Formula E in Rome: Mitch Evans also tops Free Practice 3, sets new track record
Mitch Evans has also won the third and final Free Practice of Formula E in Rome. The Jaguar driver and previous day's winner improved his own track record, beating Envision and Maserati driver sSebastien Buemi and Max Günther. Nick Cassidy finished fifth just ahead of title rival Jake Dennis, with Pascal Wehrlein taking eighth. Mahindra experienced another low point.
The only practice session on Sunday began with good news: After the costly pile-up the previous day, all teams had completed their repair work in time. Thus (almost) all 22 drivers could participate in FP3. Only Sacha Fenestraz remained in the garage due to an apparent technical problem unrelated to the crash. As on Saturday, there were yellow flags early on in turn 7. The first "culprit" was Edo Mortara, who misjudged the left-hand bend and brushed the TecPro barrier lightly. He put the car in reverse and continued on his way.
In the first half of the 30-minute session, it was again Mitch Evans who set the pace. However, the times were still some way off the track record. Max Günther and Nick Cassidy lined up behind the Jaguar driver. At the halfway point, Rene Rast set the fastest time. Then Pascal Wehrlein, Sebastien Buemi and Jake Dennis also showed their potential. Roberto Merhi went too fast into the chicane and slid sideways into the TecPro barrier in turn 13, but was able to continue. His teammate Lucas di Grassi also stopped just after turn 16.
The next low point of the session also belonged to Mahindra: This time it was Merhi again, who locked the wheels in turn 4 and had to turn around in the run-off zone: A situation apparently related to software issues, that have been seen quite often with the Mahindra cars this season. Günther then turned up the heat and set a lap time of 1:38.409 minutes. Evans, however, was able to counter: The "Kiwi" was almost seven tenths of a second (!) faster, setting a new track record. McLaren driver Rast outbraked himself before turn 12 and had to cut the chicane short.
Evans dominates at will
The final five minutes dawned - with improvements from Dennis and Dan Ticktum, who moved up to positions 2 and 3. Then Sebastien Buemi turned the fastest lap. Nissan, meanwhile, finally gave up on being able to send Fenestraz out on track. Apparently there was a software problem with his car, as there had been on Saturday. In the last seconds, there were still numerous improvements.
As time expired, Evans once again pushed the lap record down (1:37.561 minutes), securing the next session win in Rome. Buemi remained second, albeit with an identical time to Günther, who had started his lap later, however. Antonio Felix da Costa and Nick Cassidy completed the top 5. Remarkably, both Mahindra drivers were more than 2.6 seconds off the top in the end - another low point for the Indian squad.
Qualifying for the second race of the Hankook Rome E-Prix will take place on Sunday morning at 10:40 am (CEST). We will be on site for you and accompany the session as usual with our reporting.