Practice sessions in Paris did not give teams what they were expecting for Round 8 of Formula E. Through all the damage, Mitch Evans tops the chart to continue to shine.
We now find ourselves in Paris for Round 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The 1.92km track promising to give us tons of action, especially with the 14 turns along the way. We have seen 7 different pole sitters and 7 different winners in 7 different countries so, will Paris give us another new victory? Or will we see someone further their lead in the championship?
Before FP1 could get underway, rain began to fall in the French capital which seemed to spook many of the drivers during the first session. We saw almost all the cars head out on track as soon as the session began to see what grip they were able to find. Unfortunately, Lucas Di Grassi lost his car on the out lap and crashed into the wall between turns 9 and 10 damaging the cars nose and front wing. Di Grassi also reported issues with the steering after the incident and at the end of the session, he was in last place.
Many other drivers found themselves in the wall including Envision Virgin teammates Sam Bird and Robin Frijns. Bird’s first set back was caused by Sebastian Buemi tapping him and sending him spinning into the barrier. Bird had damage which sent him back to the pits to be fixed but there was further heartache later on in the session. With less than ten minutes to go, Bird lost control and found himself in the barrier at turn 2. Bird had damaged the left side of his car, causing his front left wheel to end up in his cockpit. Frijns also hurt his car by finding some standing water near turn 2 and knocked into the barrier with Buemi following him.
Due to the barrier at turn 2 being hit multiple times, a Red Flag was called to make sure it was safe. Ten minutes later and the session was restarted as we were told there would be no extension for FP1. Despite the sun beginning to shine in Paris, thanks to Bird’s second incident, a second Red Flag was called and the session was stopped with five minutes remaining. Through all the doom and gloom, Andre Lotterer went quickest in the session with a 1:10.667.
Just shy of 2 hours later, FP2 was underway and the weather had cleared up significantly. The track seemed much better for the second session as the drivers were able to gain more of an insight of how things will go for the E-Prix later on in the afternoon. Despite the track improving, the main issue drivers faced in FP2 was traffic as teams scrambled to gain as much data as they could. Times dropped left, right and centre with the fastest time starting at 8 seconds less than FP1 but it was Mitch Evans who continues his domination with a 1:00.226.
More bad news for Envision Virgin Racing as Bird did not even make it out for the second session. Both Bird and Frijns damaged their cars in FP1 which meant lots of hard work for the mechanics and they got Frijns’ car out of track but, unfortunately, Bird was not so lucky and missed out on crucial track time. We also saw a couple more knocks with Alex Lynn hitting the wall at turn 13 and Buemi lost his car for the third time, almost causing an incident.
Both practice sessions seemed very messy for all teams as they fought to gain as much knowledge as they could but hopefully things can come together for Qualifying and Super Pole. Don’t forget to check back with Overtake Motorsport for all the Paris E-Prix news.
Feature Image Credit: Envision Virgin Racing Twitter