Formula E

Formula E: Mitch Evans wins 1st free practice in Monaco, Sam Bird crashes

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz


Mitch Evans set the fastest lap time in the first free practice session for the Monaco E-Prix. The Jaguar driver lapped the Circuit de Monaco in 1:30.414 minutes, relegating Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy to the following positions. McLaren driver Sam Bird caused a moment of shock with an accident and a detached advertising banner briefly interrupted the session.

All 22 drivers took to the track, which was still damp in places after Friday's rain, when the green lights came on. After two minutes, there was the obligatory full-course yellow exercise, which the race director carries out in every first free practice session. The first fastest time came from Lucas di Grassi, who was still more than 20 seconds off the track record from the previous year. However, the lap times got faster from lap to lap.

After ten minutes, Nick Cassidy led ahead of Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne. Sergio Sette Camara, on the other hand, had not yet set a meaningful lap time, and the Brazilian was also in the pits. He complained on the radio about a technical problem with his drive system.

As there was a torn-off advertising banner in the middle of the track after the casino corner, race control interrupted the practice session with the red flag. Evans was in the lead ahead of Robin Frijns and Sebastien Buemi, a three-way lead for Jaguar drives. After an interruption of around five minutes, the session was restarted. Sette Camara also returned to the track, but complained on the radio that he had no braking effect on the front engine.

Sam Bird crashes

Yellow flags in turn 1: Sam Bird had driven straight ahead at the end of the start-finish straight and crashed into the track barrier. The replay showed that the McLaren driver had locked both front tyres and slid straight ahead. However, as he apparently left the track with a clear excess of speed, a technical problem was a conceivable cause. The car was recovered shortly afterwards and the yellow flags were cancelled.

Race control announced that there would be no extension of the practice session due to the red flag. The lap times tumbled in the final minutes: The track was now completely dry, plus the drivers were now doing their 350-kW laps. Evans was the first driver to beat the 1:31-minute mark. Oliver Rowland skidded straight off in the hairpin, and yellow flags were briefly waved again. As a result, several drivers had to abort their qualifying simulations.

In the final seconds, Evans improved his lap time again and Robin Frijns moved up to second place ahead of Nick Cassidy and Jake Hughes. However, the gaps were relatively large by Formula E standards: Hughes was already 0.931 seconds off the best time. The good positions of the Mahindra drivers were striking: Edo Mortara and Nyck de Vries were 7th and 8th, while Bird and Sette Camara, who was more than 11.6 seconds off the fastest lap time, were at the back of the field.

Results & lap times

Championship standings (drivers & teams)

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