Even the second round in Saudi Arabia did not disappoint expectations, giving emotions in a heated and unpredictable race up to the checkered flag, especially in the fight for the podium and for the top five.
The values in the field seen on Friday were also confirmed in the second race in Diriyah, with the Porsche-powered cars great protagonists for better or for worse. Pascal Wehrlein achieved his second triumph in two days, hitting a historic “one-two” which also allows him to climb the general standings up to first place.
The race strategy retraced a similar path to yesterday’s, with Wehrlein going out over the distance, especially from the fifteenth lap onwards: in just under two laps the German was able to move from fourth to second position with two good braking sections, overtaking Jake Hughes and Mitch Evans in sequence.
Making the most of the Attack Mode management, the standard bearer of the Stuttgart company then also went to attack René Rast, gaining the leadership of the race that he would not let go until the finish line despite the entry of the Safety Car having reunited the group.
A double success that once again confirms the excellent start to the championship for Porsche, capable of also hitting second place with the Andretti team’s “twin” car, with the usual Jake Dennis among the protagonists. Unlike race 1, in which he actually seemed to have the pace to take the lead before the checkered flag put an end to his hopes, the Briton was unable to repeat himself on Saturday.
Although the entry of the safety car with ten laps to go gave the Andretti standard bearer the opportunity to rejoin the points leader, Wehrlein was still able to fend off the attacks, keeping the gap constant above second, enough to guarantee a more serene ending compared to the success of Friday.
First podium of the season for René Rast and first ever podium for McLaren in Formula E, also today a leading actress with both of its drivers. The German, in particular, was the author of a top-level performance, especially in defending Sam Bird in the final passes despite him having 2% less energy.
Rene Rast put in a stoic late defense against Sam Bird despite energy management issues.
Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
A race which, from a strategic point of view, had seen the Jaguar driver focus on a first half of the race aimed at saving money, precisely to find himself with more battery in the final stages of the ePrix.
A choice which, however, only partially bore fruit. The entry of the Safety Car had given the Briton a great opportunity to rejoin the leading group formed by Wehrlein and Dennis, but the need to use the second Attack Mode, as well as the difficulties in overtaking a stoic Rast, did not allow him neither to actively fight for the victory nor to conquer the podium.
An excited final also for the top five, with Jake Hughes arriving at the finish line essentially without energy, enough for Mitch Evans to crash into him and then lose the position on a shrewd Sebastien Buemi, good at taking advantage of the situation to gain sixth place. Both McLaren single-seaters denoted some fatigue in terms of battery management, even arriving in some phases to have 2% less than their closest rivals.
First points for Maserati thanks to Mortara’s ninth place.
Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images
Good eighth place for Sacha Fenestraz, good at recovering from twelfth position. The Maserati appears for the first time in the points: despite a wonderful start, in which Edoardo Mortara was able to conquer two positions, over the long run the Swiss driver suffered the pressure of his rivals, coming to suffer in the space of two Dennis’s overtaking returns first and then Bird’s too.
Energy management problems didn’t allow him to go beyond ninth place, but it’s still the first top ten finish for the Trident manufacturer.
Out of the points, however, both DS, with Stoffel Vandoorne penalized for not having activated the second Attack Mode, as required by the regulation. The other two Porsche-powered drivers also disappoint, in total contrast with their teammates: if on the one hand Wehrlein and Dennis manage to conquer victories and podiums, on the other Da Costa and Lotterer went towards a weekend stingy with satisfactions, in particular the Portuguese, eleventh on the finish line.
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