PREVIEW: Guide to forms, what to look for and where to watch the Diriyah E-Prix (2023)


The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship travels to Diriyah on the 27th and 28th of January for Rounds 2 and 3 of Season 9 and two night races under the lights of Saudi Arabia.

After a memorable season opener in Mexico City, Formula E and the GEN3 era are ready for their next installment: rounds 2 and 3 of the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix.

The street circuit of Diriyah, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, abandons the permanent circuit project of Mexico City's Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez for a complete street circuit that winds around the walls of the historic city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's the second new challenge in as many weeks, with the Driyah track's twisty and bumpy bobsled run a riders' favourite, and it's one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar to balance energy management and sheer pace, though riders never have encountered an overtaking problem.

The second round of the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix kicks off on Friday, January 27th at 6pm local time. Discoverwhere to lookjSync your calendarfor the latest updates and session times.

How is it...

Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis is at the top of the Drivers' Championship after clinching the first victory of this new generation for Formula E with adominant upward drivein the first round, having previously shot to the front row in qualifying. Porsche's horsepower proved to be a force in Mexico, with Pascal Wehrlein's 99X Electric Gen3 taking second place - the duo 11 seconds clear of third-placed Lucas di Grassi on the Mahindra in a debut fight for the Anglo-Indian team.

In fact, four of the top seven cars in the range come from the Stuttgart manufacturer's stable. It was a proud moment, as Andretti currently leads the factory team in the equipment table, but the German team is keen to repeat that early promise.with eyes covered in moreand finally a first Formula E title in his fourth season in top-level electric motorsport. However, given the pace of development we've seen between the Valencia and Mexico City tests, nothing is certain when the teams start to unravel the mysteries of their new machines.

This pace of change saw one of the early season favorites in the DS PENSKE struggle in the middle of the field, something few would have predicted after the DS-powered Maserati MSG Racing set the week's benchmark time and five seven-time sessions. in Valencia. with the two DS PENSKE riders Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne also in the top three.

LOOK: Here's how to watch every minute of Season 9, wherever you are

Coincidentally, the defending champions and two-time champions qualified outside the top 10 before the first round and Vandoorne moved up just four places to score a point with tenth at the checkered flag. Vergne was also racing through the middle of the field before he misjudged an overtaking maneuver and hit the Nissan of Sacha Fenestraz.

Maximilian Günther was the Maseratis choice for the test but struggled to 11th, while teammate Edo Mortara hit the wall in free practice before crashing into the barriers in the race. Despite promising race pace and energy management, there is still a lot to do. The Swiss-French-Italian have won here before; Round 2 in Season 8 and was on the podium the year before; On paper, it's a good opportunity to put things in order.

NEOM McLaren's Jake Hughes may be a rookie, but his impressive test performances were underpinned by a strong first race in Mexico City. He finished fifth but fought for the podium throughout. His team, formerly known as Mercedes-EQ, holds the most Diriyah wins until Season 7 champion Nyck de Vries. Brit Hughes has the tools to set things right again in Formula E's second weekend.

Robin Frijns (ABT CUPRA) suffered a wrist injury on the first lap which sidelines him from Diriyah.Kelvin van der Linde wants to be a replacement, becoming the first South African to go online.

More to follow for expert Diriyah Bird

Jaguar TCS Racing are sixth in the team standings as Sam Bird retired from round one due to teething technical issues with a broken driveshaft after stopping on track in free practice with a faulty MGU.

"It was really bullshit," Bird told Autosport after Mexico. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong and continued to go wrong. I don't think I did more than four or five laps all weekend. I don't think the car is that bad, it clearly has some speed, but I couldn't show anything.

“We had a software issue – some very big issues in our own software in FP1. We fixed it for FP2 but obviously couldn't show it [after an MGU crash ended its session prematurely]. So we had to change the rear for qualifying and we didn't do any laps, but the rear we put on wasn't set up properly, we didn't have time."

PREVIEW: Guide to forms, what to look for and where to watch the Diriyah E-Prix (1)

The good news is that there is top 10 pace in the I-TYPE 6, as evidenced by his teammate Mitch Evans with an eighth place finish in Mexico. Furthermore, no one has won more races in Saudi Arabia than Bird, his two wins are tied with de Vries and no one has gone faster on the Diriyah street circuit.

“I have fond memories of racing in the Diriyah E-Prix as I have won the race twice before and currently hold the fastest lap record I set last year. Although the result in Mexico City was disappointing, we've learned from the data and I'm looking forward to the next two rounds. it's my 100thaA race in Formula E that I can't believe and I want to recognize it with a decent result.


Only one driver has reached the 100-race milestone in Formula E to date, with Lucas di Grassi accomplishing the feat in Seoul as we ended the GEN2 era last season.

In Diriyah he will be joined by three Bird drivers, Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE), each of whom, like the Brazilian, has been with us for three generations.

data in the dark

The season opening race in Saudi Arabia has hosted Formula E night races since its first appearance at the Diriyah E-Prix in Season 7. In Season 9, the circuit will once again be illuminated by 22 Formula E cars and their halos, as well as state-of-the-art energy-saving LEDs - Technology across the entire circuit.

They reduce energy consumption by up to 50% compared to non-LED units and are powered by sustainably sourced biofuel generators.

How do drivers find night races?

“I love racing in Saudi Arabia – the track is incredible,” said Antonio Felix da Costa, Season 6 Champion, TAG Heuer Porsche. "I was the first winner there in season 5 and I have great memories. We do a good job every time I go there.

“Because it's a night race, you train and qualify during the day and then race at night. Temperatures change, as does the road surface with sand being swept away.

Precise match@edomortarawhen overtaking twice@mitchevans_j@PWehrlein! 🔥

Know how to see them#DiriyahEPrixhere >>

— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE)February 26, 2021

“Your perception also changes with the change of shadows. It takes a bit of tuning and sight training, but I love the different variables and it definitely makes the show better for the fans. It's great to race there and it's great to watch. " - Especially at night."

Old meets new in Diriyah's ancient setting. With 21 twists and turns, the 2,495km Diriyah Street Circuit circles the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Drivers face a challenging lap from the finish line as a technical first sector at Turn 6 leads to the twisty bobsleigh track, a series of quick changes in quick succession.

PREVIEW: Guide to forms, what to look for and where to watch the Diriyah E-Prix (2)

To look

Free Practice 1 for the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix starts on Thursday, January 26th at 6pm local time, 3pm UTC.

The second free practice session follows on Friday at 1.30pm local time, with qualifying starting at 3.40pm. The 2023 CORE Diriyah City E-Prix Season 9 Round 2 kicks off at 8pm local time.

Free practice 3 begins on Saturday at 1:30 pm local time, with qualifying for round 3 at 3:40 pm and the race at 8 pm.

Discover all the ways to see where you are.

Stay alive!

Catch the on-track action and the first ever Gen3 competition at the new Race Center. Keepthrough Live Timing, including a real-time interactive track map and the ability to follow your favorite driver during every session of every E-Prix, plus highlights, detailed session reports, exclusive interviews, all standings, results and data. , cue perception and response.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated: 03/21/2023

Views: 6477

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.