Diriyah FE: Sims lands first win and points lead in wild second race

Alex Kalinauckas
Sims lands first FE victory in wild second race
Sims lands first FE victory in wild second race

Alexander Sims led a BMW Andretti 1-2 in an incident-filled second Formula E race in Diriyah, but his team-mate Maximilian Guenther's result is under threat of a post-race penalty.

New points leader Sims led the race from pole - his second of the event - and although the start passed without incident, the rest of the race was heavily disrupted by a series of clashes in the pack.

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UPDATE: BMW loses 1-2 as Guenther penalised

Sims led early on from Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi, who had started second, Audi's Lucas di Grassi and Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah).

The BMW driver controlled the pace at the head of the pack, edging clear while maintaining his energy levels compared to his rivals, a consideration that cost him in the first race on Friday.

He used his first attack mode on lap seven of what would become a 30-lap race, which boosted his advantage before the first flashpoint occurred.

At the Turn 18 overtaking spot - the race's first corner at the end of the main straight - da Costa, who had previously muscled his way past di Grassi at that turn, clipped Buemi just past the apex and spun the Nissan driver.

Buemi plummeted down the order but rejoined the action in a wildly unsafe manner that forced drivers to take avoiding action. He was later given a time-penalty for his actions, while da Costa received a drivethrough for causing a collision.

On lap 13 da Costa took his first attack mode and slipped behind di Grassi, but he attacked at the first corner of the next tour, which sparked the next incident.

As di Grassi checked up on the corner exit he was attacked around the outside by race one winner Sam Bird, who then lost momentum and was in turn attacked by Jaguar's Mitch Evans.

Evans and Bird collided as they ran through the long right-hand Turn 4 - with Evans later handed a drivethrough for the clash - and Bird lost more ground on the slippery outside line.

He was hit from behind by Pascal Werhlein as he ran through the next corner, which sent him into the wall and out.

Sims lands first FE victory in wild second race
Sims lands first FE victory in wild second race

The deployment of the safety car erased Sims's advantage, and when it came in there was further chaos as several drivers - including Sims, for his second activation - took the attack mode before passing the safety car line.

Da Costa slowed and allowed Sims back through, but Guenther made up a number of places to leap into frontrunning contention and hit the rear of Stoffel Vandoorne's car on the inside of the attack mode zone, which tore his right-front wheel cover off.

The restart is currently being investigated by the FIA.

Sims then led from di Grassi as da Costa served his drivethrough, but not long afterwards the safety car returned when Robin Frijns lost the rear of his car in the downhill first sector and hit the wall at Turn 9, where he was stranded.

The race then restarted before Frijns car had been craned away and a full-course yellow was hastily brought out to slow the pack again.

When the race did get going again on lap 22, di Grassi took his second attack mode, which dropped him to fourth behind Guenther and Vandoorne.

He used the higher power mode to take third from Vandoorne at Turn 18 on the following tour, but although he harried Guenther he could not get by before his speed advantage ran out.

Guenther marshalled the gap to di Grassi, which allowed Sims to run clear to take his first FE win after successfully navigating the chaos.

Di Grassi stayed ahead of Vandoorne, who had made his way up from 11th on the grid, to take third, while Edoardo Mortara was fifth for Venturi Racing.

Oliver Rowland took sixth for Nissan after an immediate post-race penalty for overtaking under the safety car was handed to Porsche's Andre Lotterer, who fell to 16th as a result.

Nyck de Vries rose to seventh from 23rd, while Oliver Turvey ended up eighth thanks to Lotterer's penalty and Buemi dropping to 14th - despite crossing the line ahead of the NIO driver - thanks to his own time penalty.

Daniel Abt, who served a drivethrough for a throttle map infraction early in the race, finished ninth, while Jaguar rookie James Calado took 10th and his first FE point from 21st on the grid.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne finished 11th after starting last thanks to his post-qualifying battery change penalty, but he could not capitalise on the chaos as he had to serve a 10-second stop/go penalty, which was included in the same sanction.

Da Costa ended up 13th, while Wehrlein was 17th.

Result - 30 laps

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Alexander Sims

BMW

BMW

46m48.327s

2

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

Audi

2.817s

3

Stoffel Vandoorne

Mercedes

Mercedes

3.581s

4

Edoardo Mortara

Venturi

Mercedes

4.294s

5

Oliver Rowland

e.dams

Nissan

5.475s

6

Daniel Abt

Audi

Audi

16.942s

7

James Calado

Jaguar

Jaguar

17.221s

8

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS Techeetah

DS

19.394s

9

Brendon Hartley

Dragon

Penske

20.702s

10

Antonio Felix da Costa

DS Techeetah

DS

22.634s

11

Max Guenther

BMW

BMW

25.383s

12

Sebastien Buemi

e.dams

Nissan

26.291s

13

Neel Jani

Porsche

Porsche

27.493s

14

Andre Lotterer

Porsche

Porsche

29.046s

15

Pascal Wehrlein

Mahindra

Mahindra

35.290s

16

Nyck de Vries

Mercedes

Mercedes

36.318s

17

Felipe Massa

Venturi

Mercedes

45.758s

18

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

Jaguar

1m01.105s

19

Ma Qing Hua

NIO

NIO

1m28.165s

-

Oliver Turvey

NIO

NIO

Disqualified

-

Nico Muller

Dragon

Penske

Retirement

-

Robin Frijns

Virgin

Audi

Retirement

-

Sam Bird

Virgin

Audi

Retirement

-

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Mahindra

Mahindra

Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Alexander Sims

35

2

Stoffel Vandoorne

30

3

Sam Bird

26

4

Oliver Rowland

22

5

Lucas di Grassi

18

6

Andre Lotterer

18

7

Edoardo Mortara

18

8

Robin Frijns

10

9

Nyck de Vries

8

10

Daniel Abt

8

11

James Calado

6

12

Jean-Eric Vergne

4

13

Antonio Felix da Costa

3

14

Brendon Hartley

2

15

Jerome d'Ambrosio

2

16

Mitch Evans

2

Teams' standings

Pos

Team

Points

1

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team

38

2

Envision Virgin Racing

36

3

BMW i Andretti Motorsport

35

4

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler

26

5

Nissan e.Dams

22

6

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

18

7

Venturi Racing

18

8

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

8

9

DS Techeetah

7

10

Mahindra Racing

2

11

Geox Dragon

2

12

NIO 333 FE Team

0


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