Calm and collective sessions in Monaco this morning for FP1 and FP2. Lap times tumbling one after the other but as practices come to a close, Oliver Rowland steals the top spot with 2 minutes to spare.
Round 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is underway and we find ourselves in the majestic city of Monaco. The Monaco E-prix street circuit is the shortest on the calendar with 12 turns and is 1.785 km in length. Compared to other circuits, Monaco is considered very smooth with wide corners so we will have to see how this plays into the hands of the drivers.
FP1 was a very calm session but we did see a few hiccups throughout the 45 minutes. We saw four drivers in the shape of Lucas Di Grassi, Mitch Evans, Sam Bird and Oliver Rowland getting super close to the barriers at different places around the track. Both Di Grassi and Evans struggled out of corners but managed to regain control before things turned ugly. Bird gave the barrier a little touch shortly after setting the fastest lap at the time and Rowland had a big slide on a hot lap but kept the car out of the wall and set good pace during the session.
Fastest lap changed hands around 10 times throughout FP1 with all teams trying to hit under the 50s mark. All the drivers gave it a good fight but it was Di Grassi who finished the first session in P1 with a 50.183. Whilst it was good news for the Audi driver, one of the NIO boys was not having the best of luck. Oliver Turvey only managed a few laps around the Monaco street circuit before his session ended with him being in the pits for over half of it with a suspected problem.
An hour later and FP2 begins in Monaco to see what the drivers can do in the final practice session. As they left the pits, we saw both Envision Virgin cars locking up and Bird seemed to get caught in traffic so a tricky start for the championship leader and his teammate. Rowland set the first fastest lap with a 51.024 as a benchmark to see if a sub 50s lap time was possible.
A very busy practice session as we saw tons of traffic and many cars having to move out of the way. We also saw drivers struggling for grip in certain areas as the cars continue to slide and snap but, luckily, nobody found themselves in the wall. In the final 10 minutes of the session, times began to drop like flies with Jean-Eric Vergne hitting the first sub 50s time, putting in a 49.970. Despite Vergne setting the pace, Rowland took it upon himself to go one further and end the session in top spot with a 49.847.
In the past 8 rounds of Formula E we have had 8 different winners and it is not a surprise that many drivers are looking to be the 9th winner of the season. The Monaco E-Prix practices have not given us much excitement but Qualifying and Super Pole are a whole new story. Don’t forget to check back with Overtake Motorsport for all the latest Monaco E-Prix news.
Feature Image Credit: ABB FIA Formula E Website