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Marrakesh E-Prix: Vergne leads DS Techeetah 1-2 in practice

Jean-Eric Vergne led a DS Techeetah 1-2 in practice for the Marrakesh E-Prix, closing out a red flag-interrupted FP2 0.129s ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Vergne had opened the session with an immediate lap in the 1m20s, FP2 going without the phase of rapid track evolution that FP1 had with much of the circuit having not been used for nearly two years. Times then quickly moved into the 1m20s and beyond.

Da Costa quickly brought the session into the 1m19s, before Jaguar's Mitch Evans claimed a lap nearly half a second clear of the Portuguese driver after five minutes.

But just as the drivers were closing in on the best lap from FP1, Alexander Sims hit the wall on the exit of Turn 7 and brought out a red flag as his Mahindra was extricated off the road.

Five minutes was added back onto the run-time to make up for the red flag pause and, once the track was declared clear, reigning champion Nyck de Vries immediately bagged a 1m17.921s to set the fastest time of the weekend at that stage.

The Techeetah pair then returned to the front, with da Costa grabbing a 1m17.610s and Vergne setting a devilish 1m17.666s to slot into second.

But the two were beaten by a good lap from Pascal Wehrlein, who punched in a 1m17.518s, before the Porsche driver fell to Evans’ sword as the Kiwi went just under a tenth faster.

Techeetah had one final ace card up its sleeve however, with Vergne putting together a late flyer to bag a 1m17.278s to cement top spot, with da Costa following just over a tenth behind.

Evans had to be satisfied with third, while NIO 333’s Oliver Turvey was a scant 0.001s away from the Jaguar driver to claim the fourth-best lap.

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 Racing, NIO 333 001

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 Racing, NIO 333 001

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Wehrlein was fifth from Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi, who gets a three-place grid penalty for the race in Morocco following contact with de Vries in FP1.

As Friday’s session reached its conclusion, Buemi and de Vries’ incident at the final corner produced a yellow flag – ensuring nobody had the opportunity to topple Edoardo Mortara from the top of the FP1 timing board.

Mortara’s benchmark from FP1 was a 1m18.670s, as his Venturi team-mate Lucas di Grassi went 0.3s behind and briefly into second before Vergne then split the two on the timing boards moments later.

Sergio Sette Camara placed seventh in the FP2 times, before bringing out a yellow flag at Turn 7 which stopped a late flying lap from Nick Cassidy, while Andretti’s Oliver Askew ended the session in eighth – ahead of Sam Bird and di Grassi.

Marrakech E-Prix FP2 results

Marrakech E-Prix FP1 results

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