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Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E called its delayed 2021 curtain-raiser the 'Diriyah E-Prix'. But labelling the double-header night races on the Riyadh Street Circuit as 'Motorsport's Greatest Hits: Volume One' better reflects events. Mercedes domination, an already vintage overtake, a victorious Sam Bird extending a record, champion team-mates clashing, two terrifying crashes, attempted fisticuffs and a heap of sporting and political controversy all played out in Saudi Arabia.

The championship employed its usual razzmatazz to emphasise the unpredictability that looks set to ensue this term, with 10 teams eminently capable of winning a race. However, come the bitterly cold media pen session on Friday night, drivers were already batting away premature questions asking if Merc's recent grip on F1 was ready to be transposed to FE.

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