Portugal’s António Félix da Costa, at the wheel of a BMW, today won the inaugural race of the 2018/19 Formula One World Championship in Saudi Arabia after a thrilling racer with Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne .
Félix da Costa, who started from pole position on the city circuit in Diriyah, near Riyadh, finished the race 462 thousandths ahead of Vergne, who defends his title last season and 4,033 over Belgian Jérôme ‘Ambrosio, second and third classified, respectively.
The Portuguese rider led the way through the opening stages of the race until he was overtaken by Vergne and then German André Lotterer, but the front duo was penalized by a pit stop, leaving Felix da Costa in the lead. comfortable advantage over d’Ambrosio.
The safety car regrouped the peloton and allowed Vergne to recover, who even outlined Felix da Costa’s overtaking in the final corners of the circuit, but the Portuguese rider was able to resist and thus take the lead in the championship.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was the first of 13 championship races in 12 cities on five continents, with the last round – the only one scheduled for two races – to be held in New York , on July 13 and 14, 2019.
The 2019 edition, the fifth edition of the championship, has undergone some changes, highlighting the greater autonomy of the batteries, which may allow the riders not to change single-seater and continuously compete the 45 minutes plus one lap of each of the races.
The cars are also faster and evolved aerodynamically and the public will be able to reward five pilots with the so-called ‘fanboost’, which gives a power supplement to the most voted.