Date published: December 15 2018
Antonio Felix da Costa held on to take victory in an enthralling Ad Diriyah ePrix.
The 2018/19 season opener threw out a Safety Car, leaving a four minute scramble to the flag.
All of the Audi powered cars were sent to the back as well, thanks to a “power spike” after going over a bump down the main straight.
That meant that the Audi powered cars went over the limit of 250kW, and had their best lap times from qualifying deleted.
All of these issues moved Jose Maria Lopez onto the front row alongside Antonio Felix da Costa, with Sebastian Buemi, Stoffel Vandoorne, Jean-Eric Vergne and Jerome d’Ambrosio all starting in the top six.
At the halfway stage of the race, the front six had driven away from the pack. Vergne led from da Costa, Andre Lotterer, Buemi, Lopez and d’Ambrosio.
Jose Maria Lopez started P2, but had to retire with rear left suspension damage, and that brought out a full course yellow flag. However, a full safety car was deployed.
With just four minutes left in the race, da Costa led them away on the SC restart, with d’Ambrosio and Vergne right behind. However, the Belgian did not have any Attack Modes left, while AFdC and Vergne both did.
Vergne got past d’Ambrosio to make it a three-lap showdown with da Costa for the win in Saudi Arabia.
It would be the Portuguese man who held on for the victory in the season opener, with Vergne following him home.
With da Costa also taking pole position, he will have a ten point lead in the standings, ahead of Vergne and d’Ambrosio.
Lotterer also got an extra point for securing the fastest lap of the ePrix.
Ad Diriyah ePrix Results: (33 laps)
(Former F1 drivers in bold)
- Antonio Felix da Costa – BMW i Andretti – 33 laps
- Jean-Eric Vergne – Techeetah – 0.462s
- Jerome d’Ambrosio – Mahindra – 4.033s
- Mitch Evans – Panasonic Jaguar – 5.383s
- Andre Lotterer – Techeetah – 5.679
- Sebastian Buemi – Nissan e.dams – 6.625s
- Oliver Rowland – Nissan e.dams – 9.105s
- Daniel Abt – Audi Sport ABT – 9.819s
- Lucas di Grassi – Audi Sport ABT – 10.036s
- Nelson Piquet Jr. – Panasonic Jaguar – 11.564s
- Sam Bird – Virgin Racing – 11.747s
- Robin Frijns – Virgin Racing – 12.169s
- Oliver Turvey – NIO FE – 13.104s
- Felipe Massa – Venturi – 13.610s
- Tom Dillmann – NIO FE – 14.273s
- Maximilian Gunther – GEOX Dragon – 16.161s
- Stoffel Vandoorne – HWA Racelab – 20.018s
- Alexander Sims – BMW i Andretti – 47.712s
- Edoardo Mortara – Venturi – 1 Lap
- Jose Maria Lopez – GEOX Dragon
- Gary Paffett – HWA Racelab
- Felix Rosenqvist – Mahindra