FAITH returns under the spotlight

The championship opens as a World Cup with a night double in Arabia, many changes on the grid and the same as always.

Those who wanted to race are in luck because the first ones of 2021 are here, and some that are usually very entertaining as Formula E has shown throughout its previous six seasons. The seventh, starts today a month late (the scheduled start in Chile was canceled) in Saudi Arabia, a country that hosts the opening event for the third time in a row, with two important novelties (it opens as the FIA World Championship and running under the night) and a grid full of brands and a lot of talent among its 12 teams and 24 drivers.

Those who better do it at the end of a campaign in which, for now, they have only confirmed eight races in six countries (Valencia among them) will be the first world champions, an extra that they like as some protagonists recognized AS. The Diriyah circuit, the same 2.49 km. who has always hosted the electric competition but with some changes in the asphalt, is in charge of turning on the traffic light with a double in night racing today and tomorrow (17:30 at 'Eurosport 2'). 600 LED lights will allow the show to be held under the stars for the first time.

Waiting for the great news that will arrive next year with the Gen3, the new generation of single-seaters, there are them everywhere on the grid if driver line-ups are concerned, because only four teams (Audi, Techeetah, Mercedes and Nissan ) repeat pairs. In the rest there are changes, some prominent such as Bird to Jaguar, Wehrlein to Porsche or Sims to Mahindra. Among them, we must count the arrival of three rookies: Jake Dennis (BMW), Nick Cassidy (Virgin) and Norman Nato (Venturi) .

All of them were three months ago rolling in the Valencia tests, where the clearest idea that could be concluded is that it will once again be a tight and unpredictable competition. Nothing new around here. Guenther was the best with the BMW by just thousandths and with all the cars in half a second. Too tight to speak of favorites, although if any team has earned the right to be it is Techeetah, the champions of the last three years with Vergne (twice) and Da Costa (in 2020). Beating them will be the biggest challenge.

De Vries, first leader of the season

Although Friday and Saturday are the busiest days in Diriyah, on Thursday the track to the west of Riyadh already started with the first free practice session he led, and by an unusual advantage, De Vries with the Mercedes. The Dutchman, with a time of 1: 08.693, left Lotterer and Di Grassi, his closest pursuers, more than half a second behind. It was only an initial contact, the competition really starts today. I had already won.

Formula E Grill 2021

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: Lucas Di Grassi and René Rast.

BMW i Andretti Motorsport: Max Guenther and Jake Dennis.

Dragon / Penske Autosport: Nico Mueller and Sergio Sette Camara.

DS Techeetah: Antonio Félix Da Costa and Jean-Éric Vergne.

Envision Virgin Racing: Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy.

Jaguar Racing: Sam Bird and Mitch Evans.

Mahindra Racing: Alexander Sims and Alex Lynn.

Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team: Stoffel Vandoorne and Nick de Vries.

NIO 333 Formula E Team: Oliver Turvey and Tom Blomqvist.

Nissan e.Dams: Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland.

Rokit Venturi Racing: Edoardo Mortara and Norman Nato.

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E: André Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein.

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