Formula E

Formula E in Sao Paulo: Sam Bird sets fastest time in 2nd free practice, Edo Mortara causes red flag

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

McLaren driver Sam Bird was the fastest in the 2nd Formula E free practice session in Sao Paulo. However, a red flag - triggered by a technical problem on Edo Mortara's Mahindra - meant that no driver was able to set a fast lap towards the end of the session. The top 5 were completed by Stoffel Vandoorne, Oliver Rowland, Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein.

The second free practice session began at 7.30am local time with a scary moment for Mitch Evans. His Jaguar apparently had a problem with the drive shaft, as the FP1 winner reported over the radio. He "crawled" around the track and returned to the pits, where the mechanics spent the next few minutes working on the right front suspension. The two customer Jaguars from Envision led the field after the first five minutes: Robin Frijns ahead of Sebastien Buemi.

Jaguar was once again the measure of all things in Brazil right from the start, as works driver Nick Cassidy emphasized. The world championship leader broke into the 1:13s and took first place. Nico Müller in the ABT Cupra was also fast and was in second place after the first third of the half-hour session. Edo Mortara braked at the end of the start/finish straight and had to skip the chicane. Max Günther then set the new fastest time.

At the halfway point of the session, Pascal Wehrlein took the lead, beating brand colleague Norman Nato in the Andretti. The Frenchman radioed that he had hit a "huge bump". The team should check his car. It was now Porsche's phase: Jake Dennis moved up to first place, Antonio Felix da Costa to third. This meant that after 18 minutes, the four Porsche cars were in the top four positions.

Frijns braked too late before turn 1 and also had to skip the chicane. He duly came to a brief stop before rejoining the track. On the same lap, he braked again at turn 9 and had to turn his Envision around in the run-off area! Meanwhile, Stoffel Vandoorne set the new fastest time, followed by Oliver Rowland in the Nissan. A little later, Sam Bird took the lead

Mortara's Mahindra gives up the ghost

Then Edo Mortara had a problem: The Mahindra driver initially braked in turn 1 and returned to the track. However, his car then lost propulsion. Mortara came to a halt on the track. Race control waved yellow flags for several minutes. However, as the Mahindra no longer "started", the session had to be interrupted with red flags with just over six minutes remaining. The clock continued to run.

After the Mahindra was towed away, the race continued with just a few seconds to go. However, this was no longer enough for potential improvements. The session was not extended. The order remained the same when the red flag was called: McLaren driver Bird won the second free practice session (1:12.773 minutes) ahead of Vandoorne and Rowland.

Qualifying for the Sao Paulo E-Prix will take place on Saturday afternoon at 13:40 (CET). The race starts early on Saturday evening at 18:00 (CET).

Results & times

Overall standings (drivers & teams)

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