Puebla E-Prix – Oliver Rowland has topped both practice sessions ahead of Formula E’s first qualifying session at the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed.
Despite hitting the wall during the session Rowland kept his best time for last, posting a 1:23.861 lap at the very end of the practice for Nissan e.dams. The British driver was 0.268 seconds clear at the top of the timesheets with reigning champion, Antonio Felix da Costa, having to settle for second in his DS Techeetah.
Jean-Eric Vergne was third with a best of 1:23.299 while Mahindra’s Alex Lynn slotted into fourth just over a tenth and a half slower. Edoardo Mortara was quick in both sessions but ended FP2 in fifth for Rockit Venturi, one hundredth ahead of the quickest factory Mercedes EQ, Nyck de Vries.
Rookie and Valencia race two winner, Jake Dennis, brought his BMW i Andretti round the new Puebla track in 1:23.544 which sees him seventh while Mitch Evans was the lone Jaguar in the top ten, sitting eighth, 0.709 seconds off Rowland’s pace.
The second Mercedes, of Stoffel Vandoorne, ended ninth while championship leader, Robin Frijns, was tenth with a 1:23.791 for Envision Virgin Racing.
There was a lengthy red flag period during the first practice session when Alexander Sims’ Mahindra stopped out on track. Sims said the rear wheels seized up on his car which the team weren’t too sure what the cause was but thought it might be battery related. That meant the Brit only got a few laps around the track and then had to sit out most of the second session as McLaren requested they change the battery and a new powertrain was put in as a precaution too.
Sims’ red flag was welcomed by Techeetah however as Jean-Eric Vergne’s car was having a powertrain change at the start of the session and while the mechanics made quick work of it, the session suspension meant that Vergne only missed the initial few minutes.