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Facts, figures, data: Statistics on the Desert X Prix 2023 of Extreme E in Saudi Arabia

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

This past weekend, the Extreme E electric off-road series contested its 2023 season opener in Neom. With this year's events being run as a "double-header," there were two race winners, with Veloce Racing and Acciona Sainz coming out on top on the coast of Saudi Arabia. We have taken a close look at the Desert X Prix 2023 and prepared all the interesting statistics.

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Statistical Features at the Desert X Prix

  • Veloce Racing won a race in Extreme E for the first time on Saturday.
  • On Sunday, Acciona Sainz also celebrated its first race win in Extreme E history. Both teams have been involved from day one.
  • For the first time, Rosberg X Racing did not win the season opener to an Extreme E season.
  • Veloce Racing scored the second and third podiums in team history in the two Desert X Prix races. This means the team has collected more podiums in the first two races of 2023 than in the previous two years combined.
  • For Acciona Sainz, it was the fourth and fifth podiums in team history.
  • Rosberg X Racing achieved the podium number 6 and 7 of its history. This means that the German team continues to be the most successful team in Extreme E.
  • For the first time, the same three teams have stood twice in a row on the podium.
  • Veloce Racing won three of its four qualifying races at the Desert X Prix. Every qualifying win this year earns an extra point for the team standings. That alone puts the team at the top of the championship standings - for the first time ever.
  • On Sunday, X44 Vida Carbon Racing did not reach the final race for the second time. Previously, that had only been the case in the first race of the 2022 Island X Prix.
  • Acciona Sainz won the "Continental Traction Challenge"for the first time on Saturday. For X44 Vida Carbon Racing, on the other hand, it was already the fourth victory in this classification on Sunday.

Continental Traction Challenge

The section of the track called "Continental Traction Challenge", in which the fastest team can earn two additional championship points per race day, was again measured at the Desert X Prix as a separate sector with its own timing in addition to the three usual track sectors. As in the previous season, the team with the fastest individual time in this sector did not win, but the best cumulative team time of both driver and rider counted.

In Saudi Arabia, Acciona Sainz prevailed in this section on Saturday and X44 Vida Carbon Racing on Sunday. However, ABT Cupra driver Nasser Al-Attiyah set the fastest individual time in the special section.

Sector & lap best times

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The regular sector best times went to Christine Giampaoli Zonca of Carl Cox Motorsport, Nasser Al-Attiyah of ABT Cupra XE and Timmy Hansen of Andretti Altawkilat. Al-Attiyah set the fastest lap overall at the Desert X Prix. All of the fastest times were set on Sunday - the track was significantly faster on the second day of racing than  it had been on Saturday.

The best times in the first section of the route were achieved exclusively immediately after the driver:driver change: The way through the "Switch Zone" was despite speed limits of 30 km/h significantly shorter than over the race track. Therefore, only the second driver of each team had the opportunity to achieve a best time.

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Lap time comparison within teams

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Comparisons of lap times between drivers of the same team are much easier than usual at the Desert X Prix, because the pilots each did two laps due to the rather short track. After the second lap they had to steer into the switch zone, where a speed limit of 30 km/h applied. Therefore, we added up the sector best times of the driver:s.

The figures show that in Saudi Arabia only Cristina Gutierrez was faster than her teammate Fraser McConnell. Gutierrez was by far the fastest woman and thus also the only female pilot who was faster than the slowest male pilot, Timmy Hansen. Positions 1 through 7 were occupied by male pilots. On average, the men clocked a best time of 2:11.112 minutes, while the women clocked 2:15.892 minutes.

The biggest gap was between Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson at ABT. Very close together, however, were Gutierrez and McConnell of X44.

Gender ranking

Who were the fastest men and the fastest women at the Desert X Prix respectively? Based on their personal best sector times, we calculated an overall lap time. Among the drivers, Nasser Al-Attiyah (ABT Cupra) was unbeatable and literally drove circles around the competition, while Cristina Gutierrez (X44 Vida Carbon Racing) was the fastest lady in Saudi Arabia

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Ranking drivers

Ranking female riders

Cockpit swap in the switch zone

An additional challenge in Extreme E is the driver:inside swap. For safety reasons, the first pilot:in is not allowed to release the seatbelts until the car has come to a stop and is in neutral. At least 45 seconds must then elapse before the driver is allowed to shift back into forward gear. The fastest cockpit swap at the Desert X Prix was achieved by the Veloce Racing team, but all the teams were within a little more than a second of each other.

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