Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) stormed from ninth to win the first of two races in the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix, with standings leader Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti Formula E) following home in second after starting in 11th.
Wehrlein looked the quickest on the track as he picked his way through the points-paying positions to the front of the pack. The move for the lead came on Lap 30 at Turn 16, with Sam Bird (Jaguar TCS Racing) unable to hold back Wehrlein’s 99X Electric Gen3. Both driver and car looked dominant for a second straight race.
Jake 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 two weeks ago in the 2023 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix - and both TAG Heuer Porsche and Avalanche Andretti look to have thrown down the challenge to the rest of the field as the GEN3 development race continues at pace.
Sebastian Buemi finished in fourth, his best finish since the Season 6 finale in Berlin.
NEOM McLaren Formula E Team’s René Rast started fifth and ended fifth following a long battle in middle of the points-paying positions. He also sealed the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap.
Nick Cassidy made it two Envision Racing cars in the top six. Jean-Éric Vergne fought from 12th to the points for DS PENSKE, winding up just ahead of Jake Hughes in the sister McLaren. André Lotterer (Avalanche Andretti) and Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) rounded out the top 10 – the latter slipping from sixth on the grid.
That leaves Dennis as standings leader 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.
Formula E’s return to Diriyah, a historical and cultural destination in Saudi Arabia, marks a groundbreaking move as it continues to prioritise sustainability and shift the paradigm in the sports industry.
The second race in the double-header is tonight, starting at 8pm.