Mitch Evans Starts Day Two on Top With Fastest Lap of the Weekend

Mitch Evans started the second day at the Diriyah E-Prix in sublime fashion for Jaguar TCS Racing, after topping the session with a 1:09.092 – the fastest time of the weekend so far. Behind Evans, Dan Ticktum once again looked strong, whilst race winner from yesterday Pascal Wehrlein ended the session in eighteenth.

As Free Practice Three got underway to mark the start of the second race day at the Riyadh Street Circuit and round three of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the sky was a beautiful blue in all directions, as the sun shone high in the Diriyah sky.

It was Edoardo Mortara who led the field onto the circuit, with Maserati MSG Racing hoping for a much better day after an abysmal Friday. The Monte-Carlo-based team performed wonders to get Maximilian Günther‘s car ready, after the German missed the first race of the weekend following a heavy crash in qualifying. As to be expected, the times tumbled in the opening five minutes of the session, as the racing-line began to clear up, with it having been covered in dust at the start of the session.

It was a bad start to the day for rookie Kelvin van der Linde and the ABT CUPRA Formula E Team, with the South African having stopped on-track before managing to get going again; however, he soon pulled into the pits after complaining of the brakes not working. Fellow rookie Jake Hughes had a sublime start to the session and topped it after ten minutes, with the British driver having set a very competitive 1:10.324, one-second slower than the fastest time of the weekend so far.

As the session approached the halfway point, Sébastian Buemi became the first driver of the day to break into the 1:09s, with the Swiss driver having set the fastest time of the weekend so far in qualifying yesterday, where he set a 1:09.366. His time at the top was short-lived, as Sérgio Sette Câmara moved to the top of the timesheets, thanks to a stellar 1:09.758. Whilst the times were tumbling, Lucas di Grassi had a huge moment, with the Brazilian having hit the barrier on the outside of Turn Seventeen, after appearing to go into the corner way too fast. He returned immediately to the pits with what looked like damage to his rear-left.

Back at the top and Buemi returned to the top, as the Envision Racing driver posted a really strong 1:09.575, highlighting his one-lap pace. His time at the top was yet again short-lived, as Ticktum set the fastest lap of the weekend with a sensational 1:09.241, with the British driver being keen to replicate his fourth-place finish in qualifying yesterday. Behind Ticktum, Norman Nato slotted into second with a 1:09.4, with the Nissan Formula E Team being in need of their first points of the season.

With five minutes remaining in the session, Ticktum remained on top comfortably from Nato and René Rast, with the German having gained an additional point in the race for the fastest lap. Ticktum really was looking mighty-impressive, with the Brit having come close to beating his time, only to lose a tenth in the final sector.

As the session approached its final minute, Jean-Éric Vergne rose to second after coming within a tenth of Ticktum’s time, something that’ll likely please the Frenchman with the start of the season having been disappointing for DS Penske. There was a final change at the top, as Evans set a 1:09.092 to set the fastest lap of the weekend, perhaps sending a challenge to Ticktum. The British driver ended the session behind Evans in second, with Vergne in third.

Qualifying looks set to be incredible fast in just over an hour, but will someone become the first driver of the weekend to dip into the 1:08s?

Diriyah E-Prix Round 3: Free Practice Three Full Results

1 9 Mitch Evans NZL Jaguar TCS Racing 1:09.092
2 33 Dan Ticktum GBR NIO 333 Racing +0.149
3 25 Jean-Éric Vergne FRA DS Penske +0.223
4 17 Norman Nato FRA Nissan Formula E Team +0.325
5 10 Sam Bird GBR Jaguar TCS Racing +0.450
6 58 René Rast GER NEOM McLaren Formula E Team +0.462
7 16 Sébastian Buemi CHE Envision Racing +0.483
8 5 Jake Hughes GBR NEOM McLaren Formula E Team +0.494
9 1 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL DS Penske +0.495
10 36 André Lotterer GER Avalanche Andretti Formula E +0.553
11 3 Sérgio Sette Câmara BRZ NIO 333 Racing +0.554
12 13 António Félix da Costa POR TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team +0.631
13 37 Nick Cassidy NZL Envision Racing +0.636
14 48 Edoardo Mortara CHE Maserati MSG Racing +0.694
15 23 Sacha Fenestraz FRA Nissan Formula E Team +0.711
16 7 Maximilian Günther GER Maserati MSG Racing +0.761
17 27 Jake Dennis GBR Avalanche Andretti Formula E +0.781
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein GER TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team +0.866
19 8 Oliver Rowland GBR Mahindra Racing +0.917
20 4 Kelvin van der Linde ZAF ABT CUPRA Formula E Team +1.219
21 51 Nico Mueller CHE ABT CUPRA Formula E Team +1.536
22 11 Lucas di Grassi BRZ Mahindra Racing +1.812