DIRIYAH: Saudi Arabia’s Formula E races at Diriyah showcase the Kingdom’s ever-evolving sustainability efforts, according to top driver Jake Dennis from team Avalanche Andretti.
Dennis, who appeared recently on “The Mayman Show,” made his debut at the first-ever Diriyah E Prix in 2018, which he regards as the ideal location to host electric car racing.
“I think the cool thing with Formula E is we don’t just race countries just for the sake of it, you know. We don’t just choose a location to go, okay, we want to race there just because it’s cool. You know, every race we go to, there’s a reason. Saudi are obviously doing their best to try and promote sustainability,” he said.
This season’s debut of the Gen3 car is an example of the ongoing focus on protecting the planet and is likely to be the future of motorsport. “These cars are super-fast now, you know, the acceleration is the same as Formula One cars … We reach some serious top speeds of close to 300 kph.”
Dennis said that Saudi Arabia is shattering the stereotype of an oil-producing country. “So it’s great to see that, you know, even though, yes, they are known for oil and obviously bringing a lot from that. But it’s to try and promote sustainability. And I think a lot of countries need to lean more towards that as well.”
The driving prodigy from Nuneaton, England, who started competing at the age of 8, said his fondest moment was at the City of Earth Diriyah for his first E Prix. “It was actually here, because this was where they used to hold the first race of the year and … it’s my first one.”
Dennis said he was impressed with how Diriyah’s circuit has been developed over a short period and that it has now become a favorite with drivers. “I think the most standout thing of the circuit is just that it’s a night race, so it really makes these cars look alive. You know, it’s super fast through the mountain section.
“So just the circuit has such good flow, such good rhythm. And for the driver, that’s what makes a great circuit. And today, obviously, under the floodlights, it’s a very special feeling. And yes, I mean, I enjoy coming back here each year.”
Dennis said the most important moment for him as a driver was making his debut. “You’re in the garages at the moment and you drive to the grid and you’ve got that one lap to like, you know, get all your emotions out.
“And you really think, okay, I need to fully focus for this and give it my all, and then you’re set on the grid waiting for the lights to come on. Okay, this is it. Like I’ve made it. I now need to perform and do well, what I’ve been made to do.
“I think every racing driver has experienced that at least once in their life. And if their goal is always changing, then they’ll experience it a few times. But, you know, that main goal is just to make it as a professional, that that would be it. And something which, you know, I remember forever.”
Dennis made his debut in the 2020–21 Formula E World Championship driving for the BMW Andretti team. His first victory came in the second race of the 2021 Valencia E Prix, held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and a second win in the first race at the Excel Arena in London.