Nico Prost ended fastest as the e.Dams Renault team dominated the times at the end of the first practice session at the Monaco ePrix.
The teams headed out in order to get experience of the new track. While many of the drivers have competed at Monaco before, only Jarno Trulli had won at the track before in Formula 1, albeit on the full layout. This seemed to be of little consolation for him, as a poor session resulted in him down near the back of the grid, finishing nineteenth.
The e.Dams team were first onto the track and set competitive times, but it was the last race winner, Nelson Piquet Jr. who took control of the session at the start. Strong running from both of the Virgin Racing and Dragon Racing cars saw them also at the top of the timings after 15 minutes of running.
Many of the drivers also found it hard to get any free space on the track. One of the main features of Monaco is its narrow track and this proved to be a problem for those on quick laps. Many were held up meaning that they were not able to make the most of the time.
With 20 minutes left to run, it was Jerome d’Ambrosio who lead the session from Sebastien Buemi and Piquet. Despite being quick towards the start of the session, Sam Bird found himself slipping back, problems for the car saw him stop on track, but he soon got it going after making it go through a power cycle, meaning a red flag was not needed. Bird is going for a unique hat-trick this weekend, having previously won races in Monaco in both Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 in the past.
Charles Pic was the first to put his car up to full power and broke into the 55 second mark, being 0.8 faster than his closest competitor. This meant the cars still on practice runs could only achieve second place, which Lucas di Grassi soon set. However; his time at the top was short lived as Jaime Alguersuari beat the Brazilian driver.
After Pic, the e.Dams team finally found some speed, managing to go first and second with Prost and Buemi respectively. There time was over a second faster than Pic’s and proved the e.Dams would be the team to beat this weekend. However; no true competitor was seen as none of the other teams tested the car at full power.
While the quick times died off in the final few minutes, it was Alguersuari who was hindered by traffic, allowing, Prost to end the session fastest, despite having never raced in Monaco. While behind the top three, Antonio Felix da Costa was the fastest of the non-qualifying run drivers.