Frederik Rasmussen brushes off rivals in Diriyah for first Formula E: Accelerate win

Frederik Rasmussen brushes off rivals in Diriyah for first Formula E: Accelerate win

Dane Frederik Rasmussen (DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT) sealed his first race win in Formula E: Accelerate at Diriyah to close the gap on standings leader Erhan Jajovski (ROKiT Venturi Racing), who came home second ahead of Kevin Siggy (BMW i Andretti Motosport).

Rasmussen came under intense pressure from Siggy and Jajovski throughout as the DRAGON racer looked to claw back usable energy. A move for the lead midway through the race saw the Slovenian in a spin; coming off worse in contact with the Penske EV-5 and losing second spot to Drivers’ Championship leader Jajovski.

Jajovski couldn’t loosen Rasmussen’s grasp on the winner’s trophy but he will undoubtedly be happy with a second-placed finish - ahead of closest title rival Siggy - which ensures the North Macedonian will head into the penultimate round with an extended 12-point advantage in the standings. 

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It was as you were in the top six away from the line, with Marius Golombeck (TAG Heuer Porsche) the only mover as he stole a march on Jarno Opmeer (Mercedes-EQ) for fifth. The top three were utterly metronomic through the opening third of the race, and each ran within a second of one-another – Rasmussen leading Siggy and Jajovski.

Into the first round of ATTACK MODE activations, Graham Carroll (Envision Virgin Racing) made strides with a tidy move to take fifth from Golombeck on Lap 5 and the Vegas eRace finalist was the fastest man on-track early on. Jarno Opmeer was the next mover after he'd fallen back from fourth; the Mercedes-EQ racer hanging it out around the outside of Jaguar Racing’s Martin Stefanko for seventh.

The top three still ran as they’d started with the second doses of ATTACK MODE being taken as the race headed into the final 10 minutes, but Rasmussen’s lead had been chopped to under half-a-second by Siggy – the Dane still appeared absolutely unflappable, though.

Come Lap 13, with time running out, it looked like it would take something bold to unseat Rasmussen – and Siggy went for it. On the run down to Turn 18 off that big back straight, the BMW man swept out of the leader's slipstream for a lunge up the inside. The Slovenian came from some way back and was strong under braking but contact became inevitable as the pair swept right, and Siggy came off worst. In a half-spin, Siggy lost third to Jajovski – the very man whose standings lead he’d been trying to eat into.

Siggy had also thrown his chips down by leaving both of his ATTACK MODE activations until the last. This meant the top two could clamber clear and also dropped the BMW driver into the grasp of fourth-placed Bono Huis (Mercedes-EQ).

Siggy did lose third temporarily but no drama, with Huis still to use his final activation and take the 1.5-second hit of running through the ATTACK MODE zone. This meant the Slovenian was able to follow Rasmussen and Jajovski home to take third with Huis and Carroll next up, while Golombeck came home sixth.

Stefanko, Petar Brljak (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) and Lorenz Hoerzing (ROKiT Venturi Racing) became bunched behind Opmeer in the battle for seventh, with the Mercedes short on usable energy compared to those around him. The F1 Esports champion managed to claw back some of that energy back, though – enough to make the chequered flag – but seventh would eventually become Sefanko’s with Brljak and Hoerzing following, shunting Opmeer down to an eventual 10th.

All this means Jajovski heads to the next round on Thursday (19:00 UTC) at the Electric Docks with a 12-point lead in the Drivers' running, whilst BMW retains its Teams' Championship points lead.