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Di Grassi quickest in opening Rome practice session, Turvey involved in practice start accident

Lucas di Grassi set the pace in the opening practice for the first Rome E-Prix which was overshadowed by a large accident after the chequered flag.

Most of the field had lined up on the starting grid for practice starts at the end of the session. Oliver Turvey in the NIO appeared to be unsighted on the uphill approach to Turn 7, where the start-line is this season and collided with the DS Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne and the BMW of Jake Dennis.

All three drivers walked away from the accident.

Di Grassi’s lap of 1m38.785s was the benchmark time in the session, on the new circuit.

Stoffel Vandoone was second fastest for Mercedes ahead of Robin Frijns in the Envision Virgin, Sergio Sette Camara in the Dragon and Norman Nato in the Venturi.

Many drivers had their quick laps disrupted when Tom Blomqvist brought out the red flag with 9 minutes left on the clock. The NIO driver hit the wall at Turn 14 and was unable to get going again. He ended the session 23rd, ahead of only Sebastien Buemi.

Buemi’s Nissan team-mate Oliver Rowland was leading when the red flag came out, but dropped down to P8 by the chequered flag, behind Nick Cassidy and Sam Bird.

Jake Dennis and Mitch Evans completed the top 10.

Rob Lomas

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