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Diriyah E-Prix: Edoardo Mortaro wins for Venturi after passing teammate Di Grassi

Diriyah E-Prix: Edoardo Mortaro wins for Venturi after passing teammate Di Grassi

Edoardo Mortara won the second Diriyah E-Prix, beating Robin Frijns when the race’s climax was interrupted by a safety car. He passed his Venturi teammate using Attack Mode and took the lead.

The Mercedes-EQ of Nyck de Vries started on pole ahead of Edoardo Mortara’s ROKiT Venturi. It was an all-Mercedes powered front row. De Vries had a wonderful start yesterday, moving up from P3 to P2, and he had another good start today, maintaining his position at the front of the field and pulling 0.7 seconds ahead of Mortara after the first lap.

Di Grassi eventually caught the leading Mercedes and earned a decent run down the start straight when De Vries chose not to use his second attack mode. The Venturi driver approached De Vries and attempted to drive around him into turn 18, but De Vries ran wide and forced Di Grassi out, who then battled past the Mercedes and into the lead of the race. The stewards indicated that they will investigate the event before opting not to pursue it further.

Mortara was fighting Frijns for P3 at the time, and on that lap, he not only passed Frijns, but also ran down the inside of de Vries on the way to T18, and was through into a Venturi 1-2 before the corner. As he slid by his teammate in the final seconds of his final Attack Mode, the Swiss driver made the Venturi 1-2 more preferable to himself.

De Vries, now in P4 and in the final 90 seconds of his Attack Mode, is notified that he has less energy than his opponents with 16 minutes on the clock. The leaders had failed to open a distance, and a train of drivers, including the top ten, were all within a second of the vehicle ahead.

After a few minutes, everything went wrong for the polesitter, as he collides with Vergne as the Techeetah driver goes first on the outside, then cuts back to the inside, and the two collide as they both try to get into T19 first. The winner is the Techeetah, and de Vries loses even more positions on the next straight, sliding to P9.

Frijns passed Di Grassi for the second, but Alexander Sims lost control of his Mahindra at turn six and crashed into the wall with just under ten minutes remaining. The Safety Car was deployed when his car was stranded on the side of the track, allowing the Mahindra to be recovered.

The cars had to slow down or stop as they got behind a crane making its way around the tiny, winding first sector as the field snaked behind the Safety Car, before restarting a few moments later.

Because the incident occurred within the final ten minutes of the race, no further time was added, and the track was not cleared in time for racing to resume, the race concluded under Safety Car, although it was a well-deserved victory for Mortara.

Mortara won the race after rounding the final corner, with Frijns finishing second and Di Grassi completing a double podium for Venturi in third. Andre Lotterer was fourth, ahead of Jake Dennis and Vergne, who were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Stoffel Vandoorne finished seventh ahead of Oliver Rowland and Pascal Wehrlein. De Vries, the polesitter, finished tenth and earned the last point. Oliver Askew was the best rookie again, finishing 12th, while Dan Ticktum and Antonio Giovinazzi were the last two drivers on the track, finishing 20th and 21st, respectively.

Alexander Sims was the only driver to retire, crashing into the wall at turn 6 with 10 minutes left in the race, forcing the race to be ended under yellow.

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