Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries topped the order in the first practice session of the 2021 Formula E season opener.
With FP1 at Diriyah taking place on Thursday evening, the first practice session best represented the track conditions expected in tomorrow’s qualifying session. This meant many drivers ran qualifying simulations in the closing stages of the session.
Of those, de Vries came out on top with a 1m08.693s lap time, finishing more than half a second quicker than the next fastest driver.
Team-mate Edoardo Mortara filled the P2 slot before the final laps of the session, but was bumped down to fourth as Porsche’s Andre Lotterer and Audi’s Lucas Di Grassi jumped up the order.
With more than half a year having passed since the last Formula E race in Berlin, there were a handful of small mistakes early in the session, mostly concerning over powering during regen or speeding under the Full Course Yellow practice, but there were no major incidents.
Late on, Jean-Eric Vergne was shown a black and white warning flag for a “dangerous manouver”, though there was no contact.
Oliver Rowland and Alex Lynn took fifth and sixth, Lynn having jumped up from the tail end of the field on his final lap of the session.
Mitch Evans finished seventh, ahead of Antonio Felix Da Costa, Robin Frijns, and Maximilian Guenther.