Rome E-Prix: Vergne fastest in disrupted practice

Defending ABB FIA Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne set the fastest time for DS Techeetah in practice ahead of the Rome E-Prix after a disrupted second session.

Rome E-Prix: Vergne fastest in disrupted practice

Vergne stormed to the top with seconds remaining on the clock as drivers set about their fast laps inside the last few minutes following an early red flag, a full-course yellow and a yellow flag.

The red flag was caused by Dragon Racing's Jose Maria Lopez, who locked up and hit the wall at the tight Turn 17, damaging the front of his car and his right-front tyre.

Venturi's Felipe Massa then disrupted the session further after spinning on entry into the sweeping Turn 13 with a suspected driveshaft issue, and reported a loss of drive.

Initially, a yellow flag was called, allowing Envision Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns to go top with a 1m30.710s after the first session had three drivers lap inside the 1m29s barrier.

When the session returned green a spectacular lap by Jerome D'Ambrosio, capped by a sizeable jump at the Turn 8 bump, sent him to the top with a 1m30.545s lap.

Then a rotating cast of drivers took turns at the top slot, including BMW Andretti's Alexander Sims - after a slight touch with the wall at Turn 16 - and his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa.

Lucas di Grassi then spun his Audi machine in the final minutes, but it was not enough to prevent Vergne going top.

A flurry of improvements meant Da Costa was second ahead of Nissan e.dams' Sebastien Buemi who mustered third after an average second sector in the last minute.

That meant he nudged teammate Oliver Rowland in fourth after the British driver topped the uneventful first practice.

Fifth went the way of Jaguar's Mitch Evans ahead of Andre Lotterer and Sam Bird.

Sims would eventually end the session in eighth ahead of Abt and D'Ambrosio.

Jaguar debutant Alexander Lynn's first true experience on the Gen2 car came in practice and he finished both sessions in 21st.

Dragon's Maximilian Gunther is also returning to FE and was 20th in the first session before improving to 13th in the second.

FP1 results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland  Japan Nissan e.dams 1'29.738  
2 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne  China Techeetah 1'29.793 0.055
3 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi  Germany Team Abt 1'29.993 0.255
4 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'30.004 0.266
5 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi  Japan Nissan e.dams 1'30.068 0.330
6 66 Germany Daniel Abt  Germany Team Abt 1'30.142 0.404
7 28 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa  United States Andretti Autosport 1'30.258 0.520
8 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'30.338 0.600
9 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara  Monaco Venturi 1'30.399 0.661
10 94 Germany Pascal Wehrlein  India Mahindra Racing 1'30.463 0.725
11 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'30.501 0.763
12 7 Argentina Jose Maria Lopez  United States Dragon Racing 1'30.520 0.782
13 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  Germany HWA AG 1'30.560 0.822
14 36 Germany Andre Lotterer  China Techeetah 1'30.710 0.972
15 19 Brazil Felipe Massa  Monaco Venturi 1'30.765 1.027
16 27 United Kingdom Alexander Sims  United States Andretti Autosport 1'30.770 1.032
17 8 France Tom Dillmann  United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'30.817 1.079
18 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey  United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'30.840 1.102
19 17 United Kingdom Gary Paffett  Germany HWA AG 1'30.984 1.246
20 6 Germany Maximilian Gunther  United States Dragon Racing 1'31.060 1.322
21 3 United Kingdom Alex Lynn  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'31.479 1.741
22 64 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio  India Mahindra Racing 1'31.903 2.165

FP2 results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne  China Techeetah 1'29.370  
2 28 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa  United States Andretti Autosport 1'29.525 0.155
3 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi  Japan Nissan e.dams 1'29.526 0.156
4 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland  Japan Nissan e.dams 1'29.620 0.250
5 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'29.766 0.396
6 36 Germany Andre Lotterer  China Techeetah 1'29.824 0.454
7 2 United Kingdom Sam Bird  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'30.038 0.668
8 27 United Kingdom Alexander Sims  United States Andretti Autosport 1'30.381 1.011
9 66 Germany Daniel Abt  Germany Team Abt 1'30.544 1.174
10 64 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio  India Mahindra Racing 1'30.545 1.175
11 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara  Monaco Venturi 1'30.589 1.219
12 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  Germany HWA AG 1'30.678 1.308
13 6 Germany Maximilian Gunther  United States Dragon Racing 1'30.699 1.329
14 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns  United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'30.710 1.340
15 8 France Tom Dillmann  United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'30.907 1.537
16 17 United Kingdom Gary Paffett  Germany HWA AG 1'30.959 1.589
17 16 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey  United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'31.242 1.872
18 19 Brazil Felipe Massa  Monaco Venturi 1'31.650 2.280
19 94 Germany Pascal Wehrlein  India Mahindra Racing 1'31.812 2.442
20 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi  Germany Team Abt 1'33.179 3.809
21 3 United Kingdom Alex Lynn  United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'33.321 3.951
22 7 Argentina Jose Maria Lopez  United States Dragon Racing 1'45.722 16.352
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About this article

Series Formula E
Event Rome E-prix
Drivers Jean-Eric Vergne
Teams Techeetah
Author Tom Errington
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