RIYADH: Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to kick off in Diriyah with a double-header of night races on Jan. 28-29, and if last year’s championship is any indication, the all-electric series will continue to lead the way toward a sustainable future in racing.
Here’s how Season 7 unfolded, starting with the opening weekend in Diriyah.
The first-ever Formula E night race
The Diriyah E-Prix Season 7 opener hosted the first all-electric night race as part of the 2020-21 calendar. The spectacular double-header in the dark used renewable lights with the latest low-consumption LED technology, which reduced energy consumption by up to 50 percent compared to non-LED technologies.
The inaugural night race further added to Formula E’s ongoing commitment to support environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives around the world, as the Kingdom is embracing its own sustainability journey as part of Vision 2030.
Season 7 Diriyah E-Prix winners
Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries took a first Formula E win in the opening Round 1 at the Diriyah Circuit. The Dutchman’s victory was picture-perfect, with de Vries handling Safety Car periods and pressure from behind to romp home four seconds clear of the pack.
A race winner in every season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Sam Bird took the second victory at his debut event with Jaguar Racing in Round 2, beating Robin Frijns from Envision Virgin Racing with DS TECHEETAH’s António Félix da Costa in third. The 34-year-old is one of a select group of drivers to have competed in every Formula E race since the series’ inception in 2014, tallying 11 wins including the first round of Diriyah E-Prix in 2018-19.
Mercedes triumph in driver and team competitions
De Vries won the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship title at the 2021 BMW i Berlin E-Prix presented by CBMM Niobium in dramatic circumstances as four of his title contenders failed to finish.
ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara finished second in the Drivers’ standings with Jake Dennis from BMW i Andretti Motorsport in third.
Mercedes-EQ won the Teams Championship with 183 points, followed by Jaguar Racing and DS TECHEETAH rounding up the top three in the standings.
A new season brought new faces, as three rapid rookies join the grid: Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing), Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) and Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport).
Dennis had a stellar start to his Formula E career, as he was named the most successful rookie the championship had yet seen, in terms of trips to the top step. Victories in Valencia and London meant no driver outside Formula E’s first season had won more races than the 26-year-old managed, and nobody in 2020-21 led more laps.
Rising star Cassidy scored a maiden podium in the Puebla ePrix in Mexico, describing his first taste of silverware as “special” and “a relief” after near misses in previous races. Shortly after, he signed off in New York City with a second career podium, as he finished behind race winner Bird.
After missing out on silverware twice, Nato finished on the podium with a dominant victory in Berlin, taking Venturi’s third win in Formula E. With this result, and outside of Formula E’s inaugural campaign, Nato became only the third driver to win a race in their rookie year after Felix Rosenqvist in 2016 and Dennis in 2021.