Formula E

Formula E: Jean-Eric Vergne wins 1st free practice in Misano, Günther & Mortara with problems

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

Jean-Eric-Vergne-car-on-track-misano-italy

DS Penske driver Jean-Eric Vergne won the first free practice session at the Misano E-Prix. In sunny temperatures, he set the fastest time of 1:17.546 minutes shortly before the end of the session on Friday afternoon, which no other Formula E driver was able to beat. However, Mahindra and Maserati had technical problems.

The second session of the weekend - a "0th free practice" for rookies had already taken place almost three hours earlier - started as usual: most of the drivers took to the track as soon as practice began, where the obligatory exercise of a full-course yellow was carried out after two minutes. The first timed lap came from Envision driver Robin Frijns, but he could only briefly enjoy his place in the sun. Pascal Wehrlein in the Porsche took the lead after six minutes.

What was already noticeable in the first few minutes: The drivers left the track with all four wheels at the apex and at the exit of the corners, sometimes by several metres, and used the asphalt areas next to the track almost completely. Jake Hughes in the McLaren braked before the chicane on the back straight and spun off through the gravel trap.

After ten minutes, double champion Jean-Eric Vergne led the timesheets, followed by Hughes and Stoffel Vandoorne. Meanwhile, race control announced an investigation into Nico Müller for excessive recuperation. The Mahindra works team also had problems: Nyck de Vries had only completed one installation lap, team-mate Edo Mortara had not even taken to the track and was sitting with his overalls and helmet with his engineers. Jordan King (in Mortara's car) had already complained about brake problems in rookie practice.

Max Günther stops twice

Stoffel Vandoorne also took advantage of the gravel trap to skip the chicane on the back straight. Shortly afterwards, Max Günther stopped in turn 12 with a technical problem, but was able to resume driving shortly afterwards. However, he only made it as far as the pit lane entrance, where he stopped again. He managed to get the Maserati driving again a second time.

Jake Hughes had meanwhile taken the lead, with Pascal Wehrlein in second place. Antonio Felix da Costa improved to third place. With a strong lap, Lucas di Grassi was now fourth, pushing the DS Penske duo down to fifth and sixth. Nyck de Vries had completed his first timed lap and was 19th, Mortara was still in the pits.

Then the times tumbled: Nick Cassidy and Pascal Wehrlein improved the fastest lap time up to that point by more than a whole second, shortly after which Frijns and Evans moved up to third and fourth place, while two more cars, Hughes and Jehan Daruvala, missed the chicane and drove through the gravel.

DS Penske strong in the end

Nick Cassidy and Jean-Eric Vergne were the first drivers to break the 1:18 minute barrier around five minutes before the end of the session. Nico Müller was a strong third, around 0.2 seconds behind. Almost all the drivers improved their lap times again during this phase and shook up the standings. Meanwhile, race control announced an investigation into Jehan Daruvala for an unspecified technical offence.

Sacha Fenestraz braked on his last timed lap and lost a lot of time, leaving him in 20th place. Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne fared much better: the DS Penske duo moved into the lead in the final seconds of the session and pushed Nick Cassidy into third place.

Daruvala finished a strong fourth ahead of Evans and Müller. Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Pascal Wehrlein and Sergio Sette Camara completed the top 10, while Mortara and Max Günther, who was plagued by problems, did not return to the track. The 2nd free practice session starts on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CEST).

Results & times

Overall standings (drivers & teams)

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