Nico Rosberg’s team won the inaugural Extreme E weekend by triumphing in the Desert X Prix’s final on Sunday.
The new all-electric motorsport format focused on sustainability, which started with time trials on Saturday and then continued with semi-final heats on Sunday morning, saw the respective teams owned by former F1 rivals Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton joined by Andretti United in the grand final.
Amid the challenging desert conditions of sand and rock, Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson, a three-time World Rallycross champion, claimed the lead with a switchback into Turn One from a fast-starting Andretti United car of Timmy Hansen.
After the mandatory driver switchover at the end of the first lap, team-mate Molly Taylor comfortably held the position through the second 9km tour to secure the maiden win for Rosberg and his team by 23.73s over the Andretti United Team and 1m38s over the Lewis Hamilton team.
Hamilton’s X44 team finished third, with nine-time Rally champion Sebastien Loeb losing ground at the start.
“It’s insane,” said 2016 F1 champion, Sky Sports pundit and now Extreme E team owner Rosberg, who has been in attendance in Saudi Arabia.
“Just so thankful for the whole effort the team did this weekend. We have worked together so well and specifically Molly and Johan, what phenomenal driving they have done all weekend. It has been such tough conditions and they have not a foot wrong.
Sunday morning also featured a ‘Shootout’ race featuring the slowest teams from qualifying, from which championship points were available but not qualification for the final.
That race produced the second day’s big incident when the only two participants collided on the second and final lap. Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Leduc had been unsighted in the dust as he fast-caught Claudia Hurgten’s and slammed into the back of the ABT Cupra SUV.
On Saturday, Hurgten had had a huge accident when her SUV barrel-rolled twice.
— Nico Rosberg (@NicoRosberg) April 4, 2021
|Pos||No.||Team||Male Driver||Female Driver||Time||Behind||Gap|
|1||6||Rosberg X Racing RXR||Johan KRISTOFFERSSON||Molly TAYLOR||6m38.862||–||–|
|2||23||Andretti United Extreme E||Timmy HANSEN||Catie MUNNINGS||6m28.850||+23.736||+23.736|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton X44||Sébastien LOEB||Cristina GUTIÉRREZ||7m09.948||+1m38.098||+1m14.362|