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Both Formula E practice sessions cancelled

Ad Diriyah E-Prix – Both free practice sessions for the opening round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship have been cancelled due to heavy rain.

An overnight thunderstorm meant the track was flooded when the first session was due to get underway at 7am local time. The start time was delayed and the session was eventually cancelled and FP2 was extended to one hour in order to compensate for the loss of track time.

Despite improvements in conditions due to the undulating nature of the circuit certain parts of the circuit are flooded. Turns 9, 10 and 11 are the lowest points of the circuit where the water is collecting in a pool off the racing line but has raised enough concern to cause further delays to start of FP2 before the session was also cancelled.

Originally FP2 was due to start at 9.05am local time, with qualifying to start at 10.50am.

The race control car explored conditions before sending pumps to the most afflicted corners to drain the water.

It is not yet known whether qualifying will also be affected or if the format will be altered from the traditional group format so everybody gets the same track conditions.

Reigning series champion Jean-Eric Vergne was heard on the world feed suggesting a combined practice and qualifying session at the reduced power of 200kW as opposed to the traditional group qualifying format to allow everyone to qualify on the same track conditions.

Qualifying for the inaugural Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy, which was due to start at 7.55am, was also cancelled with the grid eventually being set by Friday’s practice times.

The next update will come at 9.30am local time.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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