Formula EPractice report

da Costa leads Massa in Mexico FE practice

Antonio Felix da Costa was quickest for BMW Andretti in practice ahead of the Mexico City Formula E race as drivers broke the one-minute mark.

The Ad Diriyah race winner set a time of 58.963 seconds to top second practice around FE’s unique configuration of the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez, going 0.175s clear of Venturi’s Felipe Massa in second.

Da Costa also led much of first practice before a flurry of 250kW qualifying runs dropped him to eighth by the end of the session.

2015/16 champion Sebastien Buemi was third quickest for Nissan e.dams, 0.285s off the BMW, ahead of Marrakesh winner Jerome d’Ambrosio. Both he and his Mahindra team-mate rookie Pascal Wehrlein struggled for pace in FP1, with Wehrlein also suffering brake issues during the session.

Championship leader Sam Bird missed the first corner on his first hot lap in FP2 but finished the session fifth after being blocked in the third sector on his final full power run.

Jose Maria Lopez was sixth fastest for Geox Dragon. His new team-mate reigning IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar champion Felipe Nasr was only 0.2s off Lopez in FP1 but was unable to complete a hot lap in the subsequent session.

Oliver Rowland was seventh in the second Nissan ahead of Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet with the two Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler cars of 2016/17 champion Lucas di Grassi and last season’s Mexico City winner Daniel Abt.

Abt topped FP1, which featured several driver errors particularly from the Virgin of Robin Frijns. While the Dutchman was setting fastest lap times, he had an off at Turn 1 and later spun under braking for the chicane at Turns 3 and 4. He also caught a big moment of oversteer after hitting the Turn 8 kerb as he aimed to activate his Attack Mode.

Both DS Techeetahs also struggled. Andre Lotterer had significant issues with locking his brakes while reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne described the car as “undriveable” on the team radio. Vergne only managed 12th in FP2.

Oliver Turvey lost time in FP2 after hitting the inside barriers with his front-left tyre at the final chicane, causing suspension damage. He managed to set the fifth fastest time in FP1 however.

Edoardo Mortara was second in FP1 but did not put in a proper full power run in FP2, nor did Alexander Sims who was third in the first session.

Click here to see the session results.

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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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