Shanghai E-Prix | FE FP1 | Evans fastest in a troubled session ahead of Nato and Vergne

Photo credits: Formula E | Simon Galloway
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It’s time for the first on track session of the weekend’s double header in Shanghai. The first drivers to set a timed lap were Frijns and Buemi, returning to Envision following their Endurance round break from Formula E.

Sam Bird has also resumed his spot driving for Neom McLaren following his hand surgery. Five minutes into the session, a red flag is issued due to two cars stopping on track: former championship leader  Pascal Wehrlein’s Porsche and Dan Ticktum’s ERT, side by side.

De Vries’s battery fails him as well, for quite a big number of cars not able to move on track at the same time, with Da Costa and Sette Camara also suffering from the same issue.

The session restarted after a length break, with the stoppage probably caused by a battery system upgrade implemented in between races. Cars returned on track for 25 minutes of practise forty minutes later, joined by the drivers who had suffered from the issue earlier.

The first lap time put in after the restart was signed by Cassidy in 1:14.800s, improved to a 1:14.310s five minutes into the session. He is joined on the provisional podium by Rowland and Da Costa. Di Grassi rans over a curb but is able to keep his car on track.

Evans is the first driver to sign a lap in the 1:13s, with the time later improved by his teammate Cassidy ten minutes into the session for yet another very strong Jaguar performance. Sette Camara runs off track at Turn 6.

Photo credits: Formula E | Simon Galloway

Vergne and Di Grassi, the drivers with the most points in the history of the championship occupy the top two spots with 5 minutes to go, but JEV’s 1:13.27s was lowered once again by Mitch Evans by 0.06s. Jake Hughes runs wide off track at Turn 2.

In the final heated moments of the session Andretti’s Norman Nato slots in between Evans and Vergne with a 1:13.240s, whereas Sette Camara is investigated for impeding. The Brazilian is puzzled by the investigation, but the situation had been brought up on the radio by both Dennis and Bird earlier in the session.