, Lotterer and Vergne so far maintaining the qualifying grid positions except Dennis has fought his way to 7th place from 9th.

WHAT IS ATTACK MODE?

Attack Mode is a temporary power boost used in all Formula E races by all drivers. The power boost is equivalent to an increase of 35 kW, which the drivers must manually initiate by pressing a button on their steering wheel and driving off the racing line at certain specified points of the track.

17:15 – Rowland and Dennis go through an activation zone with left as both British drivers expend some of their energy to go on attack mode. The old friends of 15 years battle out in the middle of the grid in 7th and 8th position.

17:10 – Lucas Di Grassi locks up on turn one but manages to get back on the circuit just as it seemed he was out of the race.

De Vries manages to hold his pole position and leads the race, followed by Mortara and Frijns with Mortara currently under pressure as Frijns keeps closing the gap. Sam Bird finds himself at the back of the grid

17:05 – Andretti driver Jake Dennis, who came in third yesterday, didn’t manage to get a good grid position for this evening’s race as he starts in 9th, Dennis told reporters his focus tonight will simply be “drive fast, don’t crash.”

Going into his second race after his debut yesterday, former Alfa Romeo Formula One driver Antonio Giovanazzi said racing in Formula E has actually been “really hard.” Unfortunate for the Italian driver as he starts at the back of the grid for the second round of the Diriyah E-Prix.

Formula E fans are anticipating Rokit Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara to give it a go tonight after qualifying second earlier today in the new dual format, bested only by none other than red hot Mercedes-EQ driver Nick de Vries.

17:00 – We’re up and racing under the lights in Diriyah!

15:45 – While we wait for the racing action, make sure to catch our interview with footballing legend Didier Drogba, who was in attendance on day one of the Diriyah E-Prix. Full interview here.

 

15:10 – So amid all the confusion over the missed green lights and racing incidents, we now have a finalized grid for the second race of the weekend. Check it out below…

 

14:30 – Diriyah is playing host to the first two rounds of the FIA Formula E World Championship, and if it has whet the appetite for electric racing, below is a look at the rest of the calendar for 2022…

14:00 – POLE POSITION! A flying lap sees sees Edoardo Mortara set a brilliant time for the benchmark but a stunning lap by Nyck de Vries sees him beat the Venturi driver by five thousandths of a second! Which means the pole-sitter will take another 3 points on top of his 25-point haul on Firday, racking up a total of 28 points in the championship so far, with Saturday’s race still to come.

13:55 – Envision driver Robin Frijns falls to Mortara in the other semifinal, leading to a challenging final showdown for the Swiss driver against the red hot Nyck de Vries for the chance to be on pole position for the second Diriyah E-Prix race of the weekend.

13:50 – Footage reveals Portuguese DS Techeetah driver Antonio Felix da Costa actually missed his cue and went on the green light of his opponent Lucas di Grassi’s. The driver says he is “still at a loss” as to how it happened.

13:45 – DRAMA! According to officials, Antonio Felix da Costa impeded Lucas di Grassi. Whether a penalty will be given to the Portuguese driver is unclear, however da Costa says he went on the green light but was later told he went on di Grassi’s green light.

Back to the qualifying action, Di Grassi goes first with De Vries following 10 seconds later.

And what a weekend the Flying Dutchman is having, as he takes out the Venturi driver in the semifinal. De Vries proceeds to the final.

13:40 – Edoardo Mortara, the man who didn’t get to duel in Friday’s session, has managed to beat his opponent Andre Lotterer in the quarterfinals to face Frijns in the next knockout stage.

13:35 – Oliver Rowland goes out first with Robin Frijns chasing him. One of these two drivers will make it to the semis for the first time.

Frijns breaks away from the Mahindra Racing driver, and crosses the line almost six tenths ahead of Rowland and advancing to the semis. Lotterer versus Mortara now.

13:30 – Friday’s winner Nyck de Vries beats Jean-Eric Vergne almost effortlessly to proceed to the semifinals. 

A strange scene sees Lucas di Grassi immobile and shaking his head while Antonio Felix da Costa proceeds to duel on his own. Through the comms, Venturi felt that da Costa went before the green light.

Di Grassi takes his lap after da Costa at a disadvantage as he starts a second late, but manages to beat da Costa as the the Portuguese driver slowed down toward the end of his run, and is now under investigation for impeding.

So, as it stands, Di Grassi faces yesterday’s champion De Vries in the semifinals. Watch this space…

13:15 – Sam Bird is out of qualifying after a crash in turn two. Friday’s pole position winner Vandoorne ran a slow qualifying time on day two which led to him getting kicked out of the top four by Mahindra Racing’s Alexander Sims, and effectively throwing the Belgian driver to the back of the grid.

Rokit Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara, who crashed out on Friday, is first in Group B and advances to the quarterfinals along with Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns and both DS Tcheetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa, and Jean-Eric Vergne. No jaguars will head-to-head in the duels.

13:00 – Both Andrettis out in the first run, with third on the grid yesterday Lucas di Grassi joining in on the first qualifying. Nick Cassidy won’t be taking part in qualifying, while second on the grid yesterday Jake Dennis gets a front row start.

Oliver Askew was quickest in the first sector over all other drivers, but the chance to be in top four didn’t last for the rookie as he got pushed out by TAG Heuer Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Rokit Venturi driver Lucas Di Grassi kicked out Andretti’s Dennis, the man who finished third in the race on Friday, who is not going to go forward to the duel stage, while first place podium winner Nyck de Vries, Di Grassi, Mahindra Racing’s Oliver Rowland and TAG Heuer Porsche’s Andre Lotterer advance. 



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