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Wehrlein wins 2023 Formula E opener in Diriyah



Wehrlein wins 2023 Formula E opener in Diriyah

Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein secured his second Formula E victory by starting ninth on the grid and eventually overtaking Sam Bird to win the first race of the Diriyah double-header event.

Wehrlein replicated his performance in Mexico City, by making his way up from ninth on the grid to third place, following pole-sitter Sebastien Buemi in the first half of the race.

Wehrlein passed Buemi on the 24th lap of 39, at the Turn 18 right-hander, and quickly caught up to Bird who hadn’t won since July 2021. Bird’s 2022 season was a disappointment, as he failed to finish on the podium and his Jaguar team-mate Mitch Evans fought for the drivers’ title.

Bird seemed determined to turn his fortunes around right from the start of the race, as he pulled alongside front-row starter Jake Hughes on the run to the opening turn.

Bird was forced to give up his position but he was able to pass Hughes of McLaren on the same corner 3 laps later and moved to second place. He soon caught up with Buemi, who was starting from pole for the first time since July 2019.

Bird overtook Buemi on lap 7, using the inside of Turn 18 to take the lead in the Envision-run Jaguar. However, he soon faced intense pressure from Wehrlein who was quickly closing in.

Wehrlein made his initial attempt to pass Bird on lap 25 at Turn 18, but he went too far and had to fall back behind Bird.


Wehrlein’s second attempt came a few laps later and it was more successful as he comfortably took the lead and left Bird behind. Bird was now following Mexico City E-Prix winner Jake Dennis, who had started from 11th on the grid and had been making his way up.

Dennis was able to drop Bird to a lower position and he chased Wehrlein, the race leader. He came very close to Wehrlein in the last few laps but couldn’t find a way to pass him.

This marks Wehrlein’s and Porsche’s second win in Formula E, and puts Wehrlein one point behind Dennis, who leads the drivers’ championship, due to the fastest lap point he earned in Mexico.

Wehrlein and Dennis created a gap of three seconds from Bird, who managed to maintain his third place to secure his first podium in a year and a half.

Bird’s teammate Evans, who had a strong start, caused a commotion on the opening lap by braking too hard and pushing Rast off the track at the first turn. This domino effect led to Antonio Felix da Costa’s Porsche colliding with the back of Oliver Rowland’s Mahindra.

Both da Costa and Rowland had to stop for repairs, which ended their chance of earning points, while Evans received a five-second time penalty which caused him to drop from 8th to 10th in the standings.

Despite the collision, Rast was able to finish fifth, ahead of Nick Cassidy in the second Envision and Jean-Eric Vergne from DS Penske, who moved up from 12th to 7th.

The top 10 finishers were completed by Hughes, who dropped from his second place starting position, Andre Lotterer, who is Dennis’s teammate, and Evans.


Nissan’s new driver, Sacha Fenestraz, collided with the barriers while using his attack mode and ended up in 17th place, behind Kelvin van der Linde, who was filling in for Robin Frijns and was making his debut in Formula E and finished in 16th place.

Race Results- 2023 Formula E Diriyah

1Pascal WehrleinPorsche
2Jake DennisAvalanche Andretti
3Sam BirdJaguar TCS Racing
4Sebastien BuemiEnvision Racing
5Rene RastMcLaren
6Nick CassidyEnvision Racing
7Jean Eric VergneDS Penske
8Andre LottererAvalanche Andretti
9Mitch EvansJaguar TCS Racing
10Stoffel VandoorneDS Penske
11Norman NatoNissan
12Lucas di GrassiMahindra Racing
13Dan TicktumNIO 333 Racing
14Sergio Sette CamaraNIO 333 Racing
15Kevin Van Der LindeABT Cupra
16Sacha FenestrazNissan
17Antonio Felix Da CostaPorsche
18Oliver RowlandMahindra Racing
DNFEduardo MortaraMaserati MSG Racing
DNFNico MullerABT Cupra

Wehrlein 2023 Formula E Diriyah Wehrlein 2023 Formula E Diriyah

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