Rome ePrix: Rosenqvist tops practice, Lynn crashes twice

Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist set the fastest time across two disrupted practice sessions ahead of the inaugural Formula E race in Rome.

Rome ePrix: Rosenqvist tops practice, Lynn crashes twice
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Rosenqvist topped the second session with a 1m35.467s lap, which put him 0.344s faster than Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, while Audi driver Lucas di Grassi ended the morning with the third fastest time.

After the pack had put in the early laps to get up to speed in FP2, Rosenqvist moved to the top of the times with a lap of 1m35.828s on his first 200kW effort – almost clipping the wall at the exit of Turn 12, which will form the start of the grid for the race, as he did so.

But Rosenqvist went faster still on his second 200kW lap and improved by almost 0.4s, with Bird slotting into second place shortly before the red flags came out when the Briton’s teammate – Alex Lynn – crashed for the second time across the two practice sessions.

Lynn caused a stoppage in FP1 when he slid into the barriers approaching the official Turn 1 – just past what will be used as the finish line on the opposite side of the circuit to the start line.

In FP2, Lynn lost the rear of his car heading into the tight chicane at Turns 16/17 with five minutes of the 30-minute session remaining and hit the barrier with its right-hand side.

As he could not getting going again, the session was stopped and not restarted.

Jose Maria Lopez (Dragon) ended up fourth quickest ahead of Renault e.dams pair Nico Prost and Sebastien Buemi, with Nelson Piquet Jr seventh fastest in the combined standings across FP1 and FP2.

Piquet’s lap of 1m36.134s was the fastest time in the 45-minute FP1, but the Jaguar driver – who was given a suspended three-place grid penalty for completing more than the permitted six laps during Friday’s shakedown – did not improve in second practice.

If Piquet commits the same infraction at any race for the remainder of the 2017/18 season, his penalty will then come into effect.

Jerome d’Ambrosio was eighth for Dragon as Mitch Evans (Jaguar) and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) rounded out the combined top 10 after failing to improve on their best efforts in FP1.

Second practice results:

Pos.DriverTeamTimeGap
1 sweden Felix Rosenqvist  india Mahindra Racing 1'35.467  
2 united_kingdom Sam Bird  united_kingdom Virgin Racing 1'35.811 0.344
3 brazil Lucas di Grassi  germany Team Abt 1'35.839 0.372
4 argentina Jose Maria Lopez  united_states Dragon Racing 1'35.951 0.484
5 france Nicolas Prost  france DAMS 1'35.955 0.488
6 switzerland Sébastien Buemi  france DAMS 1'36.132 0.665
7 belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio  united_states Dragon Racing 1'36.412 0.945
8 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr.  united_kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'36.824 1.357
9 united_kingdom Tom Blomqvist  united_states Andretti Autosport 1'36.864 1.397
10 new_zealand Mitch Evans  united_kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'36.910 1.443
11 italy Luca Filippi  china NIO Formula E Team 1'36.911 1.444
12 united_kingdom Oliver Turvey  china NIO Formula E Team 1'36.973 1.506
13 portugal Antonio Felix da Costa  united_states Andretti Autosport 1'36.991 1.524
14 united_kingdom Alex Lynn  united_kingdom Virgin Racing 1'37.014 1.547
15 germany Daniel Abt  germany Team Abt 1'37.076 1.609
16 france Jean-Eric Vergne  china Techeetah 1'37.290 1.823
17 germany Nick Heidfeld  india Mahindra Racing 1'37.377 1.910
18 germany Maro Engel  monaco Venturi 1'38.029 2.562
19 germany Andre Lotterer  china Techeetah 1'38.470 3.003
20 italy Edoardo Mortara  monaco Venturi 1'38.579 3.112
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