DIRIYAH: Drivers take to the circuit for qualifying under the new knockout format for the second day of the Diriyah E-Prix in the 8th season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
It was an action-packed first day as the drivers got to grips with the new format. Despite claiming yet another pole position, Stoffel Vandoorne had to settle for second place behind his teammate Nyck de Vries.
Follow all the coverage of day two below… (All times GMT)
14:30 – Diriyah is playing host to the first two rounds of the FIA Formula E World Championship, and if it has whet the appetite for electric racing, below is a look at the rest of the calendar for 2022…
14:00 – POLE POSITION! A flying lap sees sees Edoardo Mortara set a brilliant time for the benchmark but a stunning lap by Nyck de Vries sees him beat the Venturi driver by five thousandths of a second! Which means the pole-sitter will take another 3 points on top of his 25-point haul on Firday, racking up a total of 28 points in the championship so far, with Saturday’s race still to come.
13:55 – Envision driver Robin Frijns falls to Mortara in the other semifinal, leading to a challenging final showdown for the Swiss driver against the red hot Nyck de Vries for the chance to be on pole position for the second Diriyah E-Prix race of the weekend.
13:50 – Footage reveals Portuguese DS Techeetah driver Antonio Felix da Costa actually missed his cue and went on the green light of his opponent Lucas di Grassi’s. The driver says he is “still at a loss” as to how it happened.
13:45 – DRAMA! According to officials, Antonio Felix da Costa impeded Lucas di Grassi. Whether a penalty will be given to the Portuguese driver is unclear, however da Costa says he went on the green light but was later told he went on di Grassi’s green light.
Back to the qualifying action, Di Grassi goes first with De Vries following 10 seconds later.
And what a weekend the Flying Dutchman is having, as he takes out the Venturi driver in the semifinal. De Vries proceeds to the final.
13:40 – Edoardo Mortara, the man who didn’t get to duel in Friday’s session, has managed to beat his opponent Andre Lotterer in the quarterfinals to face Frijns in the next knockout stage.
13:35 – Oliver Rowland goes out first with Robin Frijns chasing him. One of these two drivers will make it to the semis for the first time.
Frijns breaks away from the Mahindra Racing driver, and crosses the line almost six tenths ahead of Rowland and advancing to the semis. Lotterer versus Mortara now.
13:30 – Friday’s winner Nyck de Vries beats Jean-Eric Vergne almost effortlessly to proceed to the semifinals.
A strange scene sees Lucas di Grassi immobile and shaking his head while Antonio Felix da Costa proceeds to duel on his own. Through the comms, Venturi felt that da Costa went before the green light.
Di Grassi takes his lap after da Costa at a disadvantage as he starts a second late, but manages to beat da Costa as the the Portuguese driver slowed down toward the end of his run, and is now under investigation for impeding.
So, as it stands, Di Grassi faces yesterday’s champion De Vries in the semifinals. Watch this space…
13:15 – Sam Bird is out of qualifying after a crash in turn two. Friday’s pole position winner Vandoorne ran a slow qualifying time on day two which led to him getting kicked out of the top four by Mahindra Racing’s Alexander Sims, and effectively throwing the Belgian driver to the back of the grid.
Rokit Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara, who crashed out on Friday, is first in Group B and advances to the quarterfinals along with Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns and both DS Tcheetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa, and Jean-Eric Vergne. No jaguars will head-to-head in the duels.
13:00 – Both Andrettis out in the first run, with third on the grid yesterday Lucas di Grassi joining in on the first qualifying. Nick Cassidy won’t be taking part in qualifying, while second on the grid yesterday Jake Dennis gets a front row start.
Oliver Askew was quickest in the first sector over all other drivers, but the chance to be in top four didn’t last for the rookie as he got pushed out by TAG Heuer Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein.
Rokit Venturi driver Lucas Di Grassi kicked out Andretti’s Dennis, the man who finished third in the race on Friday, who is not going to go forward to the duel stage, while first place podium winner Nyck de Vries, Di Grassi, Mahindra Racing’s Oliver Rowland and TAG Heuer Porsche’s Andre Lotterer advance.