Shanghai E-Prix | FE FP2 | Norman Nato and Jean-Éric Vergne set identical times at the top

Photo Credit: Formula E | Simon Galloway
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The second day of the Shanghai E-Prix double-header started off with the second session of the weekend. After yesterday’s practice session, where several drivers such as, Nyck De Vries, Sérgio Sette Câmara and António Félix Da Costa suddenly stopped due to issues with the battery, the drivers were keen to get out for some laps.

Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans was the driver to beat, after setting the benchmark time of 1:13.215s in the first session. While yesterday was prolonged by a red flag period, the drivers still had a full lenght session to set much quicker times.

Photo Credit: Formula E | Simon Galloway

Jaguar started their morning well, with Evans on top in the first 10 minutes, Nick Cassidy just two-tenths behind his teammate. Nissan’s Oliver Rowland struggled and went sideways at turn 7 with a hint of oversteer.

Sebastian Buemi moved up the timesheets, setting the first 1:13 of the session. Buemi was 0.326s faster than Evans. This was not the first time Buemi has raced on this track. The Swiss driver had previously raced here during his Formula 1 days and will hope for a better outcome.

It was a black and white flag for the Andretti duo, as Norman Nato and Jake Dennis have each been issued a warning for driving unnecessarily slowly. An issue that was also seen yesterday, when drivers slowed down through the final corners to try to gain space.

Sacha Fenestraz was the next driver to lead the pack. The French-Argentinian driver has been open about his struggles with confidence, after suffering a difficult season.

The final sector proved tricky for Nato, as he got a full chunk of the kerb there. He went wide on the grass, through the tight chicane. The French drivers found a clean line and pushed back Pascal Wehrlein and De Vries, topping the sheets with a 1:13.430s. The times continued to drop, and the drivers were still off Evans’ best time from yesterday.

In an incredible feat, Jean-Éric Vergne set a time identical to Nato. Vergne was the last driver to win a Formula E race in China, winning Sanya in season 5. The Frenchman is known for adapting to new surroundings.

As the second practice session came to a close, the cars were full of power to push on their final flying laps. Stoffel Vandoorne seemed to be the only driver to improve, going from fifth to fourth.

Robin Frijns finished in eighth, with a 0.185s gap to the lead. He briefly touched the grass in the final corner, as went flying down the start/finish straight.

Nato and Vergne set identical times in FP2, but the lead time went to Nato, as he set the time first. Although Nato was slower than Evans’ best time, the Andretti driver looked strong.

The Jaguar duo were noticeably missing from the top. Cassidy had trouble with his car, saying it was easy turning right with some understeer, but more difficult with the left and oversteer. He finished in P9 and Evans in P12.

Photo Credit: Formula E | X