Nyck de Vries made a winning start to the 2021 Formula E world championship season, claiming his maiden victory in the all-electric series in the opening race of the Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia.

The Mercedes driver turned in a faultless drive as he got off his campaign to the perfect start by winning Formula E’s first-ever night race with a commanding lights-to-flag performance.

It has been a dominant start to the first weekend of the new season, with de Vries setting the pace in both practice sessions, scoring his first pole, and going on to successfully convert that into his maiden win.

de Vries had to contest with two Safety Car periods and attacks from his rivals en route to victory, but he ultimately crossed the line with a comfortable four-second margin over Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, who pulled off an audacious double-overtake on his way to second.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans completed the podium after surging past Rene Rast’s Audi late on, while Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein slipped back to fifth place having ran in second during the early stages.

Oliver Rowland rose from 10th on the grid to finish sixth, ahead of new Mahindra signing Alexander Sims and Stoffel Vandoorne, who recovered from a lowly starting position of 15th to take eighth in the second Mercedes.

Lucas di Grassi was ninth for Audi, while Oliver Turvey rounded out the top 10 to score his first points for the NIO squad in two years.

It was a point-less start to the season for reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa and DS Techeetah, who endured a difficult opening day with da Costa only 11th and Jean-Eric Vergne down in 15th.

Sam Bird endured a frustrating start to life at Jaguar, with the Briton involved in an accident with Alex Lynn when the Mahindra driver shut the door on Bird as he attempted to pull off an overtake into Turn 1. 

Both drivers retired from the race with damage, joining Max Gunther on the sidelines, with the BMW racer suffering a heavy crash as he clouted the Turn 2 barriers and was eliminated on the spot.

The Diriyah E-Prix continues on Saturday with a further qualifying session ahead of the second race of the season, which takes place at 5pm UK time.