FE Tokyo E-Prix | FP1 Report: Frijns leads fragmented session

Photo credits: Envision Racing
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It’s time for the drivers to have their first taste of the new track, as FP1 goes green in Tokyo. There had been concerns earlier on whether the session was going to happen or not due to a heavy storm hitting the track, but now the sun is shining in Japan as all the drivers roll out on track.

Many teams are sporting a peculiar livery for this round, featuring the return of cherry blossoms on the Nissan challenger to celebrate the first ever home round of the manufacturer and a bright pink look for the Porsches.

After the first set of attempts, Mitch Evans leads the way with a 1:23.176s, followed by the Envision duo, with the Kiwi driver’s effort improved by reigning champion Dennis and ERT’s Ticktum jumping up to P4.

ABT’s Lucas di Grassi ran wide off track at Turn 1, where there is still a wet patch. The first red flag of the weekend was issued almost ten minutes into the session, as Stoffel Vandoorne stopped on track with his car no. 2.

All the teams took the opportunity to make setup tweaks. The session resumed with 15 minutes on the clock. Sette Camara was the latest driver to suffer from a lack of grip at the still damp Turn 1, spinning a bit off track.

Robin Frijns takes the top spot with an impressive 1:22.040s, joined by Mortara, 0.150s off the Dutchman’s time, and Hughes on the provisional podium.

Photo credits: Envision Racing

The bright pink Porsche of Wehrlein as well suffered from a moment at the already famous Turn 1, whereas Jake Dennis made contact with the barriers.

However, the German driver is the leader of the session with ten minutes to go, followed by Mortara and his teammate Da Costa.

Maserati’s Gunther, always in the points in 2024, cycles at the lead, but is replaced shortly after by Da Costa and Oliver Rowland.

With five minutes to go into the session, the second red flag of the session was issued as Sam Bird spun out off track at Turn 1, hitting Nissan’s Fenestraz on his way out. It’s a mixed bag so far for the Japanese team.

Leader under the red flag is the 1:21.380s signed by Gunther, ahead of Rowland and Da Costa. The session was extended to make up for the time lost under the red flags.

In the final 7 minutes of the session, many drivers improved their previous attempts. The drivers are still adapting to the track as Dennis and Mortara ran off track at the same spot in succession.

After a few tough races Da Costa and Porsche finally appear to be in a better place in terms of pace, with the former champion in provisional P1with a 1:21.327.

However, it’s short lasted as Frijns is the first driver to lap in the 1:20s. In the final heated moments of the session, Mahindra’s Mortara and Gunther joined the Envision driver on the final podium.