On a cold yet sun-shone Marrakesh circuit, FP2 lent its hand to Mitch Evans, usurping Robin Frijns to hold the advantage going into qualifying.
Evans led Andre Lotterer and Sebastien Buemi on the time-boards, with the FP1 pace-setter Frijns falling to fifth. Evans’ pace suggests Jaguar Racing could well be a strong contender for the Marrakesh race win later today, while the DS Techeetah team continue to look mightily impressive.
The session marked its infancy with an Evans time-topper, an early 1:21:412 meaning he started as he intended to go on. Early on, Andre Lotterer was visibly struggling with his brake balances, locking up twice in his DS Techeetah. The turn 7 lock-ups seen throughout FP1 reared their heads once again, with only seven minutes passing before the telltale signs of tyre smoke emanated from the escape road. Daniel Abt was caught out by the thorny corner, ruining his lap and needing a swift pirouette to rejoin the track.
Lucas Di Grassi was surprisingly slow to set a first timed lap, an effort only arriving on the stroke of the half-time mark and good enough for just 16th. As one Brazilian struggled, another was dealt a cruel blow: Felipe Massa’s Venturi shut down on him on the main straight, but managed to get it going once more. Another driver smacked with a reliability scare was Sam Bird, but much like Massa he was able to get his Envision Virgin Racing car back to full flow. Frijns was beginning to come into his element in the final minutes of FP2, a carbon copy of his rise to prominence in the previous session.
Unlike FP1, however, he did not have Lotterer rivalling his every step, and while both duelled for their place at the top of the timesheets, Evans snuck out of the woodwork to place an intimidating marker on the weekend. Oliver Rowland was among the battlers too; until he encountered a slow-moving Massa that is, Rowland labelling the Brazilian an ‘idiot’.
The championship leader, Antonio Felix da Costa came in fourth, residing just outside of the top three, and the rest of the top ten being padded out by Rowland, Jose Maria Lopez, Oliver Turvey, Jean-Eric Vergne and Alexander Sims.