Extreme E

Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez top the Qualifying Day of the #DesertXPrix

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The unforgiving Al Ula has just got its own qualifier for the first electric series: Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez from Team X44. Both drivers maintained a clean performance throughout two qualifying sessions despite Loeb mini slipups in the first session and decreasing car performance in the afternoon.

Sébastien Loeb & Cristina Gutiérrez from X44 (Credits: Colin McMaster)

Speaking to the media in Saudi Arabia immediately after Qualifying, Loeb said that he and his team felt happy regardless of the unexpected conditions.

“We certainly are happy. Obviously we didn’t know what to expect from the very beginning, but we’ve managed to learn mistakes from other drivers and teams. Pushing hard and trying our best is the main key.”

“It’s important to be smart (at the strategy),” added Gutiérrez. “But I think we need to be happy and I hope tomorrow we can do more. So exciting!”

With that being said, Team X44 earned a total time of 21:55.998, leaving a 41.097 gap from second-place team, Acciona Sainz.

First qualifying leader Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor from Rosberg x Racing after receiving a penalty for speeding in the pitlane, dropping them to the third position right behind Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz.  Another penalty was given to the JBXE team following Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky who did not press the pit limiter on time around the switch zone, with the team getting 175 second penalty.

Hispano Suiza managed to get a cleaner result this time and was the sixth quickest, but with penalty from JBXE they gained one position on the fifth place.

Chip Ganassi was supposed to be on its second run but announced its last minute withdrawal due to another technical issue. Both Abt CUPRA XE and Veloce Racing could not make it to the second qualifying following their massive crashes earlier in Qualifying 1.

POSDriversTeamLapsTime 1Time 2Total
1Sébastien Loeb/Cristina GutiérrezX44410:48.06711:07.93121:55.998
2Carlos Sainz/Laia SanzAcciona Sainz XE Team411:16.23111:20.864+41.097
3Johan Kristofferson/Molly TaylorRosberg X Racing410:43.56512:03.268+50.825
4Timmy Hansen/Catie MunningsAndretti United Extreme E411:21.60311:32.931+1:08.536
5Christine Giampaoli Zonca/Oliver BennettHispano Suiza XITE 413:09.03812:01.694+3:14.734
6Jenson Button/Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskyJBXE412:22.42614: 23.462+4:54.880
7Kyle LeDuc/Sara PriceSegi TV Chip Ganassi Racing213:33.674+2 laps
8Mattias Ekström/Claudia HürtgenAbt CUPRA XE14:42.210+3 laps
9Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie ChadwickVeloce Racing 0+4 laps
Current qualifying standing
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