Antonio Felix da Costa clinched the opening race of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship to hand BMW Andretti Motorsport a win in their debut race.
The 27-year-old Portuguese racing driver took the pole position in qualifying and had a very tight battle for the lead with Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman even managed to pass him at one stage but was forced to concede his position later as he served a drive-through penalty for a technical violation.
Despite the penalty, the reigning world champion driving the DS Techeetah car eventually finished the race in second place, with Jerome d'Ambrosio, driving for Mahindra Racing, taking the final spot on the podium.
Due to the intervention by the Safety Car during the latter half, the final phase of the race saw a flat-out contest between Da Costa, Vergne and D'Ambrosio, with Da Costa and Vergne battling it out right until the final lap. Da Costa won the race by a slender margin of only 0.462 seconds.
For the first time, the E-Prix also saw the introduction of Attack Mode, where the drivers are given a boost of power for four minutes to promote overtaking. Everyone has to use the Attack Mode twice during the duration of the race.
DS Techeetach's other driver, Andre Lotterer, finished fifth and managed to set the fastest lap of the race.
Meanwhile, former Formula 1 drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Massa had a forgettable debut race at Ad Diriyah. Massa finished the race in 14th place while Vandoorne finished the race at No. 17.
The next E-Prix will be held at Marrakesh, Morocco on 12 January 2019.
1. Antonio Felix da Costa - 25 points
2. Jean-Eric Vergne - 18 points
3. Jerome d'Ambrosio - 15 points
1. DS Techeetah Formula E Team - 29 points
2. BMW I Andretti Motorsport - 28 points
3. Mahindra Racing - 15 points