Lights out, spots on – races two and three of this year's ABB FIA Formula E World Championship took place in the Saudi Arabian desert. One of the weekend's highlights was the fact that the first double-header of the year was held under floodlights, creating a very special atmosphere among the fans. The Hankook iON Race faced three major challenges, all of which it mastered with great aplomb: cool temperatures in the two night races, a mix of different surfaces, and a track that was sandy in places. An incredibly exciting E-Prix on Friday evening in Diriyah produced numerous battles and some fantastic duels at the front of the field. All the drivers benefitted from the consistency of the Hankook iON Race on the 2.495-kilometre street circuit around the UNESCO World Heritage Site. After an hour and 39 laps of racing, the beaming winner was Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team). The German took the chequered flag ahead of the winner of the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix, Jake Dennis (GB/Avalanche Andretti Formula E), with Sam Bird (GB/Jaguar TCS Racing) taking third place. The crowds were also treated to some thrilling battles and a grand finale in race two on Saturday. It was Wehrlein who again dominated, making it two wins in as many days with his second victory of the weekend for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Britain's Dennis also produced a fine drive and was Wehrlein's closest rival for the second race in a row. German René Rast (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) came home third to earn his team its first podium in Formula E. After three races, the double race winner from Diriyah – Pascal Wehrlein – tops the overall standings.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Director Motorsport: “The double-header in Diriyah proved to be a real challenge for the Hankook iON Race. Heavy rain shortly before the start of the second round of the season transformed the desert sand on the track into a greasy surface, offering little grip. However, the situation improved with each session and the grip level increased significantly. The cool evenings, around ten degrees Celsius, also made it a real challenge for the teams to get the iON Race up to the ideal operating temperature. However, as at the season-opener in Mexico, the tyre overcame the difficulties with its strong performance and reliability – despite the different track surfaces in different sections of the circuit. The tyre allowed the drivers to pull off spectacular moves and overtaking manoeuvres, even at the end of the races.”