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Formula E Shanghai E-Prix

Shanghai E-Prix: Nato and Vergne share FP2 top spot as cause of software issue revealed

Norman Nato and Jean-Eric Vergne both headed the second practice session for the Shanghai E-Prix, as the full cause of yesterday’s widespread Formula E software issue was revealed.

Norman Nato, Andretti Global, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

The Frenchmen finished joint fastest in Saturday morning’s FP2 after both the Andretti and DS Penske drivers posted a 1m13.430s.

Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein took third only 0.013s adrift and ahead of the second DS Penske of Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, as less than six tenths covered all 22 drivers.

After the opening 10 minutes Envision’s Sebastien Buemi topped the order with a 1m13.696s around the Shanghai International Circuit, which is hosting Formula E for the first time this weekend but on a shorter layout than the Formula 1 grand prix layout.

Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz dropped the best time down to a 1m13.552s which sat as the fastest heading past the halfway point of the 30-minute session, before Mahindra’s de Vries lowered the mark by 0.002s.

Heading into the final 10 minutes, Nato moved to the top with a 1m13.430s that was identically matched by Jean-Eric Vergne moments later and finished as the session best.

Current championship leader Nick Cassidy claimed ninth, as McLaren’s Sam Bird finished 21st on his return to racing this weekend after recovering from his broken hand.

There was no stoppage during the session, which was in stark contrast to Friday evening’s session which was halted by almost an hour due to a widespread software issue.

Marshals clear the car of Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Marshals clear the car of Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

This was after both Porsches of Wehrlein and Antonio Felix da Costa, both ERT’s of Sergio Sette Camara and Dan Ticktum, as well as Mahindra's de Vries all came to halt on circuit inside five minutes of running.

All five cars had to be recovered back to the pits on the back of a flatbed truck, with the issue traced back to a new software update by battery supplier WAE that was applied ahead of the weekend.

After all cars underwent another update, reverting back to previous software, the session resumed without any further problems.

“An issue with the battery software was quickly identified and successfully addressed to allow for the session to resume,” said an FIA spokesperson.

Autosport understands that the software issue related to a safety setting where the threshold was set too low and which triggered in several cars, causing them to come to a halt on track.

Shanghai E-Prix FP2 result

1
 - 
3
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h
1 France N. Nato Andretti Formula E 17 21

1'13.430

149.579
2 France J. Vergne DS Penske 25 19

+0.000

1'13.430

0.000 149.579
3 Germany P. Wehrlein Porsche Team 94 19

+0.013

1'13.443

0.013 149.552
4 Belgium S. Vandoorne DS Penske 2 19

+0.105

1'13.535

0.092 149.365
5 Netherlands N. de Vries Mahindra Racing 21 17

+0.120

1'13.550

0.015 149.335
6 France S. Fenestraz Nissan e.dams 23 17

+0.122

1'13.552

0.002 149.331
7 Portugal A. Felix da Costa Porsche Team 13 20

+0.131

1'13.561

0.009 149.312
8 Netherlands R. Frijns Envision Racing 4 19

+0.185

1'13.615

0.054 149.203
9 New Zealand N. Cassidy Jaguar Racing 37 16

+0.204

1'13.634

0.019 149.164
10 Germany M. Gunther Maserati Racing 7 16

+0.217

1'13.647

0.013 149.138
11 Switzerland N. Müller Team Abt 51 19

+0.227

1'13.657

0.010 149.118
12 New Zealand M. Evans Jaguar Racing 9 19

+0.251

1'13.681

0.024 149.069
13 United Kingdom J. Dennis Andretti Formula E 1 19

+0.256

1'13.686

0.005 149.059
14 Switzerland S. Buemi Envision Racing 16 20

+0.266

1'13.696

0.010 149.039
15 Brazil L. di Grassi Team Abt 11 19

+0.316

1'13.746

0.050 148.938
16 United Kingdom O. Rowland Nissan e.dams 22 17

+0.326

1'13.756

0.010 148.918
17 United Kingdom D. Ticktum ERT Formula E Team 33 20

+0.391

1'13.821

0.065 148.786
18 Brazil S. Sette Camara ERT Formula E Team 3 19

+0.445

1'13.875

0.054 148.678
19 Switzerland E. Mortara Mahindra Racing 48 19

+0.478

1'13.908

0.033 148.611
20 India J. Daruvala Maserati Racing 18 21

+0.534

1'13.964

0.056 148.499
21 United Kingdom S. Bird McLaren 8 17

+0.564

1'13.994

0.030 148.439
22 United Kingdom J. Hughes McLaren 5 17

+0.572

1'14.002

0.008 148.423

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