For Andretti United driver Timmy Hansen, his Extreme E rivals voted for him and his teammate Catie Munnings to start the Saudi Arabian final on pole because they had “underdog” status in the xPrix.
Extreme E has incorporated an element of “Grid Play” that allows the public to vote for the team they want to start the last race from pole position. For teams that do not advance to the final, they can transfer their voting percentage to one of the three qualified teams.
Such was the case with the first final in competition history with Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team the clear winner of the fan vote, with Rosberg X Racing gaining the second highest support.
Andretti United were behind, however, the squad moved up positions thanks to the support of Jenson Button’s JBXE team and Carlos Sainz Sr.’s Acciona Sainz.
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“We were handed a lot of the votes from the other teams, so I’m really thankful that they did that. None of the other teams want any team to run away in the championship (on scoring). So, I think it is really that we were the underdogs,” Hansen said.
Hansen took an early lead before Johan Kristoffersson passed him in the race to the first corner and although with the driver change Munnings closed the gap with Kristoffersson’s teammate Molly Taylor, she finally finished 24 seconds behind.
Hansen went on to say that Extreme E’s inaugural event had “exceeded any expectations” he had.
“I’m excited to see where this is going to take off to. This championship has an incredibly bright future,” he said.
Written by | Gabriel Sayago