Double first in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season opener: Nyck de Vries claims a maiden E-Prix win as Diriyah hosts the first Formula E night race; Stoffel Vandoorne finishes eighth

  • Nyck started from pole position for the first time in his Formula E career, becoming the 21st pole-sitter in the 70th race of series
  • Nyck has had the perfect weekend so far, posting best times in every session – from the first and second free practice right through to his qualifying group and the super pole.
  • Stoffel, who was last year’s Formula E runner-up, was in the first qualifying group driving on a dirty track and had to settle for P15 on the grid. In the race itself, he moved up the field by seven positions to finish eighth and open his points account for the new season.
  • Stoffel set the fastest time of the race – 1:09.583 minutes on Lap 30 of 32 – but because it was with the help of fanboost, it didn’t earn him the extra point.

Ian James (Team Principal):

“Nyck has put in an excellent performance here, starting with the first free practice session. We were able to see what a strong contender he is over the course of last season, and it’s great that he’s now managed to translate that into his first Formula E win. I think it’s fantastic that he’s been able to show what he’s capable of here. It was a great performance from Nyck.

Stoffel likewise drove a very strong race. He faced the additional challenge of being in the first qualifying group. We decided not to take any risks and sent him out on the track straight away. That put him at an even bigger disadvantage.

But ultimately, Stoffel performed well, setting the second-best time in his group. In the race, he was then able to implement our strategy very skilfully. Tomorrow, we’ll get another opportunity to go on the attack. Let’s wait and see what we can do then.

We shouldn’t read anything into the gap to our opponents after the first race of the season. We are well aware of how competitive all the other teams are and how performance and circumstances can change from race to race. All in all, it’s been a good start to the new season, but tomorrow we start all over again.”

Nyck de Vries:

“My first victory in Formula E! What a fantastic result and a perfect start to our second season. I don’t know why, but I was quite calm after the race despite the pleasure of winning. It’s been a great weekend for me so far, setting the fastest time in every session and then winning the E-Prix itself. That’s obviously a very nice feeling, but it was by no means an easy race. There were so many safety car deployments, and it was difficult to always select the right energy management. It took a lot of communication with the team, but it’s great that I was able to come home with the win in the end. Many thanks to the whole team. I know it sounds like a cliché, but everyone in our team has worked very hard over the winter to get us up here on the podium today. So again, a huge thank you to the whole squad for their tireless work. You’ve earned this victory.”

Stoffel Vandoorne:

“Today was a great start to the season by the whole team, first and foremost for Nyck, of course. He’s got his first race win, and together we’ve managed to score a decent number of points for the team. It’s been an awesome opener. Considering I had to qualify in Group 1, I would say today was actually pretty good. I qualified 15th, although the track conditions were obviously not very favourable, but that’s something you have to deal with in the championship if you’re put in Group 1. All in all, we had a good race from there, with a good recovery. The pace in the car was very good, and I managed to recover to P8, even though it’s a difficult circuit to overtake on. Anyway, I’ve scored my first points of the year and I also set the fastest race lap. The good thing is that tomorrow we get to do it all over again.”

Source: Mercedes EQ Formula E Team