Bird wins, Lynn taken to hospital as crash ends second Saudi race early

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Sam Bird won a lively second Formula E race in Saudi Arabia which was curtailed by a red flag after an incident which left Alex Lynn needing hospital treatment.

Multiple incidents which occured with 11 of the 45 minutes remaining triggered early end to the race, which was eventually red-flagged with less than three minutes remaining.

The incident Lynn was involved in was not broadcast, but the Mahindra driver’s car is believed to have flipped onto its roll hoop. Mahindra subsequently confirmed he was “conscious, talking and on his way to hospital for checks”.

Sebastien Buemi, Maximilian Guenther and Mitch Evans were also involved in the race-ending incident.

Robin Frijns led the field away from his first Formula E pole position, while Bird took advantage of a slow-starting Sergio Sette Camara to claim second place.

Frijns and Bird ran in close formation over the opening laps, before exchanging positions as they collected Attack Mode for the first time. Bird temporarily slipped back behind Sette Camara during this exchange, but easily recovered the position using his power boost.

DS Techeetah pair Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa ended the first lap in seventh and ninth respectively. They steadily made their way forward and past Sette Camara into third and fourth, then fought each other hard for what turned out to be the final podium position.

Bird looked to have emerged in control of a close race before the incident which brought proceedings to an early end. His first victory for Jaguar extends his record of winning a race in every Formula E season. Frijns was confirmed in second ahead of the DS Techeetah pair, while Nick Cassidy took fifth off Sette Camara. Nico Muller, Oliver Turvey, Oliver Rowland and Rene Rast completed the top 10.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Bird wins, Lynn taken to hospital as crash ends second Saudi race early”

  1. Firstly all the best for Alex, I did see a partial video (not the cause of the incident), but won’t comment. TV says he’s conscious, so fingers crossed all good.
    Secondly, this had been a really great race up to the incidents and that eventually caused the red flag. This was Sam Bird back at his best. I thought he had thrown it away by the way he took his Attack Modes. Also I read that Vergne will not be penalised from his 3rd place for only using 1 Attack Mode as the race didn’t end under green.
    Thanks again Hazel for your coverage. I appreciate how difficult it has been for you under current restrictions.

    1. Also I read that Vergne will not be penalised from his 3rd place for only using 1 Attack Mode as the race didn’t end under green.

      And now its been announced that he does indeed lose that podium, as I had originally anticipated before reading conflicting information….
      But how is something like that so difficult to announce immediately? Its not like it needs an investigation. Bizarre. You would think that they want the correct people on the podium?

      1. Unbelievable. What an absolute travesty. How can you take away a podium when a driver had no opportunity to use that attack mode. Formula e is great to watch, but the officials really do their best to ruin it with ridiculous decisions like this. I thought we’d seen the worst of it when Daniel Abt had a win taken away because of an incorrect barcode. Then throwing three drivers out of qualifying yesterday for improving under yellow flags when it was their first lap times was pretty bad. But this is the worst piece of stewarding I have ever seen in motorsport, and Formula e should be ashamed. Formula e really does have the potential to be brilliant, but there are certain things that really let it down, most notably fan boost, and the stewards.

        1. He actually had several laps between the incident and the end of the race to use the Attack Mode. He would have probably lost a few places though (specially after the SC was deployed, as it bunched up everyone) so my guess is that he probably decided to take his change with an after-race penalty. But honestly I think a 24 second penalty in this case is too much. Maybe a 5s, 10s penalty at the most, just to compensate for the fact he didn’t use the Attack Mode.

          1. Although just because someone goes off line (not off track), you still can’t overtake under a SC, so I guess he could still have taken it, in which case a bad gamble by him and the team not to.

          2. You are not allowed to take attack mode under the safety car @gordess

        2. I realise it is not exactly the stewards who should be blamed, although I do think they should have the ability to override ridiculous rules like this. The people who should really be blamed are the ones who wrote the rulebook in the first place, and didn’t bother to think up any scenarios where different rules apply. It is not as though races finishing under the safety car are a particularly rare occurrence. And, overall, I would say attack mode is more of a benefit than a burden at this track anyway. Obviously there is a chance that the rulebook writers did think of this scenario but decided that the drivers should be penalised anyway. If that is the case, it is truly shameful.

        3. Sorry, still angry about this. Thinking about it, the decision to not allow Mercedes to qualify was arguably just as bad. Why didn’t they just delay qualifying. I think the TV time of a qualifying session (I’m not even sure if qualifying was on TV) is less important than making sure a driver/team doesn’t lose their championship for such an unfair reason as this. If it was the final race of the season, and Vandoorne or De Vries (or Nato) was still in title contention, there is no way they would have thrown them out of qualifying – it would have caused an outrage, and it would look as if Mercedes were deliberately being stopped from winning the championship. And the second race of the season is worth exactly the same amount of points as the last race. The right thing to do would have been to delay qualifying, and not have it on TV (Eurosport could just play their adverts for half an hour, and then they wouldn’t have to put them on in the middle of races like they did last year), and then just do the race sooner after qualifying. If they had to delay the race slightly, that’s fine. We don’t have to watch all the interviews at the end. I’m sorry, but Formula e really had a shocker yesterday, in terms of the stewards/rules, and this really needs to be fixed.

          1. I have changed my mind on this. Throwing Mercedes out of qualifying was fair in the end as there was a problem, although they still should have delayed qualifying in case there had been nothing wrong with the cars. The deleted lap times on Friday were also fair; I now know more detail than was originally said by Jack Nicholls.

            But I still don’t agree with the attack mode penalties, and won’t say any more about that.

      2. Absurd. It really makes no sense to penalize him for not taking all of his attack modes when he didn’t have a means to do that.

        But even if we accept that, how could it not be specified in the rules what happens in this instance? This is a situation that could be anticipated to occur, and the stewards shouldn’t need to think about it.

  2. Hazel tweeted this update regarding what happened with Lynn: (
    I just spoke to Mitch Evans; he spoke to Alex Lynn after the crash and thinks he’s doing OK, of course checks are needed but I hope that’s a reassuring update. What happened in the crash was Lynn went airborne after coming in contact with Evans’ rear tyre and the car landed badly. But the important thing is to wait for information on Alex and to hope for a good recovery.

    1. Kudos to Mitch for going to check if Alex was okay as soon as he could and was safe to.

      Ridiculous that the race wasn’t SCed and Red Flagged much faster than it was.

  3. The race surprisingly didn’t have any significant incident in the first half hour of racing, but then things became hectic and one accident followed the other…

    Thankfully Alex Lynn is fine and he is discharged from hospital,but today wasn’t a good day for Formula E.

    First of all, we had 2 drivers going to hospital after their massive shunts.In Mortara’s case, he had an incident quite familiar to the one Daniel Abt had during practice in Mexico 2020. In both cases there was a software glitch which made the car unstoppable(quite unacceptable imo).

    Not only that, but the way they broadcasted the whole Lynn accident was really amateurish. You could clearly see some medical cars rushing to Turn 18 and the broadcasting team didn’t mention anything. To top that,the coverage followed race winner Sam Bird when celebrating, with the ambulance being right behind him…

    And to top the whole situation, there were missile explosions reported over Riyadh, while the event was happening.
    It’s kinda unthinkable that a FIA event happened under these circumstances in this specific country.

  4. You’d think common sense would apply that a race ending in a red flag would cancel the attack mode rule. If I was sitting P3, with an attack mode in hand on the leaders, I’d be waiting until the green flag came out to take it too. Instead JEV, Cassidy (who had a great drive) and others got screwed.

    Hope those teams appeal the ruling and inspire a change.

  5. Some stats and facts, since we don’t get those in a separate article for FE races:

    This race:

    This was Sam Bird’s 10th FE victory, which puts him into equal second place on the list of Formula E race winners alongside Lucas Di Grassi. Sebastian Buemi leads with 13. Bird’s victory was his first for Jaguar, with his other nine coming for Virgin; he is only the third driver to win races for two teams (unless you count Techeeta and DS Techeeta, or Nissan e.Dams and Renault e.Dams as different teams); the first was Antonio Felix Da Costa (BMW iAndretti and DS Techeeta, and Aguri if you think they’re sufficiently removed from Andretti to count) and the second Jerome d’Ambrosio (Dragon and Mahindra).

    In the two years the Diriyah ePrix has been run as a double-header, Sam Bird has won one of the races and failed to finish the other due to an accident. The winning driver of the other race has been in their second season in each case. Alexander Sims’s best result since then has been fifth, which may not be the best omen for de Vries. Bird is the only driver to have won more than once in Diriyah.

    Bird retains his record of having won a race in every season; the only driver to do so. But only five drivers have competed in every season – Bird, Buemi (did not win in Season 4 or 6), Di Grassi (did not win in Season 6), Vergne (did not win in Seasons 1 or 2) and Da Costa (did not win in Seasons 2, 3, or 4). You might as well say that Bird is the only
    driver who has competed in every season without winning the Championship.

    Jaguar’s third win puts them sixth on the list of winning constructors; breaking a tie with Mercedes (created by Nyck de Vries the previous day) and NIO.

    Bird and Di Grassi remain the only drivers to have started every FE race.

    Robin Frijns took his first pole position; in the process losing his title as the FE driver with the most starts (48) who had never taken a pole. That “title” now returns to Nick Heidfeld (44). The active driver who has the most starts without taking pole is Eduardo Mortara (34).

    Weekend overall:

    Until the second race, every session was headed by a Dutchman (either Robin Frijns or Nyck de Vries)
    On all three occasions the event has been held, a driver has won from pole. The only driver who has won not from pole is Sam Bird, who has done so on both occasions he has won here.
    The driver who records the fastest lap has yet to finish on the podium in Diriyah.

    Positions 6 through 12 in the championship currently have 15-14-13-12-11-10-9 points. It’s probably happened before, I just found it amusing.
    15 drivers have points after two races; last year, it was 16. The best performance by a driver who failed to score in Diriyah last year was 69 points/9th place, by Maxi Gunther – who also failed to score this year.

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