After yesterday’s dusty first practice session in Marrakesh, the pressure was on for the teams to get ready for qualifying in this morning’s FP2 session. And it was Jaguar’s Mitch Evans that topped the timesheet for Jaguar Racing ahead of Audi’s Lucas di Grassi and Envision Virgin’s Robin Frijns.
Unsurprisingly, it was DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne that was first out on track when the 30-minute session went green after sitting out yesterday’s opening session due to prolonged headaches. And it wasn’t before too long that the 2-time champion was reporting an unspecified car error, but it would later go on to correct itself.
The times did start to roll in, however, and it was the Mexico City pole-sitter Andre Lotterer that set an early pace of 1:18.794. The German will be looking for redemption this weekend after somewhat of a disastrous weekend for himself and the debuting Porsche team. His team-mate Neel Jani looked to be struggling still too, with the Swiss Le Mans winner making a small error on track, before continuing on his way again.
The Envision Virgin Racing boys were next up to trouble the timesheet, as Robin Frijns went fastest on a 1:18.478 as his teammate Sam Bird was locking up into turn 3, continuing the trend from yesterday’s opening session of drivers coming to grips with the low grip surface. The Englishman, like Lotterer, will be looking for a reversal in fortune later in today’s race after struggling for results since winning the opening race in Diriyah.
With ten minutes to go, the times began to tumble, and it was Antonio Felix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein that moved to the top of the leaderboard, with the Portuguese star recording a 1:18.214 and the Mahindra driver of Wehrlein just a tenth behind. Then it was Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi that went fastest after setting a purple S2 and S3 and set an eventual 1:18.082. Oliver Rowland was also on the pace and set a purple sector S1 but just slotted in behind his season 2 champion team-mate.
As the session was coming to a close, it was time for BMW to show their hand, and the Santiago E-Prix winner Maximillian Günther went fastest with a 1:17.841 after what did initially look like quote a rugged lap. It would actually be the quickest lap of the weekend to date. His teammate Alexander Sims would then go faster still on a 1:17.683, thus outlining the championship leader’s pace and pedigree.
But as the chequered flag came out for the end of the session, it was the Mexico City E-Prix winner and current championship leader Mitch Evans that set the fastest time of a 1:17.309 to top the leaderboard. The Jaguar man is really beginning to pick up some momentum as we approach the mid-point of the season.
Top 10 FP2 Classification:
Image Credit: FIA Formula E Media