Exciting double-header under the floodlights in Diriyah kicks off season seven.
Nissan e.dams scored points in both races of the new ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season this weekend under the floodlights in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The action-packed double-header was also the first time the all-electric series has raced as an FIA World Championship.
Both races on the tight and twisting Diriyah street circuit, set at a UNESCO World Heritage site, were incident-packed, but Nissan e.dams team driver Oliver Rowland managed to score points in both, taking a total of 14 points; eight in round one and six in round two.
After qualifying in P10 in round one after going fastest in his qualifying group one, Rowland fought up the pack to cross the line in P6. He also went fastest in his qualifying group one in round two but started the race in P13, again fighting up places before finishing in P7. The second race was cut short by a safety car and then a red flag, otherwise more points looked possible for Rowland.
Nissan e.dams’ team driver, Sebastien Buemi, qualified in P17 for round one, and raced up to P13. In round two, Buemi qualified in P8 and up to P7 before an incident off the racing line saw him lose grip and make contact with the wall, forcing him to retire.
For Nissan, the all-electric street racing championship brings the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric cars to a global audience. High-performance electric vehicles are a key part of Nissan’s efforts to accelerate the integration of electric vehicles into society.
“It’s great to have season seven finally underway with two action-packed races, but these were not quite the results we wanted, or that we feel we could have achieved,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “Both Oli and Seb showed good race pace, but we were unlucky with Seb’s retirement and the race getting cut short for Oli with the red flag. However, one of our keys objectives in Formula E is to show a global audience just how fast and exciting all-electric cars can be, and these races under the lights in Diriyah did just that.”
For season seven, the race team is connecting its competition in Formula E to Nissan’s production EVs, naming car No. 22 after Nissan’s all-electric LEAF, and car No. 23 after the new Nissan Ariya all-electric crossover SUV.
“An exciting race for the fans with lots of action, incidents and overtaking, but a tough one for the team,” said Gregory Driot, co-team principal of Nissan e.dams. “Oli showed that he and the car had pace by going fastest in both his qualifying groups on the slippery track the drivers faced in qualifying group one, and went on to score solid points for the team. Seb was pushing hard and in his effort to bring some points to the team, unfortunately grazed the wall, but that’s racing. We are looking forward to the next races and will use these 2 rounds to arrive in round three in Rome in April stronger.”
“Two positive races for us here in Diriyah, just a bit of shame round two got cut short today with the red flag as I think we had the potential to pick off a few more places towards the end. All in all, I think the team did a great job, scoring 14 points, and, coming from qualifying group one where the track is the dustiest, this is a good effort. I feel like we had the potential to win races here, but we know what we’ve got to do for Rome, so we’ll work hard for the results we deserve.”
“Very disappointed with round two today. I had some good opportunities to score some good points running in P7, but unfortunately, I didn’t. I made a mistake and clipped the wall and had to retire. Overall, we had good pace and efficiency in both races, so we could have scored more points. We have to take the positives out of the weekend. We will regroup and focus for Rome.”