The moment the starting light high above the Ad-Diriyah Formula E Circuit in Riyadh turned off at 3.07 PM CET, motorsports history was written. This was the moment the Formula E season 2019/20 kicked off. The race also marked the entry of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team into the all-electric race series. It was a leap in the dark, a start from zero with a lot to catch up on. The initial goal: gather experience and get a sense of what to do in the first race. We cannot expect to be at the top – that was the constant reminder for the team. But then the unexpected happened.
One thing was clear from the start: Everyone was thrilled about the new season. Directly in the first curve, right after the start, things got tense. Every single centimeter and every single position was fought over. Particularly André Lotterer proved himself while defending his 7th position. After 6 minutes the first Yellow Flag: Sebastian Buemi was stationary on the track. The Yellow Phase tightened up the field even further and renewed the battle for each position. Especially in the lead, something André Lotterer felt all too well. Still, he fought his way to the top, position after position, until he reached the 5th position. And went one-on-one with the Mercedes pilot. What could be more archetypical than a duel during the first race? Both newcomers and Stuttgart locals faced off against each other, just behind the top. At this point, the British driver Sam Bird from Envision Virgin Racing was taking the lead in front of Stoffel Vandoorne for Mercedes and Porsche pilot André Lotterer.