Crown Prince sees Diriyah create history


  • First-ever Formula E race in Saudi Arabia with debut of Gen2 car
  • Da Costa wins season-opener, Techeetah’s Vergne comes second

Saudi Gazette report

— Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, attended the finale of the Ad Diriyah E-Prix championship race on the outskirts of Riyadh on Saturday.

He was accompanied by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed and Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman mingled with the crowd and posed for selfies with many of the attendees.

Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa held off a late charge from defending world champion Jean-Eric Vergne to win the opening race of the Formula E season.

DS Techeetah’s Vergne snatched the lead at the halfway stage of the Ad Diriyah E-Prix but a drive-through penalty meant he finished second behind BMW Andretti’s Da Costa, with Jerome D’Ambrosio completing the podium for Mahindra Racing.

The city-based single-seater series began its fifth season with a first-ever race in Saudi Arabia, which also saw the debut of the Gen2 car that can hit a top speed of 280 kph and will have sufficient battery power to last an entire race. Previously, drivers have had to stop and change cars.

“It’s amazing, it’s been tough, it’s been long months of work and I am really happy with that,” the 27-year-old winner said.

After some thrilling overtaking, Brazilian former Formula One driver Felipe Massa came home 14th in his first ePrix with Venturi.

Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, who said farewell to McLaren F1 for a seat at HWA Racelab, finished in 17th place.