Formula E | FP1 Report: Wehrlein on top ahead of Bird and Mortara

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We’re live from Rome for the first Practise session of the weekend! The drivers will have half an hour of time to get used to the rather different weather conditions.

Due to the fact that it’s the first time that the Rome E-Prix has been held in July, instead of April as in the previous seasons, tyre management will be key with a track temperature of 49C, and FP1 is a great opportunity to get some experience in.

It’s not surprising that all the drivers immediately rolled out on track, bar for the Mahindras, however a full course yellow due to debris on track was issued before the first fast attempts were concluded.

Jake Dennis returned to the pits reporting an advertisement banner stuck in his front wing, forcing him to take time off the session and have it removed. Definitely not the start of the weekend the championship contender was hoping for.

Ten minutes in the session, Envision Racing is strongly leading with a 1-2 with Sebastian Buemi lapping in the 1.42.483s, just as home team driver Maxi Guenther claimed the top spot in 1:42.221s

More trouble is in store for Dennis, yet to complete a lap in the session, as the British driver with a gap of only a point to championship leader Nick Cassidy has issues with the steering column of his Andretti.

Both ABT Cupra drivers are yet to put in a lap as well, due to a Mahindra powertrain software problem which had affected the team as well earlier in the Rookie Practise session.

Its mother team Mahindra was instead able to complete five laps, even if Di Grassi and Merhi are sitting at the bottom of the timings.

At the halfway point of the session, Edoardo Mortara has the lead in 1:41.297s, just as Porsche’s Da Costa has a moment and spins out at Turn 7.

With ten minutes to go, Nissan’s speed allows Nato to claim the top spot over Mortara by 1:41.180s, but it’s short lasted as multiple times Rome E-Prix winner Mitch Evans is the first driver to lap in the 1:40s.

Opposite moments for the DS Penske drivers as Vandoorne claims the lead of the session just as Jean Eric Vergne has a moment at Turn 14.

In the final minutes of the session, both ABT and Mahindra drivers managed to get some laps in at very slow speed, as well as Dennis who is actually able to push to set a timed lap, settling for P17 and continuing to push after the end of the session to try and gain a bit more data.

Mitch Evans was held up by a much slower Roberto Mehri in his Mahindra and strongly signed his displeasure with being stuck to the Spanish driver both during and after the session.

At the chequered flag, championship contender Pascal Wehrlein leads in 1:39.632s, followed by Sam Bird, the only other driver to lap in the 1:39s, and Mortara, just as Nato went into the wall at Turn 12.

Photo credits: TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team

Championship leader Nick Cassidy had the 13th fastest time, and had a moment as well, running wide on his final lap for a less than ideal afternoon