Emotional Wehrlein credits win to Porsche's 'massive effort'

Join Formula E

Sign in or create your Formula E account

It's quick, easy and free to sign up

You'll get access to:

  • Helmet

    News. Analysis. Exclusive Features

  • Schedule

    Priority Booking. Early Bird Pricing

  • Trophy

    Competitions. Discounts. Experiences

  • Podium

    Predict. Vote. Win.


You will need to sign in or create a Formula E account.

Emotional Wehrlein credits win to Porsche's 'massive effort'

It was always set to be a special weekend for TAG Heuer Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein, as the young German driver celebrated his 50th Formula E race start in Diriyah. However, once the lights went out, nobody was able to stop him from securing a special second victory to go with it.

Wehrlein wins the Diriyah E-Prix Round 2 and celebrates

Starting from ninth on the grid, Wehrlein soon sneaked his way up the pack and through the top 10, eventually slicing into third and setting himself up for consecutive podium finishes - following up on that second-placed result in Mexico City earlier this month.

Wehrlein went better still to get himself up into second spot on Lap 24, when polesitter Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) took ATTACK MODE. From there, Wehrlein hunted down the front-running Jaguar TCS Racing of Sam Bird and on Lap 30 at Turn 16, Wehrlein pounced for the lead of the race - just four laps after he'd begun to hassle the Brit with a first attempt at a move.

Despite the best efforts of current championship leader Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) to try and clinch back-to-back wins in the final stages, Wehrlein held his own to earn his second Formula E win.

Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning the Diriyah E-Prix

"I'm so proud of these guys; incredible," an emotional Wehrlein said on the podium. "It was unbelievable what a car I had underneath me today - to allow me to fight from P9 to P1.

"The race was just amazing. I knew that we had a good race car, but qualifying didn't go by plan with ninth. I knew that we could make up some positions but I could never imagine that we would win the race. So strategy wise, it was perfect. The car felt amazing."

In the end, it was a very close finish, with the Porsche-powered Andretti in the hands of Dennis finishing just 0.531 seconds behind him - the smallest race-winning margin since Wehrlein's first Formula E victory, last season in Mexico City where he led home a one-two for the Stuttgart team.

Momentum building

Mexico proved a stronghold for the team in the season-opener this year as well as last. Wehrlein was more than happy to see that Round 1's performance was not a one off - doubly encouraging given the completely contrasting characteristics of the Diriyah Street Circuit and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. In theory, as Formula E pundit Oliver Askew alluded to ahead of the weekend, if a team goes well at both Diriyah and Mexico - then they could well be set for anything the calendar throws their way. 

"We’d had success in Mexico in previous years so there was still some doubt coming here as to whether we could replicate that pace," continued the 28-year-old. "So, everyone in the team is relieved that we showed this performance on two different types of tracks which have little in common."

Wehrlein celebrates with Porsche teammates in Diriyah

Strong pace and even better energy management - Wehrlein holding some two percent usable energy in-hand on his rivals at the two-thirds mark of the race - won the day, and starting back in the pack a little may have helped the cause further. The team made the right strategy calls at the right time - including a deft shout which saw Wehrlein jump for his second ATTACK MODE activation while Dennis was busy taking second from Bird.

"When I was behind cars, I could save quite a bit of energy, and then use it for the overtakes," says Wehrlein. "So, strategy wise, when we took ATTACK MODE, it worked perfectly. 

"I stayed in the slipstream for a long time – always trying to be close to save energy. When I needed to invest it with Sam (Bird) it took a bit longer – he did a very good job defending his position.

"I knew that I still had ATTACK MODE, so even if I passed him, I needed to build a gap. Otherwise, I would be behind him again. With Jake (Dennis) catching up at the end, he had more energy left and it was like a qualifying level at the end, trying to maximise efficiency and cornering speeds.

"Being efficient is not only energy, you need to maximise cornering speeds. It’s a combination of having a very efficient powertrain and good cornering speeds – the good thing is we showed both here again."


Porsche finally sealed its maiden win in Mexico last year, and many thought that was the breakthrough. It proved to be a tough act to follow, though, and the manufacturer has since thrown everything it has at its new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 - can the team make these results stick in Season 9?

"I'm just very happy and very grateful for the great car I had today. 

"We always wanted to achieve those results," Wehrlein continues. "We had some highlights in the past, but this year we wanted to take a big step forward.

"I know that everyone in the team is working so hard, especially in the last couple of months. We have high ambitions, we want to win, we want to win the championship - and I know how much effort is going into this project.

"I'm quite often in Weissach pushing with everyone - especially also after the Valencia test, where we were not looking that strong. So, I know how many hours everyone has put in. I'm just so thankful to everyone."