Riyadh, Dec 16 (PTI) BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio Felix da Costa won the very first race of the new season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Also Read - International Flights: Saudi Arabia Permits Outbound Passenger Flights to India Under Vande Bharat Mission

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne finished second and Jerome d’Ambrosio came in third Saturday. Also Read - International Flights: Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights to/From These Countries Amid Rising COVID Cases | Know Here

This marked the competitive debut of 22 new Gen2 cars here. Also Read - Saudi Man Jumps on Back of Rare Whale Shark & Rides Along While Holding Fin | Watch Viral Video

This season, despite the cars lasting the whole length of the race, the introduction of a range of new power modes made the racing more unpredictable as all 22 drivers battled it out to the finish line against the 45-minute ( plus1 lap) race countdown. The focus was on energy management.

Alongside a dramatic new look of the cars, there were wholesale changes to the components underneath the bodywork.

“Formula E broke the mould by being the first to go electric so it’s clear we aren’t scared of trying new things,” said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

Six fresh faces faced their first Formula E race Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett for HWA Racelab, Max Gunther for GEOX Dragon, Felipe Massa for the Venturi Formula E Team, Alexander Albon for Nissan e.dams and Alexander Sims for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Several other top talents returned to the championship including Robin Frijns for Envision Virgin Racing and Tom Dillmann for the NIO Formula E Team.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.