Sam Bird has won his first race for Jaguar as the race is ended under red flag in Diriyah.
Bird fought to the lead past his old teammate Robin Frijns in a straight fight taking the lead half way through the race and holding it until a Safety Car turned red flag ended the race early.
Bird relied on polesitter Frijns overconsuming energy meaning that Bird could keep a higher overall pace than his rival. Even when Frijns could pull away with Attack Mode, Bird knew he would eventually close back up, and that’s what happened.
Frijns and Bird took their first Attack Modes and were carried on nose to tail afterwards. Bird was just waiting for the perfect opportunity, filling the mirrors of Frijns.
That forced Frijns to his second Attack Mode. He knew he would be able to repass Bird and hopefully then create a gap. But Bird defended and made life difficult for Frijns. Eventually it was inevitable that Frijns could pass but he didn’t have much time to pull away.
Bird then remained behind him and eventually passed him on track with no Attack Mode necessary, just pure pace. Bird pulled away, took his second Attack Mode and then pulled away. He had a 2 second gap when the race was neutralised because of a serious incident between Mitch Evans and Alex Lynn which eventually ended the race.
The crash was not shown but it was confirmed that Lynn has been taken to hospital for evaluation. Evans was seen in the pitlane congratulating his teammate Bird.
Evans was shown stricken in the run off but Lynn had gone much further and was upside down up against the wall.
A statement has been given by Mahindra stating that Lynn is chatting and conscious on his way to hospital.
STATEMENT: Following his accident in today’s ePrix @alexlynnracing is conscious, talking and on his way to hospital for checks
— Mahindra Racing (@MahindraRacing) February 27, 2021
Jean-Eric Vergne came home third with his teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa in fourth with the two of them fighting each other hard as they both want to establish a top dog early on in the season.
They were in the fight for the lead with Bird and Frijns but squabbles between each other is what allowed Bird to set his sight solely on Frijns and gave him time to take Attack Mode without the DS Techeetahs swallowing him up.
Frijns’ teammate Nick Cassidy fought his way through the field in the same way as the DS Techeetahs did ahead of him clearing the Dragon Penskes and NIOs to take his first points in fifth.
Front row starter Sergio Sette Camara’s energy usage was saved by the red flag to let him finish in sixth, an amazing result and his first points too. His teammate Nico Müller was in the same boat in seventh in what was Dragon Penskes best result in years, with a new car coming next round in Rome, they are in the best place they have been for some time.
Oliver Turvey, Oliver Rowland and René Rast rounded out the points with Turvey successfully clinging on to points and both Rowland and Rast working through the field excellently after qualifying down the order.
Alexander Sims and Lucas Di Grassi were 11th and 12th with Tom Blomqivst a very unlucky 13th.
Blomwvist was matching his teammate Turvey in the points but a lockup for Max Günther from way behind sent him out of control into the back of Blomqvist which spun him round and ruined his opportunity of a points debut.
Günther ruined his front suspension and was out of the race.
Yesterday’s race winner (and still the championship leader) Nyck De Vries was in 14th, unable to make much of an impression coming through the field with Venturi driver Norman Nato behind. The Mercedes and Venturi races were well and truly undone after being required to sit out of qualifying earlier today to allow for an investigation after Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara’s practice crash.
Pascal Wehrlein was 16th after recieving a drive through penalty for ramming Jake Dennis into the wall and out of the race in a frankly outrageous display of driving. Wehrlein has been playing too many computer games in his year away from racing.
Andre Lotterer and Stoffel Vandoorne rounded out those who finished.
Not classified were Günther, Evans, Lynn, Sebastian Buemi for Nissan, Dennis and Mortara, who didn’t start the race.
Last-Lap would like to send their best to Alex Lynn after what was a very serious incident that closed off the race. We hope he is doing well.
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 27, 2021