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Formula E

Mortara wins in Diriyah as de Vries' race implodes

Venturi's Edoardo Mortara has won the second race of the Diriyah E-Prix weekend, capitalising on a bad afternoon for Mercedes' Nyck de Vries.

Mortara
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Edoardo Mortara has won the second race of the weekend on the streets of Diriyah, having started from second place on the grid.

The Venturi driver overtook pole-sitter Nyck de Vries on track as his Mercedes rival struggled for pace, before hunting down and passing teammate Lucas di Grassi.

Envision Racing's Robin Frijns finished second, and was left frustrated by not having a chance to attack Mortara in the closing stages, as the Safety Car neutralised the race with five minutes remaining.

The Safety Car was deployed to cover the retrieval of Mahindra's Alexander Sims, who hit the barriers and was unable to get his car back to the pits due to the damage.

His car was not cleared fast enough to allow the action to resume, meaning Mortara crossed the line unchallenged at the front ahead of Frijns and di Grassi.

Championship leader de Vries had to settle for 10th, having had a troubled afternoon on track after a strong start to the race.

De Vries sets the pace in the early stages

In what was a very straightforward and clean start to the race, the top five drivers held position at the start as de Vries established himself at the front ahead of Mortara.

It took until Lap 5 for a significant position change, as Mercedes' Stoffel Vandoorne moved up to 10th ahead of Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa, while Mahindra's Oliver Rowland and Andretti's Jake Dennis both took Attack Mode at the same time to set off in tandem to chase down the other Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne in sixth.

Vergne, recognising the danger, took Attack Mode on the following lap as Dennis got past Rowland to put pressure on the Techeetah driver starting Lap 7.

The top five, having stayed in the same order for the first 10 minutes of the race, finally had their first bit of action as Frijns took Attack Mode on Lap 7. The Dutch driver fell behind di Grassi as a result, but took back the position a lap later as the Brazilian also took Attack Mode.

Up front, de Vries and Mortara took Attack Mode at the same time on Lap 8. Remaining in the same order, this meant that the top eight had all used the first of their activations.

With 15 minutes elapsed, the top four drivers had started opening up a small gap to fifth-placed Lotterer, giving di Grassi the chance to take Attack Mode on Lap 13.

Frijns followed suit a lap later, with Mortara also taking it a lap after Frijns, while di Grassi moved up to second ahead of Frijns and Mortara as a result of the activations.

With di Grassi still in Attack Mode, he made a move on de Vries heading down the pit straight as the two leaders rubbed bodywork through the apex of Turn 1.

De Vries was pushed wide through the apex of Turn 2, with di Grassi taking the lead ahead of the Mercedes driver as Mortara lined up and also overtook de Vries. Race Control confirmed shortly after that the di Grassi/de Vries incident would be investigated.

Mortara, showing the impressive pace that also nabbed him pole position, overtook di Grassi for the lead at the end of Lap 17 to make it a Venturi 1-2 ahead of de Vries, as the latter held off using his second Attack Mode.

De Vries' day falls apart

Still running in third place, de Vries slowly started edging back towards the Venturis but, on Lap 22, took his second Attack Mode and fell down to fourth place as he set about fighting back against the three leading cars.

De Vries' pace in Attack Mode proved insufficient to get ahead of any of the cars in front of him, but the pace of the Venturis began to drop off to back up the field as Mortara clung onto the lead ahead of di Grassi, Frijns, de Vries and Vergne.

On Lap 28, De Vries' day went from bad to worse as Vergne got past the Mercedes driver – the resulting contact also attracting the attention of the stewards. Struggling for pace, de Vries fell behind the recovering Vandoorne, Rowland and Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein to slip down to 10th.

Up front, Frijns overtook di Grassi down the straight into Turn 1 to break the Venturi 1-2 and attempted to hunt down Mortara for the lead. But any chance of a dramatic finale between Mortara and Frijns was quickly scuppered as, seconds later, the Safety Car was deployed when Sims pulled over to the side of the track at Turn 6 after hitting the wall with his right-rear wheel at Turn 5.

With the retrieval of Sims' car taking a little longer than expected, the final lap of the race began with the field still circulating behind the Safety Car – a damp squib of an ending as Mortara crossed the line to win ahead of Frijns and di Grassi.

Diriyah E-Prix Race 2 Results

Position Driver Team
1 Mortara Venturi
2 Frijns Envision Racing
3 Di Grassi Venturi
4 Lotterer Porsche
5 Dennis Andretti
6 Vergne DS Techeetah
7 Vandoorne Mercedes
8 Rowland Mahindra
9 Wehrlein Porsche
10 De Vries Mercedes

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