• Ready to Go Again.

 

Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship gets underway for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team this coming weekend, and for the fourth year in a row, the Diriyah E-Prix will be the curtain-raiser event.

As last year, the two races on Friday and Saturday will be held under floodlights. The circuit is 2.495 km in length and features 21 corners. The track runs alongside the historic city walls of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Diriyah. 

Back at the start of Season 6, Diriyah was also the venue for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team’s first two races in the all-electric racing series. Stoffel Vandoorne finished third on the podium in the team’s debut race, with Nyck de Vries also scoring points in sixth. One year ago, Nyck secured a maiden Formula E victory by winning the season opener. 

 

stoffel vandoorne sitting in his mercedes-eq silver arrow 02

This year, the Diriyah E-Prix is again being staged as a double-header with a race on Friday and another on Saturday (start times on both occasions will be 17:03 GMT). New this season, however, is the qualifying format in which the drivers compete in head-to-head duels after a group stage.

Furthermore, the drivers have more power at their disposal as a result of a rule change: the available power in the race increases from 200 kW to 220 kW, and when using the attack mode, the drivers can now call up 250 kW instead of 235 kW.

Another innovation is that the race duration of 45 minutes plus one lap can be extended by up to ten minutes in the event of a Safety Car or Full Course Yellow. For every minute of a Safety Car or Full Course Yellow situation, 45 seconds will be added to the race time. If either of these phases extends beyond the 40-minute mark or only begin after it, the race duration will not be extended as a result. 

orange pitlane sign on the ground

Nyck de Vries

“I'm really looking forward to the first race weekend of this season. Of course, it feels slightly more special coming into this weekend as the reigning Champions. On the other hand, this is a new year, new season and that means that it will be all to play for again - for everyone, not just us. Above all, I'm motivated to start racing again and I'm ready for this season's challenges. We will not only face some very strong competition, we will also have to ensure we’re on top of the sporting changes from the start. All in all: I cannot wait to get going.” 

nyck de vries putting in his ear piece

Stoffel Vandoorne

“I am really looking forward to the start of the season. It’s hard to believe that the last race in Berlin is pretty much half a year ago and it’s been two months since we tested in Valencia. It’s a good feeling to get back to business. After all, racing is something special – it gives you that adrenaline rush which is the reason why we do it. I’m excited about the prospect of feeling the adrenaline rush and the pressure that comes from working with the team and fighting for good results. I am optimistic about the weekend and about the year as a whole. The track at Diriyah has suited us in the past, and we have been competitive there. In the last two years, Nyck and I have made it onto the podium a few times. I think everything is looking positive, but there are a few new aspects for us to factor in – the new qualifying format, the new rules in the race; let’s see how that turns out. I feel like we’ve done our homework and prepared as much as we can. Now let’s get down to business and see how it goes.” 

stoffel vandoorne holding his helmet while standing in the pitlane

Ian James (Team Principal)

“This weekend's Diriyah E-Prix will mark our return to the track for Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Last year, our trip to Diriyah brought us mixed feelings; a great first race with a very impressive performance by Nyck and the team. A performance that kicked off our Championship campaign very well, ultimately crucial for last year's double World Championship win. On the flipside, in the build up to race two we had some reliability issues that led to us having to sit out the Qualifying session - although these were quickly contained and we were able to start the race, albeit from the back of the grid. 

ian james standing in front of the team box

We are hoping to add to the positive memories this year. But as I like to approach all new challenges; we shouldn't take anything for granted. Although last year's pace and results show how strong this team is and it has helped us build this team into what it is today, it doesn't mean this season is going to be an easy one. This season will bring its own challenges. We will be competing against teams who've shown their strengths last season - and I do not believe any of them have been sitting still over the break; we will have a proper fight on our hands.

Equally, there are several organisational changes that we have been going through ourselves over the break: we've moved all of our operational team over to the UK, have welcomed new team members and this will be the first time this structure has been put to the test in a competitive environment, while dealing with some new sporting regulations. 

Having said that, we believe in ourselves and that we have a strong package. We're ready to bring the fight to the track this season, making Season 8 our best and most memorable yet. Bring it on!” 

Where to watch

Don’t miss any of the action this weekend, and follow the team on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Or, head here to find out how to watch all sessions live in your region. 

Round 1
Session Date Time (GMT) 
Practice 1 27 January 2022  15:00 - 15:30 
Practice 2 28 January 2022  10:30 - 11:00 
Qualifiying 28 January 2022  12:40 - 13:55 
E-Prix 28 January 2022  17:03 - 18:00 
 
Round 2
Practice 3 29 January 2022  10:30 - 11:00 
Qualifiying 29 January 2022  12:40 - 13:55 
E-Prix 29 January 2022  17:03 - 18:00 

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