The atmosphere is tense. The certain sense of inevitability is palpable. It can be touched, felt, and moulded to one’s grasp. Bent to one’s will. But the tension can also be cut in a flash.
When standing on the grid, there’s something ritualistic about the whole experience. Beyond the spectacle, Formula E’s most challenging race carries weight and with it, reputation.
It comes with admiration, and every driver is heroic.
Illuminated under the stars, our hunger was spurred by our desire for success. This is our race recap from Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The Riyadh Street Circuit is defined by its complexity. Undulating elevation changes and sweeping blind corners leave little room for error. Overtaking is difficult but with a little confidence, doable.
This combination only increases the importance of one session in particular: Qualifying. Because track position is everything, the higher a driver starts, the better their result will be.
After displaying competitive pace throughout practice, Maximilian Günther understood this task perfectly ahead of Race One, and by setting the second-fastest time in Group B, shot into the duels.
Although the 26-year-old missed out in his hard-fought Quarter-Final head-to-head, he secured his spot inside the top 10 and from eighth on the grid, was in a prime position to contend for points in the race.
On Friday night, Max’s focus was profound. He knew what he needed to do, and what it would take, to fight forward and add further momentum to his World Championship aspirations.
By holding eighth off the line, Max could focus on the battle in front, and after quickly settling into the race’s rhythm, set out in hard pursuit of Nick Cassidy.
Applying constant pressure, Max briefly exchanged positions with the Jaguar driver in an exciting melee on lap 17, but chose to re-settle and measure up the next moment he could strike.
Track position was everything, and on lap 22, Max took Attack Mode to spark a strategic game. He held position, used the extra power to overtake, and deployed his second activation to strengthen his hold on seventh.
Despite closing in on Norman Nato in the battle for sixth, Max took seventh at the flag to add points in a high-stakes first race in Diriyah.
Since joining Maserati MSG Racing for Season 10, Jehan Daruvala has moved from strength to strength, and in Diriyah, the 25-year-old’s growing experience in Formula E showed.
Jehan used his second start in the series on Friday to build upon his knowledge, and after making up ground following a difficult first qualifying, promising performance signs were more than evident.
On Saturday, he gave it his all, and by setting the fourth-fastest time in his group, secured his first duel appearance in qualifying.
But Jehan didn’t stop there. In the Quarter-Finals, he went up against Oliver Rowland, but despite losing out to the eventual polesitter, he still emerged as a top performer.
By outpacing every other Quarter-Final runner who failed to advance to the Semi-Finals, Jehan secured fifth on the grid, equalling our best qualifying result so far in Season 10.
Starting from fifth, Jehan was in an excellent position to score points in Race Two. He drove with precision, quickly found his feet, and comfortably held his own inside the top 10.
Unfortunately, an ill-timed Attack Mode deployment cost the Indian racer some track position, but he continued to harry the competition, on the verge of scoring his first points in Formula E.
Lap 27 dealt a crushing blow, however. A technical issue forced Jehan to retire, leaving Max as our sole remaining runner.
Nevertheless, Jehan delivered an impressive performance. He’s one to watch, and it’s only a matter of time before he lands his breakthrough maiden points finish.
After missing out on the qualifying duels for the first time this season, Max faced an uphill battle on Saturday. But it didn’t phase him. In fact, it only added to his motivation.
Determination and ambition drives us to success, and from 11th on the grid, Max powered forward and by performing the overtakes that many struggled to do, quickly carved his way into the top 10.
Although he lost ground at the start, 12th became 11th, 11th became 10th, and then 10th became ninth, allowing the young German to maintain his 100% points scoring record in Season 10.
In a World Championship which rewards consistency, the points we scored in Diriyah were crucial. Our journey will continue in São Paulo this March.