Formula E

Formula E in Portland: Norman Nato wins 1st free practice, many trips "into the green"

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz


Norman Nato won the first free practice session in Portland. The Andretti driver lapped the circuit with a best time of 1:09.079 minutes, relegating Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy to second and third place. Several Formula E drivers went off track on the fast circuit and had to drive through the large run-off areas of Portland International Raceway.

When the green light came on, all the drivers took to the track. Shortly afterwards, the obligatory full-course yellow practice took place - Norman Nato was subsequently under investigation for allegedly breaking the 50 km/h speed limit. Shortly afterwards, his team-mate Jake Dennis hit the brakes in the chicane at the end of the start-finish straight and had to drive through the run-off area. Sacha Fenestraz was also late with his braking point, but got through the chicane by driving hard over the kerbs.

Yellow flags were shown in turn 10 - but this was only due to a technical error. After ten minutes, Nick Cassidy led the timesheets ahead of his team-mate Mitch Evans and Nissan driver Sacha Fenestraz. Strikingly, the four Stellantis-powered cars (DS Penske and Maserati) practised driving in a pack.

Norman Nato took the lead shortly afterwards. His lap time of 1:09.079 minutes made him the first driver to come close to last year's track record: team-mate Dennis had needed 1:08.919 minutes in the semi-final of qualifying. Ten minutes before the end of the session, Nato was followed by Antonio Felix da Costa and Nyck de Vries.

Trips to the run-off zone at turn 12 by Sergio Sette Camara and Jehan Daruvala resulted in another yellow flag. The Brazilian in ERT service in particular caused a memorable scene: he used a tarmac path to get back onto the track, which led him behind barriers across a drag racing track back to the start-finish straight.

In the final minutes, various drivers improved their lap times once again: the Jaguar duo of Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy moved up to second and third positions. However, no driver was able to match Norman Nato's lap time. At the back of the field were both Nissan and Envision drivers, who trailed the field by a considerable margin.

The second free practice session will take place on Saturday at 16:30 CEST. Qualifying for the fourth-last race of the season starts a good two hours later.

Results & lap times

Championship standings (drivers & teams)

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