Formula E's sixth season opener

Formula E's sixth season opener

The competition increased in the new season of FE, with some new names on top

Formula E's sixth season opener

The sixth season of Formula E started last weekend in Saudi Arabia, with new drivers and teams on the grid.

Championship debutants Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were quickly on the pace, and it is the former that leaves the season opening round on the Riyadh Street Circuit in the lead of the standings.

Both teams made the podium without winning a race, and it was BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims who scored the most points by taking two poles and the race two win. Virgin’s Sam Bird claimed success in the first race, but a crash with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans meant he had a pointless race two.

Sims’ double pole meant he and BMW have taken three in a row, continuing on from topping qualifying at the New York E-Prix earlier this year. The last team to achieve that feat was Virgin in 2016.

Stoffel Vandoorne took two podiums for Mercedes and is sandwiched by Sims and Bird in the standings, while his rookie team-mate Nyck de Vries took a sixth place finish on his debut. Beyond the top five finishers of FE’s inaugural race, only one other driver has finished higher on their debut appearance in the series’ 60-race history.

Happy faces at the end of 2019 F1 qualifying

Happy faces at the end of 2019 F1 qualifying

The final qualifying session of the 2019 F1 season took place in Abu Dhabi

Happy faces at the end of 2019 F1 qualifying

Lewis Hamilton ended a nine-race spell in Formula 1 without a pole at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his longest run away from the first place on the grid since 2011, when he had gone 26 races and not been the fastest driver in qualifying during that time.

The only other time he had a spell that surpassed his most recent drought was in 2009, when there was an 11-race run of no poles for Hamilton, who is F1’s most successful qualifier.

While he ended his ‘poor’ form, fellow Briton George Russell continued his by outqualifying Williams team-mate Robert Kubica for the 21st time this season, an unbeaten run which equals the record Fernando Alonso had against his McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Kubica was the slowest of all in Abu Dhabi qualifying in his #88 car, as Hamilton took his 88th pole. It’s set to be Kubica’s last F1 race this weekend, whose one pole and four front row appearances all took place in 2008.

Current McLaren driver Lando Norris, the other Englishman on the grid and Russell’s fellow rookie, also had reason to celebrate having won the intra-team battle in qualifying with Carlos Sainz Jr 11 to 10.

On This Day
1969

Saturday, November 30: IMSA, NASCAR, Blancpain GT, Super GT and Mediterranean GP winner Marc Goossens hits his half-century today

1966

Saturday, November 30: Former Ferrari Formula 1 driver, Bathurst 12 Hours winner and FIA steward Mika Salo turns 53 today

1989

Friday, November 29: Factory Honda MotoGP rider and 2011 Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl turns 30 today

1957

Wednesday, November 27: Super Formula and WEC race-winner Kenny Acheson, who also raced in F1 and IMSA, turns 62 today

1989

Sunday, November 24: Two-time DTM champion and Formula 3 Euro Series runner-up Marco Wittmann turns 30 today

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Australian Grand Prix
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Distance307.574 km (58 laps)
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Formula 1 2019 World Championship