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Da Costa tops the timesheets in opening practice

Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa was quickest for DS Techeetah in the opening practice session in Valencia.

The Portuguese driver set a 1m27.328s to finish ahead of Maximillian Guenther in the BMW and Oliver Rowland in the Nissan as Formula E took to the Ricardo Tormo Circuit for the first time as part of an E-Prix, with the circuit having previously having hosted pre-season testing albeit on a modified circuit.

Part of the modification to the circuit includes a double right-hander that forms Turns 9 and 10 to link two parts of the circuit, while a chicane has been installed on the start/finish straight which gives drivers more opportunity for regen under braking as well as slowing speeds into the fast left-hander of Turn 1.

Jean-Eric Vergne was fourth fastest in the other DS Techeetah ahead of Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne, with the Belgian discussing a potential issue with his brakes during his fast lap, Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi. The top-10 was rounded out by Nyck de Vries in the other Mercedes, Jake Dennis in the BMW and Alexander Sims in the Mahindra.

Track limits were being policed at Turns 1, 2, 6 and 12 which meant the classification for practice had some adjustments with Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns, Dragon’s Sergio Sette Camara, Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans, Porsche’s Andre Lotterer, Mortara and teammate Norman Nato and NIO333’s Tom Blomqvist all having at least one lap time deleted for track limits violations.

Rob Lomas

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