Rome E-Prix – Nelson Piquet Jr put his Jaguar at the top of the timesheets in FP1 for the inaugural Formula E race in Rome.
Piquet took an early one second advantage over the rest of the field with a 1:37.212. His team mate Mitch Evans usurped him by two tenths of a second, a slot into which Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer fit in before Piquet retook first place with a 1:36.134.
DS Virgin’s Sam Bird was second by 0.081s. His team mate Alex Lynn ended the session early with a crash at Turn 1, going nose-first into the barriers and bringing out the red flags which prematurely ended the session. Lynn was tenth fastest.
Piquet made a similar mistake earlier in the session, but was able to stop his car before doing damage to his car.
Evans was third fastest in the session, half a second away from Piquet, ahead of championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne. The Techeetah driver ran straight on at the two 90 degree corners of Turns 6 and 14 after struggling with front locking.
Team mate Andre Lotterer also struggling, having to take to the run-off area at the Turn 13 hairpin. He ended the session sixth behind Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi.
Championship challenger Felix Rosenqvist was seventh quickest, also coming a cropper at Turn 6, ahead of Jerome D’Ambrosio for Dragon, and reigning champion Lucas di Grassi.
The two Venturis of Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara were 16th and 17th respectively, ahead of local favourite Luca Filippi who’s start to the session was delayed by a radio issue.
The two Andrettis of Antonio Felix da Costa and Tom Blomqvist filled the final two spots.