Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries started the new season in dominant fashion as he clinched victory in the opening race at the Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia on Friday, with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne making it a one-two for Mercedes.
The event was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sports, and Prince Khalid bin Sultan al-Faisal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and the Saudi Motorsports Company, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The race kicked off at 8 p.m. and witnessed two separate accidents that forced Portuguese driver Félix da Costa and British driver Oliver Rowland to retire following a safety-car level incident.
Dutchman De Vries held second place behind pole-sitter Vandoorne for the initial stages, but moved into the lead after the Belgian missed an attack mode activation loop following the safety-car restart.
“It’s a great result for the team to win today and secure the one-two. This is what we have been working towards, so it is a very pleasing start to the weekend,” De Vries said after his second straight win in Diriyah, according to Reuters.
“Obviously I was a bit fortunate with Stoff missing his attack mode, but at the end of the day it was good from our side in the garage,” he continued, according to the same Reuters report.
Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis came third, while Sam Bird of Jaguar TCS Racing finished fourth, ensuring a strong start to the season for the British contingent.
Diriyah is hosting a double-header, with a second night race scheduled for Saturday.