Diriyah E-Prix: Frijns leads in-form de Vries in practice

Envision Virgin driver Robin Frijns set the pace in practice for the second leg of the Diriyah E-Prix, beating race one winner Nyck de Vries with a last-gasp effort on Saturday afternoon.

Diriyah E-Prix: Frijns leads in-form de Vries in practice
Listen to this article

Having dominated the first Riyadh race on Friday, Mercedes de Vries looked set to continue his unbeaten run in the 45-minute practice session, having broken his own lap record from qualifying and then set a blistering lap of 1m07.440s on his full power run.

But Frijns, who failed to take part in qualifying on Friday after requiring a change of battery, managed to lap the circuit in 1m07.294s in the dying minutes of the session, outpacing his Mercedes rival by 0.146s.

Frijns’ rookie teammate Nick Cassidy also made a late lunge up the order, his effort of 1m07.449s putting him third ahead of Oliver Rowland, who was the first driver to break into the 1m07s in practice using last season's Nissan powertrain. 

Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah) ended up just over two tenths off the pace in fifth, recovering from a horrific performance in the first of the Diriyah races that left him well outside the points.

Edoardo Mortara was a promising sixth after scoring a podium for Mercedes’ customer Venturi on Friday, ahead of the works car of Stoffel Vandoorne.

But the 34-year-old was involved in a massive crash after the chequered flag was dropped, his Venturi car mysteriously heading straight into the wall at Turn 18 after his practice start on the back straight.

Mortara has been taken away in an ambulance as a precautionary measure but is conscious and talking, and can move both his fingers and toes.

Sebastien Buemi was eighth in the second of the two Nissans, ahead of the Jaguar of Sam Bird and the factory Audi of Lucas di Grassi.

The BMWs of Jake Dennis and Maximilian Gunther finished 12th and 17th respectively, the latter ending up more than a second off the pace, while two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne could only finish 14th in the second DS Techeetah.

The only red flag of the session was caused by Andre Lotterer, who hit the wall at Turn 11 before coming to a rest at the following corner with visible damage to his Porsche.

Lotterer’s teammate Pascal Wehrlein, who qualified on the front row on Friday, was 18th quickest.

Practice results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'07.294  
2 17 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 1'07.440 0.146
3 37 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'07.449 0.155
4 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland France DAMS 1'07.452 0.158
5 13 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa China Techeetah 1'07.512 0.218
6 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 1'07.548 0.254
7 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 1'07.562 0.268
8 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 1'07.749 0.455
9 10 United Kingdom Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 1'07.778 0.484
10 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Germany Team Abt 1'07.884 0.590
11 8 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'08.017 0.723
12 27 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 1'08.027 0.733
13 33 Germany René Rast Germany Team Abt 1'08.190 0.896
14 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah 1'08.191 0.897
15 88 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'08.250 0.956
16 71 France Norman Nato Monaco Venturi 1'08.256 0.962
17 28 Germany Maximilian Gunther United States Andretti Autosport 1'08.318 1.024
18 99 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 1'08.398 1.104
19 94 United Kingdom Alex Lynn India Mahindra Racing 1'08.530 1.236
20 6 Switzerland Nico Müller DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT 1'08.603 1.309
21 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 1'08.653 1.359
22 29 United Kingdom Alexander Sims India Mahindra Racing 1'08.843 1.549
23 7 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT 1'08.846 1.552
24 36 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 1'09.801 2.507
shares
comments

Related video

Muller blasts FE yellow flag rule after qualifying demotion
Previous article

Muller blasts FE yellow flag rule after qualifying demotion

Next article

Mercedes not allowed in qualifying after Mortara's crash

Mercedes not allowed in qualifying after Mortara's crash
Load comments
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner Prime

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Briton

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Prime

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Prime

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Prime

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Prime

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022
How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era Prime

How NIO 333's new home is helping it prepare for Formula E's Gen3 era

Under a former guise, the NIO 333 Formula E squad took victory in the championship's inaugural season, but a difficult recent history has resigned the team to the back of the field. Now with a new base and the much-vaunted Gen3 regulations incoming, the Chinese team is looking reinvigorated.

Formula E
Mar 30, 2022
Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative Prime

Why Porsche's Formula E breakthrough points to a flawed narrative

A crushing 1-2 in Mexico meant Porsche broke its Formula E duck in fine style to underline its status as a credible title contender. But while its success has taken longer to arrive relative to Mercedes, there are several reasons why their situations aren't directly comparable and, crucially, it appears to be an equal now the series has moved away from its loathed qualifying format

Formula E
Mar 2, 2022