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Da Costa fastest in Marrakesh FP1

Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa topped the order for the first free practice session in Marrakesh, as team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was forced to sit out the session.

Test driver James Rossiter substituted Vergne in the second Techeetah car, as the reigning champion is suffering from headaches.

Da Cosa set the pace at 200kW with a 1m20.807s lap time around the Marrakesh circuit. It was later bettered by Lucas Di Grassi, who ran just 0.04s quicker in the second half of the second, shortly before the field began to test Attack Mode and Qualifying levels of power.

Alexander Sims was the first to run with the Attack Mode and jumped to the top of the times, but was soon bettered by championship leader Mitch Evans, James Calado, Da Costa, and Maximilian Gunther.

The BMW driver returned to the top of the order when he became the first driver to run with full power, but again dropped backwards as others switched up the power.

Da Costa ended the day fastest with a 1m17.863s, 0.103s ahead of Evans in second.

Gunther finished third, with Oliver Rowland and Lucas Di Grassi close behind.

The only non-scheduled caution in the session came just 10 minutes into FP1, when Sims ran up the escape road at turn seven, though he was able to continue without any damage. He ended the day 14th overall.

Inside the top 10, Sam Bird was sixth quickest, 0.558s off Da Costa’s pace, ahead of Buemi, Daniel Abt, Jerome D’Ambrosio, and Robin Frijns.

Bethonie Waring

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