• Mahindra Racing opened up its Season 7 points account in Diriyah at the season opener of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
• Alexander Sims collected six points on Friday in Formula E’s first ever night race
• Alex Lynn was involved in an accident in race 2. Following precautionary hospital checks he was later discharged

27 February 2021, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Under the bright lights at the Diriyah E-Prix circuit in Saudi Arabia, Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship got off to a thrilling start as the electric street racing series held its first ever night races.

Lynn scored a Super Pole appearance first time out in qualifying in the new season for race 1 on Friday and eventually set the fifth fastest time, while Sims secured a sixth row start from 11th. At the start of the race Lynn settled into sixth but had a fiercely fought race, mostly sandwiched between the two Jaguars of Mitch Evans and Sam Bird. On lap 16, Bird attempted a dive down the inside and clashed with Lynn, who was spun around and forced into retirement due to a broken front suspension. Sims moved up into tenth on the first lap and, although falling behind Oliver Rowland when the latter took Attack Mode, he moved up to 9th after Lynn and Bird’s collision. He took advantage in the closing laps, gaining ground up to 7th position and took the chequered flag there, opening his points account for the season.

Ahead of race 2 on Saturday, Lynn qualified in ninth, although started the race from 12th after being handed a three place grid penalty, while Sims secured a seventh row start from 14th. Lynn was slow off the grid, so briefly dropped to P20 but then began to steadily climb back through the field. By lap 26 Lynn was up to P17 and Sims had made his way up to eleventh position and was targeting some further Championship points.

The following lap, Lynn was involved in an accident which saw his car go airborne after it made contact with Mitch Evans’ car. Lynn’s car landed upside down and travelled a short distance before coming to a stop. The marshalls and medical team were able to extract him and he was taken to hospital for precautionary checks. He was later discharged.

Saturday’s race was red flagged following Lynn’s incident and Sims crossed the finish line in 11th position just outside of the points. Sims was later given a drive through penalty for over-use of power, and so was classified in 15th position.

Friday’s race was won by Mercedes-Benz’s Nyck De Vries, while on Saturday Sam Bird took the spoils. Round 3 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to take place in Rome, Italy, on Saturday 10 April.

“I’m obviously very happy to hear that Alex is ok. Looking back at the weekend, it’s disappointing not to have come away with better results, however there is reason to be optimistic for the rest of the season. The race pace in both races was good, we were able to comfortably hold position and we know why things didn’t come together for qualifying. So I am confident that we can go away and work on these elements and come back fighting in Rome.” 

#29 Alexander Sims

“The most important thing is that Alex is ok after his accident. It was a nasty accident, but it’s testament to the ongoing work that Formula E and the FIA do around safety that Alex only suffered some bumps and bruises and will be back racing with us in Rome. Regarding the race weekend, whilst we didn’t achieve the race results we’d hoped for, it is clear that the pace is there and we have made a big step forward from last year where race pace was a concern. In the opening round Alex (Lynn) showed that we have qualifying pace with his Super Pole lap in race one whilst Alexander‘s (Sims) race pace was solid. We will now go away as a team and work on how we translate this pace into strong race results for Rome.”

Dilbagh Gill