Rosberg X Racing wins Extreme E Desert X Prix

Electric racing

Rosberg X Racing claimed the first-ever Extreme E X Prix win in Saudi Arabia

Rosberg X Racing, 2021 Desert XPrix

Nico Rosberg's Extreme E team took victory in the inaugural Extreme E event


The billing was Nico Rosberg versus Lewis Hamilton once again but it was the former that took the first-ever Extreme E X Prix win in Saudi Arabia.

Drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor secured the lead of the championship after round one, with victory in the Grand Final race ahead of Andretti United XE and Team X44.

The best start went to Timmy Hansen of Andretti as the WRX champion was able to take the lead off the line by immediately using his Hyperdrive power boost.

Kristoffersson and Loeb went side-by-side behind though it the Rosberg driver claiming second position into Turn One.

Like the semi-final, Kristoffersson saved his party piece for the second corner.

Saving the Hyperdrive boost for the second phase at the start, he set up a switchback by shooting wide approaching the entry, cutting back underneath the Andretti car to claim the lead on corner exit.

Hansen then dropped back from the battle in the dust along with Loeb, falling to 20sec back with the X44 car a further 14 back by the halfway point in the lap.

As had been the theme all weekend, in clear air the leader stretched the gap as the pursuing duo had to back off, unsighted by the sand kicked up into the air.

It meant by the time the mandated driver swaps took place to switch to the female drivers, Molly Taylor had a 30sec buffer to work with in the final lap.

Hansen swapped out for Katie Munnings but used the 45sec minimum pit stop time to try and clean the windscreen of their ODYSSEY21 SUV to claw back as much time as possible.

Loeb was in no hurry to complete the X44 driver swap to Cristina Gutiérrez, well off the lead and second-place car and battling a potential steering issue.

The gap out front was far too much to overcome without a mistake from the Rosberg X Racing team, and Taylor kept things tidy to maintain the lead comfortably.

Munnings was quicker on the final lap but could only close the 30sec gap by around 10, and it wasn’t enough.

An onwatching Nico Rosberg a very happy team owner after taking the flag back at the team’s virtual pitwall.

Andretti picked up the second place while Gutiérrez closed out the opening event in third, nursing a wounded car back home.

Rosberg’s team head up the championship following the first event on 36 points while Team X44 will still consider the opening round a success, ending the weekend in second place on 30 points.

Andretti’s finals performance netted the team third in the standings on 28 points.