Robin Frijns went fastest for Envision Virgin Racing in the first practice session of the Marrakesh E-Prix, narrowly edging out Antonio Felix da Costa.
At the start of the session, sunrise was still taking place with a track temperature of just seven degrees Celsius.
Defending champion Jean-Eric Vergne set the early pace for DS Techeetah with a 1:20.829, whilst the NIO of Oliver Turvey went up to second place after 15 minutes.
With the temperatures still far from ideal, some drivers experienced track excursions early on.
Both Vergne and Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing) locked up at Turn 7 in isolated incidents, while championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) bumped into the back of Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler).
Bird was next to go fastest, as he posted a 1:18.753, with the sister car of Robin Frijns just 0.087 seconds behind on the timesheets.
Venturi’s Felipe Massa then oversteered on the exit of Turn 8 and somehow avoided severe contact into the barriers, whilst Di Grassi also overshot at Turn 7.
With 15 minutes to go, Mahindra’s rookie Pascal Wehrlein stopped out on track and briefly brought the yellow flags.
In the final moments of the first practice session, the sun started to break through the clouds and the track surface started to rubber in.
Several drivers went fastest as the clock ran down, but when the chequered flag came out, it was Robin Frijns on top with a 1:17.808.
Antonio Felix da Costa was close behind in, with Sam Bird in third, Oliver Rowland fourth for Nissan e.Dams and the NIO of Oliver Turvey rounding up the top five.
Several drivers were on fast laps at the end but had to back off as Wehrlein stopped on track once again, bringing out local yellows.
Free Practice 2 will begin at 10:15am local time.
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