Pascal Wehrlein wins Race 1 of Diriyah EPrix weekend with Jake Dennis ending up second from Sam Bird.
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) stormed from ninth to the race win in the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix Round 2, with standings leader Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) following home in second after scything through the pack himself.
Wehrlein looked terrifyingly quick as he picked his way through the points-paying positions, navigating two ATTACK MODE activations and by both polesitter Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) and another prior race leader in Sam Bird – the Jaguar TCS Racing driver coming home an eventual third.
The move for the lead came on Lap 30 at Turn 16, with Bird unable to hold back the 99X Electric Gen3 beneath Wehrlein – both driver and car looking monstrous for a second race on the spin. An emotional win for the 28-year-old, who once again credited his team with a monumental amount of work off-track to get things so right on it.
Dennis in the Porsche-powered Avalanche Andretti took the fight all the way to the line with his factory Porsche counterpart from all the way back in 11th on the grid, but he couldn’t find a way beyond Wehrlein – who sealed his second Formula E win on his 50th start.
The result was a reversal of the one-two we saw back in Mexico City – and both TAG Heuer Porsche and Avalanche Andretti look to have thrown down the challenge in a big way to the rest of the field as the GEN3 development race continues at pace.
Bird was overjoyed to make the podium for the first time since winning in New York City back in Season 7 – calling it a “mini victory” for himself and Jaguar after a tough Season 8 for the Brit; the only season he’d failed to get his hands on Formula E silverware. Buemi and Envision Racing will be more than happy with a strong fourth, too – his best finish since the Season 6 finale in Berlin.
NEOM McLaren’s Rene Rast started fifth and ended fifth amid a proper back and fourth in the middle of the points-paying positions – he also, as he so often does, sealed the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap. Meanwhile, Nick Cassidy made it two Envision Racing cars in the top six. Jean-Eric Vergne fought from 12th to the points for DS PENSKE, winding up just ahead of Jake Hughes in the sister McLaren. Andre Lotterer (Avalanche Andretti) and Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing) rounded out the top 10 – the latter slipping from sixth on the grid.
That left Dennis’ standings lead at just a point over Werhlein – 44 to 43 points – while Avalanche Andretti retain their Teams’ advantage over TAG Heuer Porsche, 58 to 49 points, with Envision Racing third.
#ABBFormulaE #DiriyahEPrix #Round2 Provisional results of the EPrix with a victory for @PWehrlein (started P9) , while @JakeDennis19 (started P11) takes 2nd, bit clear of @sambirdofficial in P3. #MsportXtra @FormulaEZone pic.twitter.com/5IrMZnLwtq
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) January 27, 2023
[Note: The story is as per press release]