Oliver Rowland topped the opening Formula E practice session of the year at the Diriyah E-Prix as reigning champion Nyck de Vries prematurely ended his session after hitting the barriers.
Just over five minutes into the session, which is 30 minutes long instead of the previous 45 this season, Vries lost control of his Mercedes EQ over the bumps through the Turn 2/3 kinks and clipped the wall at Turn 4.
The damage he sustained from that contact forced him to pull his car off the track and he didn’t re-join the session.
“It was such a small and silly error and it was a light touch that’s all,” de Vries told The Race’s Sam Smith. “I’ve got some work to do now.”
Not the start the reigning World Champion would have hoped for…
20 minutes of the session remain after @nyckdevries parks his car off the track with suspension damage
Live timings for FP1 here 👉 https://t.co/NqfsxKCucu
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) January 27, 2022
It means de Vries will only have the 30-minute second practice session to prepare for the first qualifying session of the year.
On his first weekend since switching from Nissan to Mahindra, Yorkshireman Rowland was quickest in FP1, beating 2019-20 champion da Costa by 0.158s with a last-minute effort.
Rowland topped the session on a 1m10.559s, well over two seconds slower than last year’s pole position laps as the drivers struggled for grip on the dusty Diriyah circuit.
Da Costa was second fastest ahead of Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis and his DS Techeetah team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans rounded out the top five ahead of Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and the leading Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein.
Former title adversaries Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi were eighth- and ninth-quickest, with the latter completing his first official session for his new Venturi team following Audi’s exit.
The top 10 was rounded out by Envision’s Nick Cassidy, while Dan Ticktum was the quickest of the rookie trio for NIO 333 in 13th place.
Formula 1 convert Antonio Giovinazzi and Andretti’s Oliver Askew were the two slowest drivers to set a representative time in 20th and 21st, with de Vries at the bottom of the timesheets.
Practice 1 Results
|Pos||Name||Team||Car||Gap Next||Gap Leader||Best Time|
|1||Oliver Rowland||Mahindra Racing||Mahindra M7Electro||1m10.559s|
|2||António Félix da Costa||DS Techeetah||DS E-Tense FE21||+0.158s||+0.158s||1m10.717s|
|3||Jake Dennis||Avalanche Andretti||BMW iFE.021||+0.022s||+0.18s||1m10.739s|
|4||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Techeetah||DS E-Tense FE21||+0.005s||+0.185s||1m10.744s|
|5||Mitch Evans||Jaguar TCS Racing||Jaguar I-TYPE 5||+0.32s||+0.505s||1m11.064s|
|6||Edoardo Mortara||RokIt Venturi Racing||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||+0.016s||+0.521s||1m11.08s|
|7||Pascal Wehrlein||TAG Heuer Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric||+0.059s||+0.58s||1m11.139s|
|8||Sébastien Buemi||Nissan e.Dams||Nissan IM03||+0.06s||+0.64s||1m11.199s|
|9||Lucas Di Grassi||RokIt Venturi Racing||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||+0.034s||+0.674s||1m11.233s|
|10||Nick Cassidy||Envision Racing||Audi e-tron FE07||+0.096s||+0.77s||1m11.329s|
|11||André Lotterer||TAG Heuer Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric||+0.071s||+0.841s||1m11.4s|
|12||Alexander Sims||Mahindra Racing||Mahindra M7Electro||+0.061s||+0.902s||1m11.461s|
|13||Daniel Ticktum||Nio 333 Racing||NIO 333 001||+0.017s||+0.919s||1m11.478s|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||Mercedes-Benz EQ||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||+0.132s||+1.051s||1m11.61s|
|15||Robin Frijns||Envision Racing||Audi e-tron FE07||+0.03s||+1.081s||1m11.64s|
|16||Sam Bird||Jaguar TCS Racing||Jaguar I-TYPE 5||+0.111s||+1.192s||1m11.751s|
|17||Maximilian Günther||Nissan e.Dams||Nissan IM03||+0.17s||+1.362s||1m11.921s|
|18||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Dragon / Penske Autosport||Penske EV-5||+0.034s||+1.396s||1m11.955s|
|19||Oliver Turvey||Nio 333 Racing||NIO 333 001||+0.406s||+1.802s||1m12.361s|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Dragon / Penske Autosport||Penske EV-5||+0.081s||+1.883s||1m12.442s|
|21||Oliver Askew||Avalanche Andretti||BMW iFE.021||+0.226s||+2.109s||1m12.668s|
|22||Nyck de Vries||Mercedes-Benz EQ||Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02||+27.485s||+29.594s||1m40.153s|