Sam Bird and Robin Frijns were quickest in the two practice sessions for Envision Virgin Racing going into the first qualifying session of the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Although none of the drivers set their best times on full power in the opening session, Frijns was fastest ahead of Nico Müller in the GEOX Dragon.
A couple of red flags halted the session. The first was due to Ma Qing Hua damaging the front end of his NIO 333, which saw him stopping out on track. A ten-minute stoppage was required before the cars were able to return to the circuit.
A number of drivers had spells of being at the top of the timing pages including Oliver Rowland, Mitch Evans and Sam Bird.
The second red flag came when Brendon Hartley, who is one of four debutants in the field, hit the outside barrier of Turn Six and breaking his left-rear suspension.
There was seven minutes left in the session before the drivers had another go of improving their times. Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne demonstrated some decent pace in the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E cars, which could be two drivers in particular to look out for later in qualifying.
However, in the end, it was Frijns who was quickest in Practice One but by no means were the times representative at this stage, as traffic was a huge issue at the Ad Diriyah track.
2019 Diriyah e-Prix - Race 1: Practice 1 Classification
|1||4||Robin Frijns||NED||Envision Virgin Racing||1:16.137|
|2||7||Nico Müller||SWI||GEOX Dragon||+1.264|
|3||2||Sam Bird||GBR||Envision Virgin Racing||+1.424|
|4||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||+1.556|
|5||23||Sébastien Buemi||SWI||Nissan e.dams||+1.710|
|6||13||António Félix da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||+1.859|
|7||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||+2.210|
|8||66||Daniel Abt||GER||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+2.269|
|9||17||Nyck de Vries||NED||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||+2.289|
|10||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRA||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+2.304|
|11||64||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||BEL||Mahindra Racing||+2.444|
|12||19||Felipe Massa||BRA||Venturi Racing||+2.481|
|13||48||Edoardo Mortara||SWI||Venturi Racing||+2.612|
|14||27||Alexander Sims||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+2.702|
|15||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche||+2.736|
|16||3||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333||+3.048|
|17||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||+3.173|
|18||18||Neel Jani||SWI||TAG Heuer Porsche||+3.190|
|19||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.dams||+3.908|
|20||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+4.166|
|21||51||James Calado||GBR||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||+4.564|
|22||6||Brendon Hartley||NZL||GEOX Dragon||+5.399|
|23||33||Ma Qing Hua||CHI||NIO 333||No Time|
|24||94||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||Mahindra Racing||No Time|
The second session saw a five-minute delay due to track works being done. When the session did get underway, the first four minutes were under Full Course Yellow conditions.
Afterwards, DS Techeetah were beginning to show their true pace, as Jean-Éric Vergne and António Félix da Costa were one and two with fifteen minutes of the session remaining.
An incident occurred though involving James Calado, who was trying to pass the slowing Daniel Abt on a flying lap. The rookie clouted the barrier at the penultimate corner and damaging his left-rear but was able to crawl back to the pits for a replacement.
After Rowland, Buemi and Edoardo Mortara inherited first position, Sam Bird topped the table on a 1:14.353 on full power ahead of da Costa going into qualifying that begins at 08:00 GMT.
2019 Diriyah e-Prix - Race 1: Practice 2 Classification
|1||2||Sam Bird||GBR||Envision Virgin Racing||1:14.353|
|2||13||António Félix da Costa||POR||DS Techeetah||+0.794|
|3||48||Edoardo Mortara||SWI||Venturi Racing||+0.949|
|4||23||Sébastien Buemi||SWI||Nissan e.dams||+0.976|
|5||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Nissan e.dams||+1.077|
|6||66||Daniel Abt||GER||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+1.093|
|7||64||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||BEL||Mahindra Racing||+1.225|
|8||4||Robin Frijns||NED||Envision Virgin Racing||+1.471|
|9||36||André Lotterer||GER||TAG Heuer Porsche||+1.608|
|10||94||Pascal Wehrlein||GER||Mahindra Racing||+1.609|
|11||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||FRA||DS Techeetah||+1.666|
|12||19||Felipe Massa||BRA||Venturi Racing||+1.813|
|13||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRA||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||+2.229|
|14||27||Alexander Sims||GBR||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+2.256|
|15||20||Mitch Evans||NZL||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||+2.412|
|16||28||Maximilian Günther||GER||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||+2.518|
|17||7||Nico Müller||SWI||GEOX Dragon||+2.566|
|18||3||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NIO 333||+2.766|
|19||5||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||+2.987|
|20||18||Neel Jani||SWI||TAG Heuer Porsche||+3.121|
|21||17||Nyck de Vries||BEL||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||+3.645|
|22||51||James Calado||GBR||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||+5.490|
|23||33||Ma Qing Hua||CHI||NIO 333||+10.477|
|24||6||Brendon Hartley||NZL||GEOX Dragon||No Time|