ABB FIA Formula E World Championship comes to the desert for night racing under lights in the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix
Double-header of races on Friday and Saturday night airs live around the world
Centuries of civilisation collide as the cutting edge GEN3 car races on the Diriyah Street Circuit around the ancient walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site for the first time
Porsche winning the power game after the season-opener in Mexico City
Rounds 2 and 3 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship take place this Friday and Saturday with the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix featuring the first double-header of Season 9 and the only night races on the 16-race calendar.
Following a memorable season opener with the 2023 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix on 14 January, the all-new GEN3 will compete in the Middle East for the first time giving fans the opportunity to see a race car performing at the very limit of innovation and pushing the boundaries of EV technology.
The 2.495km Diriyah Street Circuit is on the outskirts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and follows the historic city walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site. With 21 twists and turns, the technical first sector leads to a snaking Bobsleigh Run at turn six with a series of fast changes and quick turns in succession. Diriyah is a firm favourite for drivers as one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar for balancing energy management and outright pace.
The 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix Round 2 gets underway at 20:00 Arabic Standard Time / AST (GMT +3hrs) on Friday 27 January followed by Round 3 on Saturday 28 January, also at 20:00 AST (GMT +3hrs).
Fans can find out how to follow the action live in their country by visiting: fiaformulae.com/en/ways-to-
AS IT STANDS
Avalanche Andretti Formula E team driver Jake Dennis tops the Drivers’ World Championship after winning the first race of the third generation of Formula E with a dominant drive in Mexico City, having earned front row in qualifying.
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) followed home in second – the pair 11 seconds clear of third-placed Lucas di Grassi for Mahindra Racing in a hard-fought first race for the Anglo-Indian team.
Dennis and Wehrlein were among four of the top seven cars across the line to feature the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 power train, putting Avalanche Andretti and TAG Heuer Porsche at the top of the Teams’ Championship.
Early-season favourites DS PENSKE finished unexpectedly in mid-pack, something not many predicted after Maserati MSG Racing posted the benchmark time of the week and had topped five of seven timed sessions in pre-season testing in Valencia, with both DS PENSKE drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne also in the top three.
As it happened, reigning champion Vandoorne and double champion JEV qualified outside the top 10 ahead of Round 1, and Vandoorne recovered only four spots to take a point with 10th at the chequered flag. Vergne ran in mid-pack too before he misjudged an overtake and clipped Sacha Fenestraz to finish 12th.
NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver Jake Hughes may be a rookie but his eye-catching testing performances were backed up by a strong first race outing in Mexico City. He wound up fifth but had challenged for a podium throughout. His team, formerly Mercedes-EQ, can count the joint-most wins in Diriyah via Season 7 champion Nyck de Vries. Brit Hughes has the tools at his disposal to go well again on weekend number two in Formula E.
Jaguar TCS Racing sit sixth in the Teams’ table as technical teething troubles saw Sam Bird retire from Round 1 with a broken driveshaft after stopping on track in free practice with a fault. But nobody has won more races in Saudi Arabia than Bird – his two victories are tied with de Vries – and nobody has gone quicker around the Diriyah Street Circuit.
The track will again be illuminated by the latest low-power LED technology. These reduce energy consumption by up to 50 per cent compared to non-LED units, and they will be powered by sustainably-sourced biofuel generators.
“I love racing in Saudi – the track is amazing,” said Season 6 champion António Félix da Costa, of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. “I was the first winner there in Season 5 and I’ve got great memories. We go well every time we go there. With it being a night race, your practice and qualifying happen during the day and then you race at night. Temperatures change, along with the track surface with the sand getting brushed away. Your perceptions also change with the shadows changing. It takes a little bit of adaptation and training to the eye but I love the different variables and it definitely creates a better show for the fans. It’s very cool to race there, and great to watch – especially at night.”
WHEN TO WATCH
Free practice 1 for the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix gets underway at 18:00 AST (15:00 GMT) on Thursday 26 January.
Free practice 2 follows at 13:30 AST (10:30 GMT) on Friday with qualifying from 15:40 AST (12:40 GMT). The first race of the 2023 CORE Diriyah City E-Prix gets underway from 20:00 AST (17:00 GMT).
Free practice 3 is at 13:30 AST (10:30 GMT) on Saturday with qualifying for Round 3 at 15:40 AST (12:40 GMT) and the race follows at 20:00 AST (17:00 GMT).
WHERE TO WATCH
Find out where to watch here: fiaformulae.com/en/ways-to-
Middle East and North Africa: catch all the action except FP1 on Saudi Sport Company’s (SSC) linear channel SSC 2 as well as their digital platform shahid.net. SSC will on the ground in Diriyah bringing an immersive studio experience to the fans in Saudi Arabia. Across the Middle East and North Africa, Dubai Sports will be showcasing both qualifiers, races, and highlights on Dubai Sports 2.
Germany: in Germany, both races will be live on Formula E’s home, ProSieben. Fans will also be able to catch free practice sessions and qualifying live on Ran.de.
UK: watch the action live on the Channel 4 Sport YouTube page and catch up on all the racing via All4. Viewers will be able to watch highlights of the race on Sunday morning on Channel 4. Eurosport 1 will also be covering both rounds live, whilst Eurosport Playerwill also bring UK based fans dedicated coverage from all sessions.
France: catch Friday’s race action on La Chaine L’Equipe on Saturday before watching the second race live immediately after. Eurosport 1 will show both races live whilst Eurosport Player will be showing all sessions live.
Italy: both races will be live on Mediaset’s Channel 20, with all sessions available live on SportMediaset.it. Sky Sports will also show race sessions live across Sky Sports platforms, with dedicated news coverage across the weekend.
Netherlands: both races on Ziggo Sport Motorsport and ZiggoGO. Eurosport 1 will also be providing live coverage across the weekend on linear and digital channels.
Rest of Europe: across the remainder of Europe (excl. Italy), all sessions will be live across Eurosport’s linear and digital platforms. Eurosport will provide bespoke, live coverage of the opening race on Eurosport 1, whilst all sessions will be live on Eurosport Player. ES Player will also provide a one-stop destination for all Formula E fans’ catch-up needs.
USA: watch both races on CBS Sports Network, with Friday’s E-Prix live and Saturday’s delayed. All sessions will be live on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports HQ.
Canada: TVA Sports and TSN 5 will show all the race action from Diriyah in French and English respectively.
Mexico: coverage on Fox Sports 3, Claro Sports, and Azteca Deportes, with Claro Sports providing further coverage across Latin America.
South Africa: catch all of the live action from qualifying and race sessions on SuperSport Motorsport.
India: Star Sports Select 2 & Disney+ Hotstar will show all of the competitive action live, with Disney + HotStar the destination for all the Formula E action.
China: HUYA, BiliBili, Weibo, Kuaishou and Douyin will be covering all sessions live, with delayed race action on Guangdong Sports.
SouthEast Asia: SpoTV will be providing full coverage of practice, qualifying and race from both rounds.
Japan: qualifying and race sessions air on J-Sports 3, with BS Fuji providing dedicated highlights coverage.
Indonesia: races live on iNews, with dedicated coverage of the weekend across MNC platforms.
Australia: Stan Sports will bring live coverage of all sessions on the Stan Sports platform. 9GO will wrap up the weekend with highlights for fans in Australia.
New Zealand: live on Sky Sports 5.
Follow the action on-track and GEN3’s first competitive outing under lights as it happens in the brand new Race Centre. Keep across Live Timing – which includes a real-time interactive track map and the ability to follow your favourite driver during every session of every E-Prix – plus highlights, detailed session reports, exclusive interviews, all the standings and results as well as data, insight and reaction from trackside.