Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) led home Robin Frijns (Envision Racing) and his Venturi teammate Lucas di Grassi to seal the race win in the Diriyah E-Prix and cap a storming race for the Monegasque team.
Through the second round of ATTACK MODE activations, di Grassi was able to position himself for a move on polesitter and then-leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) on Lap 16. The Brazilian fired it around the outside of de Vries at Turn 18 and made it stick, with Mortara also able to profit and make it through.
The Swiss then swept by his teammate for the lead a lap later, and there he stayed – fending off Frijns until the race came to an end behind the Safety Car after Alexander Sims’ Mahindra found the wall.
Andre Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) made amends after slipping down the order during Race 1 as the German battled to fourth. Lotterer jousted with Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) throughout and got the better of the pair, who followed the Porsche driver home.
Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) stealthily clambered from 12th spot into seventh at the flag – very Vandoorne, quietly claiming valuable points from an inopportune situation.
Oliver Rowland (Mahindra Racing) fired off the line and back from a pre-race three-position grid penalty to finish eighth, with Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche) ninth.
Round 1 winner, reigning champion and the standings leader prior to Round 2, Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) was shuffled down the pack after the Venturis made their way through – and following a pass by Vergne which resulted in some close contact. The Dutchman salvaged a point and 10th.
Mortara sits four points ahead of de Vries at the top of the Drivers’ standings, while ROKiT Venturi Racing heads the Teams’ running by 11 points over Mercedes-EQ with Avalanche Andretti third.
As it happened…
De Vries produced a textbook launch to hold the lead from Mortara, under pressure from Frijns with the top 10 through the opening turns safely, though Dennis dropped a spot to eighth, with Rowland the fastest starter of the lot - leaping by his fellow Brit, Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) and Wehrlein.
By the end of Lap 1 Dennis had regained that spot from da Costa, with Wehrlein trying to follow a lap later at the sharp right of Turn 18. The Portuguese held fast but not for long, as the Porsche driver made it by two turns later for ninth.
Rowland and Dennis were the first to take ATTACK MODE for that four-minute 30kW power boost, with the latter making more progress by leapfrogging the Mahindra on Lap 5 down at Turn 18. The Andretti racer was the man on the move.
Frijns, Lotterer and Vergne were next to go for their first 30kW boost, and the lead trio followed to cover them off. Effectively, it was as things stood: de Vries leading Mortara, Frijns, di Grassi, Lotterer, Vergne, Dennis, Rowland, Vandoorne and Wehrlein rounding out the top 10.
Through the second round of ATTACK MODE activations, di Grassi was able to get himself into a position to challenge de Vries for the lead. The Brazilian fired it around the outside of the Mercedes at Turn 18, with the Dutchman defending hard but unable to hold him back. Mortara was also able to profit, with an ATTACK MODE also in hand, and de Vries yet to make his second jump through the activation loop. A lap later, on Lap 17, Mortara swept by his teammate at the same spot to pinch P1 for himself.
As drivers continued to leap for their second compulsory ATTACK MODE boost, de Vries was shuffled further by a surging Robin Frijns. With 15 minutes to run the leaders’ pace began to drop off as they squabbled with one-another. Mortara and di Grassi diced for the lead on Lap 25, squeezing things yet further.
A lap on, a lockup for de Vries at Turn 18 left him high and dry and in contact with Vergne, shuffling the championship leader back down to ninth and now with a bent steering rack.
With the pack shuffling, and 10 minutes to go, Mortara and di Grassi still sat in the box seat, though Frijns, Lotterer, Dennis and Vergne piled on the pressure as Vandoorne went about his business under the radar and now up to seventh from 12th at the start.
Frijns broke the Venturi axis on Lap 29 with a relatively simple pass beyond di Grassi before a shunt for Alexander Sims (Mahindra Racing) meant an appearance for the Porsche Taycan Safety Car.
With the Safety Car on-track beyond the 40-minute mark, no added time would apply and the race ended behind the Porsche Taycan, handing Mortara the win from Frijns and di Grassi.
Published on 29th January 2022