Porsche gala in the desert: the e-Formel.de driver rating for the Diriyya E-Prix 2023
Two races, two victories, plus second place in both races for the Andretti customer car: The Diriyya E-Prix 2023 could hardly have gone better for the German manufacturer Porsche. Works driver Pascal Wehrlein contested what was probably the best race weekend of his electric career in Saudi Arabia and took the lead in the world championship. But even away from the headlines to the car manufacturer from Zuffenhausen, there were some noteworthy driving performances in Diriyya..
Also this year, the editorial team of e-Formel.de awards points on a scale between 1 and 10 for all drivers after each race weekend of the season. The drivers are then sorted according to their average "rating score", and the best ten performances are commented on by our Formula E reporter Tobias Bluhm. Only individual driving performances are included in the rating, not the potential of the car or external circumstances.
The e-Formel.de driver rating for the Diriyya E-Prix 2023
1st Pascal Wehrlein | TAG Heuer Porsche | 9.8 points
After the dominant performance in Saudi Arabia, there's no other way to put it: Porsche has never had a better chance of winning the Formula E title in any season! Pascal Wehrlein already looked supremely competitive in Mexico City. But the way the German plowed through the field in both Diriyya races left many an observer:inside in the paddock speechless.
After unsatisfactory qualifying results, he used the obviously great potential of his drive to overtake his rivals. But it would be presumptuous to blame Wehrlein's double victory solely on the efficiency of his car. After all, the German also shone individually in the E-Prix with great consistency and consistency in duels.
FAZIT: The Porsche driver showed the best performance of his Formula E career in Diriyya - simply outstanding!
2nd Jake Dennis | Avalanche Andretti | 9.5 points
After his dominant win in Mexico, Jake Dennis started the Diriyya weekend as one of the favorites. But even if he could follow his great success in Central America "only" two second places, the conclusion must be: The Briton has lived up to his role as an early title contender. Similar to Wehrlein, Dennis was only able to achieve mediocre qualifying results but turn them into excellent podium results.
In Saudi Arabia, Dennis Wehrlein only had to admit defeat because he "got stuck" in traffic a little longer than his brand colleague in the starting phase. As a result, he lost his championship lead, but at least consolidated second place overall. He now has twice as many points as his nearest rival, Sebastien Buemi.
FAZIT: In the 2023 season, a title fight between Wehrlein and Dennis is already brewing. We're ready!
3rd Sam Bird | Jaguar TCS Racing | 8.3 points
The old Sam Bird is back! After a grueling 2022 season, the Brit began working with a new mental coach. Apparently, just like good development progress on Jaguar's Formula E car, this led to success. In Diriyya, the 36-year-old drove liberated like in his best times in the electric series and was one of the few serious competitors to the Porsche drivers on both days.
FAZIT: It's just great to see Bird finding his way back to old form in Diriyya. Let's hope that this upward trend is sustainable.
4th Rene Rast | Neom McLaren | 7.8 points
McLaren team boss Ian James' decision to bring Rene Rast back to Formula E seems to have been spot on after three races run. The German collected leading kilometers in Diriyya and even secured a podium finish on Saturday. He was certainly helped by the safety car, thanks to which he was able to save important energy. Rast played up his experience and finished ahead of his (justifiably) hyped teammate Jake Hughes in both races.
FAZIT: A really good weekend from Rene Rast, who has arrived back in Formula E!
5th Sebastien Buemi | Envision Racing | 7.8 points
Formula E fans already got a taste of the "new, old Sebastien Buemi" in Mexico City. After an exceedingly challenging time at Nissan e.dams, the Swiss driver - he said so himself in several interviews during the Saudi Arabia weekend - began to have doubts. Wrongly so, as a look at his recent results proves.
The team switch to Envision seems to have been exactly the right decision for Buemi. With Jaguar power and efficiency, he once again drove for top-5 results in Diriyya and was also in the mix at the front in qualifying.
FAZIT: The old master can still do it!
6th Jake Hughes | Neom McLaren | 7.3 points
It took Jake Hughes three races to start from pole position for the first time in his Formula E career! A similarly good debut was last achieved by his compatriot Alex Lynn in New York City in 2017 and Pascal Wehrlein in Mexico in 2019. Hughes also showed his talent in the races, although he only reached the finish on Saturday thanks to a push from Mitch Evans. Sometimes you just need a bit of racing luck on your side...
For longtime observers:inside the electric series, the "rocket start" in Hughes' Formula E career bears a resemblance to the first E-Prix of Jean-Eric Vergne, Felix Rosenqvist or Mitch Evans. If things continue like this for Hughes, he, too, could eventually become one of the electric series' most successful drivers.
FAZIT: Hughes could hardly have dreamed of a better start to the season.
7th Dan Ticktum | Nio 333 | 6.5 points.
That Dan Ticktum collected just one World Championship point in his rookie season noticeably scratched the Briton's ego. All the better that his Nio 333 team was able to take a big step forward in development between seasons 8 and 9. Ticktum is as quick as an arrow, especially in qualifying, though he lacked pace in race trim at Diriyya.
FAZIT: Particularly in comparison to his teammate Sergio Sette Camara, who is regarded by many rivals as an exceptionally good driver, Ticktum held his own in Diriyya.
8th Mitch Evans | Jaguar TCS Racing | 6.3 points
Leading mileage, efficient driving, strong qualifying - on paper, Mitch Evans missed few opportunities in Diriyya. Nevertheless, the New Zealander left Saudi Arabia with a long face. On the one hand, this was due to a number of setup errors that put him behind his teammate Sam Bird in a direct comparison.
On the other hand, Evans found himself "in the wrong place at the wrong time" in Saturday's race, as he said himself. In both attack-mode sequences, he let McLaren, Andretti and Porsche get the better of him. Later, energy deprivation - caused, according to Jaguar's team boss, by the slipstream Evans gave his rivals in the early laps - left him with only the fight for 5th place, which he lost due to Hughes' battery ramp-down at the finish line and was even overtaken by Sebastien Buemi.
FAZIT: Evans lacked the infamous "flow" in Saudi Arabia to be counted among the top drivers of the weekend.
9th Sacha Fenestraz | Nissan | 5.3 points
In his fourth Formula E race, Sacha Fenestraz finished in the points for the first time. On Saturday in particular, the Frenchman had his experienced teammate Norman Nato under control. Over the course of the weekend, his pace apparently got better and better - but there is still some catching up to do, especially in qualifying.
FAZIT: Fenestraz's Formula E debut was a baptism of fire. Nevertheless, he is slowly but surely arriving in the series.
10th Jean-Eric Vergne | DS Penske | 5.3 points.
During testing in Valencia, everything actually looked as if DS Penske was on the verge of a dominant season. After two weekends, however, there is little left of the high expectations: Vergne finished 7th and 16th in Saudi Arabia, and he is 12th overall in the WRC.
FAZIT: Unsatisfactory qualifying pace as well as a contact on Saturday with Nissan driver Norman Nato prevented better results. There is still room for improvement.