Monaco E-Prix – Maximilian Guenther put Maserati MSG, the home team, on top in practice as he beat Mitch Evans to the fastest time of the day.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the weekend for the Porsche powered cars – the TAG Heuer Porsche team and their customer Avalanche Andretti – the four cars missed most of the opening half of the session while a software issue with the regen system was fixed. The issue was caught when Andre Lotterer had a strange off at Mirabeau on his out lap, the German’s fronts locking despite the low speed, but he was able to turn the car into the runoff and avoid contact.
The McLarens were first out and Jake Hughes opened the timings in FP1 with a 1:43.815 and after the first ten minutes Stoffel Vandoorne had brought it down to a 1:33.297 and at that point none of the Porsche powered cars, or Mitch Evans who’d also had work being done on his car, had set times.
Everyone was improving at the end but it wasn’t a smooth end to the session for Lucas di Grassi though as the rear of his Mahindra locked up, causing him to spin and tag his front wing against the wall on the run to Sainte Devote. He was able to recover from the run off there and make his way back to the pits with his front wing scraping the track, he ended as the slowest of the session.
Evans ended FP1 on top with a 1:30.361, a tenth ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, while the Maserati MSG’s of Maximilian Guenther and Edoardo Mortara were P3 and P4 in the team’s home event.
An hour later the second practice of the day started and FP2 saw Dario Franchitti back in the comms box with Jack Nicholls for the first time this season. The two McLarens were once again the first to take to the track and Hughes started with a 1:43.429 but the times quickly dropped to the low 1:31s and after ten minutes, Evans was the only one into the 1:30s so far with a 1:30.784.
Just before the halfway point of the final practice Envision’s Sebastien Buemi was the first to drop below a ninety second lap with a 1:29.849 but he didn’t hold P1 for long as Sacha Fenestraz went 0.061 seconds faster in his Nissan.
Heading into the final few minutes it was Evans on top once again with a 1:29.584 but wasn’t able to complete a clean sweep of practices this morning as Guenther jumped him at the end with a 1:29.269 to go just 0.007 seconds faster than the Jaguar racer’s final effort.
Jake Dennis was P3 with a 1:29.413 while NIO 333’s Sergio Sette Camara slotted into P4. Vandoorne took P5 for DS Penske while Sam Bird’s 1:29.671 saw him into P6. Buemi took P7 ahead of Fenestraz while the top ten was rounded out by Vergne and Dan Ticktum. The fastest ten were all within 0.568 seconds of each other while, other than Oliver Rowland who was just over two seconds off Guenther’s effort, 21 drivers were all lapping within 1.526 seconds.