Formula E

Formula E in Portland: Felix da Costa sets fastest time in 2nd free practice, Collet sensationally fifth

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

Antonio-Felix-da-Costa-track-record-practice-portland

Antonio Felix da Costa has won the dress rehearsal for qualifying. The Porsche driver set the fastest time of 1:08.787 minutes in the second free practice session ahead of Norman Nato and Nick Cassidy, Jake Dennis and Caio Collet. Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz caused an interruption to practice with an accident.

As usual, all the cars immediately took to the track at the start of the session. Afterwards, however, different strategies emerged: Ten drivers went back into the pits without a timed lap and had their tyres changed. There was a tricky scene for Jake Hughes: The McLaren driver wanted to´ü43eräöü#e43r turn into the pits and almost collided with Jehan Daruvala, who was driving slowly in the last corner to keep his distance from the car in front. Race director Scot Elkins reminded all drivers and team bosses by radio that it was not permitted to drive slowly after turn 10 in order to leave a gap.

Mitch Evans braked in turn 10 and had to take a shortcut across the grass. The Jaguar briefly took off as he drove back over the kerb. A few minutes later, Sacha Fenestraz also drove over the grass in this corner, but lost control of his Nissan as he drove back onto the track. He hit the track barrier with the right-hand side of the car. Race control interrupted the session with a red flag. Fenestraz tried to bring the car back to the pits despite a broken front right suspension and dragged himself to the pit lane, where team mechanics jacked up the car and brought it back to the pits.

Robin Frijns was fastest at this point, ahead of his team-mate Sebastien Buemi, Max Günther and Nick Cassidy. After around five minutes race control allowed practice to continue and announced that the session would be extended by five minutes. Cassidy also left the track in turn 10, but was able to prevent an impact.

Felix da Costa with new track record

Antonio Felix da Costa took the lead towards the halfway point of the session. With a lap time of 1:08.877 minutes, he set a new track record. Nyck de Vries slid straight off in turn 12, but was able to prevent a crash. Max Günther also explored the green on the race track when he went straight in turn 10.

Felix da Costa managed to improve his lap time again, and Norman Nato also stayed under the 1:09 minute barrier. His team-mate Dennis moved up to fourth place behind Cassidy, meaning there were three Porsche drives in the top four positions. Dan Ticktum, meanwhile, improved to fifth place.

The race organisers decided shortly afterwards to caution several drivers for unnecessarily slow driving: In addition to the two Mahindra drivers de Vries and Mortara, ABT Cupra driver Nico Müller was also affected. Meanwhile, the Nissan mechanics worked on Sacha Fenestraz's car, but were unable to get the car ready to drive again before the end of the session.

Just before the end of the session, Rowland's replacement Caio Collet sensationally moved up to fifth place. Apart from that, however, there were no more shifts at the front of the field. Felix da Costa therefore won the session ahead of Nato, Cassidy, Dennis and Collet.

Next on the agenda for the 22 drivers in the electric series is qualifying, which starts at 18:40 CEST.

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