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.
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.
|POS||Drivers||Team||Laps||Time 1||Time 2||Total|
|1||Sébastien Loeb/Cristina Gutiérrez||X44||4||10:48.067||11:07.931||21:55.998|
|2||Carlos Sainz/Laia Sanz||Acciona Sainz XE Team||4||11:16.231||11:20.864||+41.097|
|3||Johan Kristofferson/Molly Taylor||Rosberg X Racing||4||10:43.565||12:03.268||+50.825|
|4||Timmy Hansen/Catie Munnings||Andretti United Extreme E||4||11:21.603||11:32.931||+1:08.536|
|5||Christine Giampaoli Zonca/Oliver Bennett||Hispano Suiza XITE||4||13:09.038||12:01.694||+3:14.734|
|6||Jenson Button/Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky||JBXE||4||12:22.426||14: 23.462||+4:54.880|
|7||Kyle LeDuc/Sara Price||Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing||2||13:33.674||–||+2 laps|
|8||Mattias Ekström/Claudia Hürtgen||Abt CUPRA XE||1||4:42.210||–||+3 laps|
|9||Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie Chadwick||Veloce Racing||0||–||–||+4 laps|