Round Three of the season and Race Two in Diriyah provided as much entertainment as it did on Friday, with the Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein taking his second victory in two days to make it a perfect weekend for himself and his team.
Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis continued his streak of podiums with a second-place finish, his second of the weekend. Joining Wehrlein and Dennis on the podium was McLaren’s René Rast, who finished the race in third.
After the smoke cleared and the lights went green, Mitch Evans had a wonderful start from P2, even on the dirty side of the grid, and took the lead from pole-sitter Jake Hughes.
Wehrlein made an important move on lap one, moving up to fourth past Sébastien Buemi to chase another victory, before taking P2 on lap 14, and the lead on lap 18 to show off his overtaking prowess yet again.
It was a game of electrical chess throughout, with every driver carefully deciding when to use the four minutes of their Attack Mode to try and gain positions. Wehrlein, Rast, Mitch Evans, Hughes, Dennis and Sam Bird constantly swapped positions in the top six with each driver taking their Attack Mode on different laps. It was Wehrlein who checkmated everybody in the end though.
The safety car was deployed on lap 27 after Nico Müller put it in the wall at turns 18 and 19, the same corner as the Attack Mode line, with race leader Wehrlein having to hold off the victory hunters on his rear.
There was a DNF for Oliver Rowland in the Mahindra too, who retired on lap 32 with a puncture.
A strange mix-up at the end of the race between Evans and Hughes allowed Buemi to sneak through for an unlikely P6 finish.
It was a much better day for Maserati driver Edoardo Mortara after his DNF in the first race of the weekend, finishing in ninth place respectively.