Wehrlein takes Formula E opener in Saudi Arabia


Pascal Wehrlein claimed victory in Race 2 of the 2022-2023 Formula E World Championship

Pascal Wehrlein has claimed victory in Race 2 of the 2022-2023 Formula E World Championship in Saudi Arabia.

Wehrlein claimed the opening race of the Diriyah ePrix double-header at the Riyadh Street Circuit, taking the chequered flag ahead of Avalanche Andretti Formula E pilot and Race 1 winner Jake Dennis, with Jaguar TCS Racing driver Sam Bird completing the podium.

In doing so, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver sealed the second victory of his Formula E career, following his triumph in last year’s Mexico City ePrix.

“It feels incredible. I am so proud of these guys, unbelievable,” Wehrlein said.

“I mean from P9 to P1, amazing, I am so grateful to have this team – it has been a lot of work.

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“We always wanted to achieve these kind of results, we had some highlights in the past but definitely this year we wanted to do a big step forward.

“To start this well in the season in the first and second race is amazing, like I said I am just thankful for everyone and their hard work – we keep pushing.”

The German moved his way through the field from ninth on the grid, taking the lead of the race from Bird at Turn 16 on Lap 30, while runner-up Dennis also carved his way through the field to finish on the podium from 11th.

Bird, who topped the timesheets in Free Practice 1 and made it through to the Qualifying Duels, drove a consistent race, going onto take the lead from polesitter and Envision Racing driver Sebastian Buemi on Lap 7, before he was passed by Wehrlein with five laps to go.

After starting from pole in his 100th Formula E race, Buemi eventually dropped back to fourth, while McLaren’s Rene Rast finished where he started in fifth, although the German demonstrated solid pace, setting a 1:10.117s to claim the fastest lap of the race.

New Zealander Nick Cassidy moved up four spots to finish sixth, with DS Penske driver Jean-Eric Vergne in seventh, while Brit Jake Hughes finished eighth, after starting P2 in the second McLaren entry.

Andre Lotterer finished ahead of Kiwi Mitch Evans in the Jaguar TCS Racing entry, who dropped four spots from sixth to 10th.

The final leg of the Diriyah E-Prix double-header will commence on Saturday, January 28 at 20:00 local time /Sunday, January 29 04:00 AEDT.

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