Formula E: Mortara wins tatical second Diriyah race
ROKiT Venturi's Edoardo Mortara claimed his third Formula E victory after a tactical second race in Diriyah.
Mortara held off an intense charge from a number of driver including his own team-mate and Season 3 Champion Lucas di Grassi to win the second race in Diriyah on the opening race weekend of the championship.
Having lost out to Reigning Champion Mercedes EQ's Nyck de Vries by only 0.005 seconds in the final stage of Formula E's new qualifying system, Mortara navigated his way into the lead.
The intense race came to a climax under the Safety Car as Mahindra's Alexander Sims crashed with only a few minutes remaining. With the marshals unable to move the car in time, Mortara led the drivers across the line.
However, it was during this caution period that a number of drivers have expressed a lot of concern about the safety of marshals and recovery vehicles that were present on track whilst the drivers slowed under the Safety Car.
Leading from Pole Position, de Vries seemed to be in control and heading for a second-successive victory on the streets of Diriyah. The Dutchman navigated the first round of "Attack Mode" but was unable to fend off the attack of di Grassi in the second round.
Contact between the two drivers was made - allowing Mortara to nip past and sit behind his team-mate before making a move for the lead.
De Vries then tumbled down the order after further contact after a robust move from Double Formula E Champion Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne sent the Mercedes driver to the back-end of the top ten.
Before Sims' crash, Envision's Robin Frijns pulled off a brilliant move on di Grassi to get into second place in which he held for the remainder of the race as di Grassi rounded out the podium.
The result means that Mortara moves into the lead of the Driver's Championship and with team-mate di Grassi in third, Venturi narrowly lead the Team's Championship albeit one point ahead of Mercedes EQ.
Andre Lotterer put to good use what he and Porsche learned overnight to seal fourth place after a poor opening race from the German manufacturer.
Andretti's Jake Dennis and Vergne finished in fifth and sixth while a recovering Mercedes EQ Stoffel Vandoorne climbed from 12th to finish in eighth.
The second Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein hung onto ninth place while de Vries ended the race in tenth.
Neither driver from Nissan e.Dams or Jaguar Racing failed to score points which included Season Two Champion Sebastien Buemi and Sam Bird who started the race from the back row of the grid after damaging his Jaguar I-Type 5 in qualifying.
The teams and drivers now have a couple of weeks to sort over the data from the opening weekend before the third round of the championship takes place in Mexico on the 12th of February.