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London E-Prix: FP1 Overview

Written by Olivia Hartley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credit: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

The London EPrix kicks off, with as many as four championship contenders heading into the first practice session of the Formula E season finale. Weather conditions promised an interesting session, as a few drops of rain began to fall. This is particularly challenging to tackle at this circuit, as the drivers start the lap indoors on a bone dry track, before heading outside to take the roads around London’s ExCel Arena in the wet. The London ExCel circuit is also one of the most physically demanding on the calendar; These cars don’t have power steering, so a lot of upper body strength is required to wrestle the cars around the ExCel’s tight turns.

The chicane immediately posed problems, as McLaren driver Jake Hughes struggled with braking, and took to the slip road. Maserati’s Maximilian Guenther quickly followed suit.

Jaguar power dominated throughout the earlier part of the session, as Mitch Evans started at the top of the time sheet, followed by the two Jaguar-powered Envisions. Envision driver Buemi then went to the top, with the first lap in the 1m11s, before teammate and current championship runner-up, Nick Cassidy, took his place at the top.

Later, both Nissans took over, before Buemi split Nato and Fenestraz right at the flag. The top three were the only drivers to break into the 1m10s barrier. Nato went quickest with a 1m10.765s, with Buemi just six thousandths off his best. Guenther followed Fenestraz in fourth and Evans rounded out the top five. This means that Evans finished the highest of the title four, with Cassidy and Wehrlein eighth and ninth.

Current championship leader, Jake Dennis, finished FP1 in 11th, and six tenths of the best. However, Andretti have been known to turn a car around overnight, so they’ve got tonight to look at the data, and bring all they’ve got to the track tomorrow.

Free Practice 2 kicks off the penultimate race day of the season tomorrow, at 10:30am local time, providing teams and drivers one last chance to carry out any necessary tests, before qualifying at 12:40 pm BST, and the race, scheduled to begin at 17:03 BST. Will Nissan be able to carry over their pace to race day, and can Andretti find a quick fix overnight for their provisional champion? The answers to both these questions will be known tomorrow, when the cars take to the track once again.


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