Formula E: Sam Bird claims victory in opening round as Alex Sims clinches maiden win in Saudi Diriyah E-Prix

Formula E: Sam Bird claims victory in opening round as Alex Sims clinches maiden win in Saudi Diriyah E-Prix

Friday 22nd Nov – Race 1

Audi-powered Bird clinches first win in Saudi, leading Porsche and Mercedes

Starting on Pole, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims pulled away as the lights went out on the season opener in Saudi Arabia, leaving both Mercedes-Benz EQ drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries in second and third.

After five minutes, the ATTACK MODE activation zone opened up, with all 24 drivers now able to pass through the ATTACK MODE Activation Zone – located off the racing line – in order to pick up a 35kW power boost during the race.

Sam Bird (GBR), Envision Virgin Racing, 1st position, Andre Lotterer (DEU), Tag Heuer Porsche, 2nd position, and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), Mercedes Benz EQ Formula, 3rd position

Just five minutes into the race, disaster struck for Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi who stopped on track while the grid passed by. Unable to restart his car, the Swiss driver retired from the race.

After a number of attempts from Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird to pass Rokit Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara and move towards a podium finish, the Brit passed the Swiss driver with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Moving up from 16, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Daniel Abt passed NIO 333’s Oliver Turvey in a bid to improve the German manufacturers start to the season. Moments later, Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein (in 12th) clocked the fastest lap.

Still locked into 11th, reigning champion and DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne showed no sign of making his way into the points. With two titles to his name, the pressure is on for the Frenchman as he looks to clinch a third at the end of the 2019/20 season.

Leading the way, Alex Sims kept the two Mercedes drivers at bay in his BWM as the German powerhouses battled for the win. Close behind was Sam Bird in his Audi-powered Envision Virgin Racing challenger, followed by TAG Heuer Porsche’s Andre Lotterer in fifth.

With 17 minutes left of the race, reigning champ Vergne retired, returning to the pits with damage to the front wheel of his car.

Coming off the start/finish straight, a patient Vandoorne made his move on race leader Sims, taking the lead through Turn 18 and 19. At the same time, Bird attacked, passing Sims to move into second. Dropping back further still, Lotterer moved into third, knocking Sims off a potential podium finish.

Not content with a second place finish, Bird attacked Vandoorne with ten minutes remaining. Taking the lead in his Audi-powered car, the Brit handed it to new entrants Mercedes and Porsche as Lotterer remained in third.

After working his way up the grid, Nissan e.dams’ Oliver Rowland advanced on Sims in fourth, passing the BMW driver with six minutes to spare. Coming into Turn 5, Audi’s Daniel Abt failed to stop his car after a collision with Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW) and was left stranded after colliding with the wall.

With only three minutes left, the BMW i8 Safety Car was deployed while the German’s car was collected until the race restarted with just over a minute to go.

Bird, maintaining his lead, held out to collect the first win of the season after a spectacular race from the Envision Virgin Racing driver. Trailing the Brit in his Audi was Porsche’s Andre Lotterer in second, followed by Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne in third.

Alexander Sims (GBR) BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20, celebrates on the podium with Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20, and Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE06

Saturday 23 Nov- Race 2

With the lights out, it was Poleman BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims who pulled away in the lead after securing his second Pole in a row on day two of the 2019 SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix.

Leading the way with Nissan e.dams’ Sebastian Buemi in second and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi in third, the British driver maintained his position up front while DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa – who moved into fourth after Mahindra Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio retired from the race due to technical difficulties – was on the attack.

Making his way through the pack, da Costa was eager to make the podium, attacking Buemi and nudging the back of his car while sending him spinning into oncoming traffic. The Nissan driver rejoined the pack in 15th but came under investigation by the FIA.

With more than 30 minutes left on the clock, Bird was tapped by Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans going through Turn 4, before being tapped again by Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein going through Turn 5. The British driver – who clinched the win in the first race only a day before – met with the wall. With significant damage to his car, the Brit was out of the race.

After consideration by the FIA, Da Costa was handed a 10-second drive through penalty for causing the incident with Buemi, while the Nissan driver was also handed the same punishment for his re-entry into the race that was deemed unsafe.

While his teammate was already out of the race, fellow Envision driver Robin Frijns lost control of his Audi-powered car between Turn 5 and 6, hitting the wall sideways on Turn 7. Damaged and stranded in his car, the Yellow Flag was raised while his car was recovered.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Sims maintained his lead while , further down the pack, Jaguar’s Evans was handed a 10-second drive through penalty for the collision with Bird.

Taking his ATTACK MODE, di Grassi in third temporarily lost a position before blasting back past Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne with 35kW of extra power. Not taking the ATTACK MODE, Sims’ teammate Max Guenther slipped into second as the two BMW’s led the way with only minutes left on the clock.

Stretching the lead to over three seconds with five minutes left on the clock, Guenther defended hard against di Grassi, holding the ATTACK MODE-enabled Brazilian at bay. With the added power, the Audi driver set the fastest lap on the attack against the German.

With both BMWs crossing the line in tandem, the Sims clinched his first ever race win in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with his teammate in second and Audi’s di Grassi in third.


Post race – Guenther dropped after penalty, Vandoorne inherits third place podium finish

Following a post-race penalty, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther drops off the podium. Following this decision, Mercedes-Benz EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne is promoted to third place to round off the season opener in Saudi.

Following a chaotic season opener in Saudi Arabia, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther lost his podium finish after the FIA found him in breach of the regulations for overtaking Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi while the BMW i Safety Car was out.

After a fraught race, which saw Guenther’s teammate Alex Sims dominate the race from Pole to finish, the German driver took second place in front of di Grassi – what would have been his maiden podium in Formula E.

Coming under investigation after the race, the 22 year-old driver was handed a 24 second time penalty, which relegated him down the order. Moving up to the podium was Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne, who clinched his second podium of the race weekend, rounding off a sensational debut performance for new manufacturer works squad Mercedes-Benz EQ team.

Sims: Maiden win in Saudi was unexpected

During the opening two races of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims weekend went from ‘disaster’ to a sensational success after the Brit secured his maiden win in the series in Saudi Arabia. But the victory was far from expected, he claims.

“Today, we seemed to get every decision right,” said BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Alex Sims, reflecting on his maiden win in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

“The pace was good, which was probably the fundamental thing that was really on my side – I felt like the car was really strong today…It felt like we made the right calls.”

After starting from Pole for the last two races (including the final race of the 2018/19 season in New York City), Sims failed on both occasions to convert it into a win. Despite landing his maiden Podium in the Big Apple, it wasn’t until the final race in Diriyah that he finally managed to clinch his first outright victory.

“I’ve worked through some pretty tough moments over the past year and the team stuck by me and gave me all the help I needed.”

When asked if the win surpassed his expectations ahead of the weekend, the Brit replied: “Absolutely, of course – I never would go into the weekend expecting to get Pole positions or race wins.”

“Obviously, I’ve worked hard to try and achieve that but it’s never the expectation from my side…you just hope for the best,” he added with a smile.

 

 

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4 hrs ago

MotoGP

The duel of the season? 🤔

The World Champion and the rookie went head to head in what was one of our first looks into the future. The last few laps in Thailand were UNREAL to watch and it still gives us goosebumps now! 🙌

#ThaiGP 🇹🇭
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Battle of the year is austria

Sorry but these are just kids, have you ever seen last Lap duel between Gibernau and Rossi ? That was much more thrilling every time, and they both had good bikes not like Marquez who is clearly on the better bike.

Yes the duel of the season.....wow

Surelly 93 😎🏍️🥇 He is the best, everybody must see that fact

MM and Dovi was a much better last lap!

2020 no mistake on the last corner. Fabio will win!

Oh wow that is incredible racing

Marquez was only playing with him he could have passed him any lap FFS 😂😂😂😂

Marquez is just phenomenal.

That was awesome... Marquez is the greatest ever

Nope, Mugello was the duel of the season.

Pour moi le plus beau Grand Prix de la saison et en direct

The duel of the century would have been in 2015, if he pushed with Rossi for Lorenzo and Pedrosa, instead of the crap that he saw.

Fabio ... the Champion Killer in 2020 💪🏻👍🏻

Fabio can’t wait to watch you this year

Was really really hoping for #ElDiablo to pull this off

So beautiful

Cant wait for a different ending

A puissance égale, Marquez ne l'aurait pas doublé dans la ligne droite

🤣😂🤣 . yes winner

Superbe

Silverstone was better in my opinion

Much prefer the commentary on BT sport.

J'y étais, souvenir impérissable

Still leading on motogp mm93 & honda

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5 hrs ago

Dakar Rally

🇸🇦 Here are the best pictures of our Saudi fans during the Dakar 2020. Let's enjoy, comment and share it! #Dakar2019 💚
🇸🇦 أفضل صور المشجعين السعوديين خلال داكار ٢٠٢٠. تمتعوا وشاركوا هذه اللقطات! 💚 #داكار2020
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🇸🇦 Here are the best pictures of our Saudi fans during the Dakar 2020. Lets enjoy, comment and share it!  #Dakar2019 💚
🇸🇦 أفضل صور المشجعين السعوديين خلال داكار ٢٠٢٠. تمتعوا وشاركوا هذه اللقطات! 💚 #داكار2020

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Dakar sem Argentina, Chile, Bolívia e Peru é uma tremenda chateação..., monotonia do princípio ao fim e sem o entusiasmo das multidões de verdadeiros aficionados.

Pas beaucoup de femme libre dans vos photo pas beaucoup de femme au volant .... ASO avec le dakar encourage les inégalités de tt genres ..... on est loin des idées de Thierry Sabine. Le rallye Dakar 2020 a été particulièrement critiqué cette année, parce qu’il se déroule en Arabie saoudite, un pays où de nombreux opposants au royaume et militants des droits de l’homme sont en prison. La seconde critique est récurrente : les sports mécaniques polluent. C'est d'autant plus marquant lorsqu’ils se déroulent dans un décor féérique et que les concurrents se disent amoureux de la nature, voire des défenseurs de la planète comme l’aventurier à peine rentré d’Arctique, Mike Horn, dont la présence dans le bivouac a de quoi étonner.

I agree! South America full of spectators. Here it proves it should move back. The track looked better in SA as well. Better still why not move it all over the world.

Super cool 😉😘♥️🇵🇪🌍✅👏🥳 amo el deporte y más la carrera de autos full lo máximo 👍🌟💫✨

Bravo aux photographes de cette édition 2020 !!! Les photos sont superbes !! 😍

Tolle Bilder super Fans 👍👏🙏💖

Nothing on this years coverage about the charity work supported by the event. Has there been any?

Wow! 7pictures and not even 25 people... Tells one hell of a story!

Fans is exactly what this years Dakar lacked...there was zero local support unless it wasn't televised...sad to see compared to the South Americans who brought so much energy and passion to the event

I miss the South American fans. Nothing like seeing some beat up old GMC parked up on a huge dune.

Incredible!!! Family fun!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

15 fans sûrement payé par un prince... Pour faire bonne figure. Qu'elle mascarade...

I'll take Latin American fans anyday!

Truly incredible

Hermosas foros gracias por compartir!!!!🤗saludos

Beautiful pictures

La mayoría fotos de hombres!

Lo que representa un Dakar hermandad y pasión al deporte☝🏽💪🏽🙌🏽🚚💨💨💨

Muy poca pasión veo en ese puñado de árabes. La pasión,el calor, la multitud, solo lo pusieron los espectadores sudamericanos y aún más los Argentinos

Gracias, bonitas fotos

Bellisimas!!

Should of been in Russia or all the stans, or Mongolia/China etc

Espectacular ¡¡¡

It's good to meet other cultures

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6 hrs ago

MotoGP

The dead stop turn 12 is the perfect place for a last ditch victory attempt 💥

Two years in Thailand and two classics! More of the same this year! 🙌

#ThaiGP 🇹🇭
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Best of the best mm93

Marc Márquez N°1 Congratulations

Was soll man noch sagen: Ausdauer wird belohnt. 👍👍😍👍👍

Magnifique 😎👍

Não assistiremos no Brasil , sportrv '"" rede Globo' " não renovou e demitiu apresenta dores..

Horsepower circuit yet Yamaha always there.

you can clearly see the lines that 93 takes around the circuit

Toujours le meilleur MM93 ❤️❤️

K I N G . . . . ! ! ! 💪💪💪💪

Frio e calculista!!!

Alan Flores

Garoto show pilota muito 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

93 croise mais il aura le final 😊

Bonito

Poutsa bala Kai trabala all the way!!!

Oliver Schubert

2020 = 20 🏆

Dominik Power

🤟🤪🏍️☁️

93

93 go

93!!! 🥇🏍️😎

Mario Vesely Roos Vesely Lisa Vesely

Sama ya? Musuh marquest kurang belajar😄

93 👍👍👍

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6 hrs ago

F1

We followed Alex Albon Ansusinha around for a VERY eventful weekend in Brazil... check out what happened 👀 ... See Less

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The coolest quickest nerd. Such a nice kid. Should like to see him race for the brits, but I know why he's gone for his mum's Thailand.

So many harsh comments about Alex, I wonder if people know/remember that he got a very late call to drive in F1 and didn’t have anywhere near the normal prep and testing time that others have, plus the pressure of changing cars mid year into a top team notorious for dropping their drivers if they don’t perform... I think he’s done exceptionally well and his race craft has only gotten better and better, here’s to podiums in 2020! 👍🏁🏎

These behind the scenes are always so fascinating to watch. That head device is a neat neck trainer. It takes a lot to keep your head up and look during some of those high-g turns.

Just goes to show, you cant just get in a F1 car and put your foot down, the level of fitness these guys have to endure, to comfortably be able to drive the car is massive!

Seems a smashing young fella - best of luck to him I 2020 🏁

I hope to see him on the podium soon, if Hamilton doesn’t crash into him again 🤣. Really, I wish him an excellent 2020 even if Hamilton will be champ again!

Gets hammered by Max in every qualy session with at least half a second, crashes like an amateur every weekend. Wins rookie of the year. Amazing

Don't get why people are complaining about Alborn, there's worse drivers around. Think this video is very good for people to see behind the scenes of what drivers get up to and that it's not all money parties and bling

Albon has performed mediocre in his rookie year but all he needs is time, anyone remember Lewis Hamilton throwing away his first world championship in China by overshooting the corner of the pit entry? Now look at him.

Se é assim que ele se comporta enquanto piloto, me parece com um estagiário! Deveria buscar mais espaço na equipe!🏁👍👀

All the best tiger!

Everyone says give him time. Jesus, real champions dont need time.....this is formula one not bambino karting. Hes a really nice guy though, sports personality of the year maybe, rookie of the year definitely not

This is Formula Parade, a 7 year 2 car Mercedes race.

Marko looked like he didnt even want to shake his hand. Typical for his 2nd driver.

fascinating!

Very nice 🏎

When is drive to survive coming out

Better attitude than max and one of the top rookies 👍🏻

Very nice

Un gran fin de semana 🤘

Champ to be

Craig Shore I can not wait till F1 is back

i like videos like this..!

Thomas

What’s with the name?

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8 hrs ago

MotoGP

Do you want to enjoy the opening round of the 2020 #MotoGP season at the Losail International Circuit? 🤩

Buy your #QatarGP 🇶🇦 tickets before the 1st of February and save up to 25%!➡️http://bit.ly/QatarGP20Tickets
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Gutted to be missing Losail for the first time in 3 years! ☹️

Hey MotoGP, how are we gonna watch the races in Brazil 🇧🇷 if SporTV didn't get a new contract and fired the best broadcasters (Guto Nejaim and Mundomoto - Fausto Macieira) ??? Please help us urgently!

doha is a no go at moment 😕

Shyam Chengappa

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8 hrs ago

24H Series

NEW ENTRY!

Rinaldi Racing will be joining us this 24H SERIES 2020 Season! The German team will be participating with a Ferrari 488 GT3 at MONZA🇮🇹, SPA🇧🇪, PORTIMAO🇵🇹, PAUL RICARD🇫🇷 and BARCELONA🇪🇸.

Great news and a great competitor for the 24HSERIES EUROPE championship!

Ferrari#thisisendurance #24hseries #ferrari488 Ferrari
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NEW ENTRY!

Rinaldi Racing will be joining us this 24H SERIES 2020 Season! The German team will be participating with a Ferrari 488 GT3 at MONZA🇮🇹, SPA🇧🇪, PORTIMAO🇵🇹, PAUL RICARD🇫🇷 and BARCELONA🇪🇸. 

Great news and a great competitor for the 24HSERIES EUROPE championship!

#thisisendurance #24hseries #Ferrari488 Ferrari

12 hrs ago

F1

Happy Birthday, Jenson Button 🎉

Who remembers this moment? The Brit's first F1 victory 🤩🏆
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With a little bit of luck (double diffuser) and the greatest F1 engineer of all time, he won a championship with an almost defunct team who had no money at the end of the season. Happy birthday, Jenson.

I was actually at that GP on my honeymoon. We got soaked. Fantastic race though. Kimi crashed right in front of us.

My favourite memory of Jenson Button was when he became world champion at Brazil in 2009. It wasn't an easy championship as he went from winning 6 of the first 7 races to being utterly outclassed by the Red Bulls and on occasions Hamilton's McLaren towards the end of the season. The sheer joy, relief and release of winning the title was palpable

Happy Birthday Jenson! Pity Mclaren couldn't give him a decent, reliable car. Career ended too early. X

Happy birthday jenson really do miss him in f1 really do wish he didn't leave one of the great legends,

Like the guy, don't get me wrong but 2006 Hungarian F1 GP was a fantastic race, a true masterpiece driving by Alonso, the only reason why he did not win the race by a couple of laps difference to the 2nd place was that his engine gave up on him. Alonso fighting and overtaking Schumacher on the outside of the corner and in wet conditions is something trully special. Back to Jenson and the race his real "competition" in the race was Pedro de la Rosa(fininshed 2nd), a slow driver by any standards, we had 8 DNFs and 1 DQ drivers among them Alonso, Kimi, Rosberg,Webber, Kubica, seriously guys I like Jenson but who else could have one the race?

Remember it well but also remember his interview on top gear a few weeks before saying how it would mean everything to win a gp. Then he wins this and finds out before 2009 he might not have a seat as honda was gone only to come back as Braun and win championship. Jenson is a gentleman. Happy birthday xxx

Et qu'elle course incroyable un des meilleurs grands prix de la F1 🏎 moderne

Happy birthday! F1 hasn't been the same since Jenson retired.

One of my all time favourite drivers .. a true gentleman... Never a whiner .... absolutely loved his win on the last lap in Canada.. happy birthday Jenson

Happy Birthday Jense, hope you have a great one with your wonderful family!

An awesome British champion and made history that will never be forgotten Happy birthday JB

Happy birthday Jenson, I always remember watching this race

A perfect gentleman in a world of F1 drivers. Held his own against every world class teammate he had( Hamilton, barichello, Alonso). Sad that he never got a proper sendoff.

James Allen really was a great commentator. Much better than crofty. He brought alot of enthusiasm. That moment, kimis pass on fisi and the end of the 2008 brazil race his commentary is fantastic. Him and martin were great together

One of my favourite bits of commentary ever, always makes my hair stand on end. Also just one of the nicest guys in F1 🏎️

I remember it very well, JB has always been my fav British driver. Always worked hard to get his championship win. Almost lost everything when Honda pulled out. Have more respect for a driver who has had to work hard for his wins than one who is handed it by being in the best car

This moment was worth the long wait.What a driver and gentleman.My true hero, Happy birthday JB

Happy Birthday to my favourite driver 😘

My favorite driver with a birthday right before mine, which I just find sweet. Congrats on baby Hendrix and Happy Birthday

Lovely how the cars did look that time... "simple", pure and powerfull. No nonsense. Best Era of F1 ever in my opinion.

The best part of this clip is James Allen's commentary. One of the best.

I was there to witness this... the rain was horrendous but the sun shone on my man...amazing and so lucky to witness this live...🥰🥰🏁🏁

I was there on the main grandstand. A great race, historic victory. Was a great weekend to be there. I'd love to come back to that circuit again.

the thing i remember most about JB's first win is his eyes , brilliant!

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