Diriyah E-Prix: Rowland remains on top in second practice

Oliver Rowland completed a clean sweep of Formula E practice sessions for the Diriyah E-Prix, the Mahindra driver heading Friday's FP2 ahead of the opening qualifying of the season.

Diriyah E-Prix: Rowland remains on top in second practice

Having already led the way in the opening session on Thursday night, Rowland picked up from where he left off and set a 1m08.957s late on in the session, which withstood the flurry of laps towards its climax.

Envision's Robin Frijns made a bid for the fastest time towards the end of the session, but a lock-up and traffic ahead put a dampener on his lap after posting the fastest opening sector.

High track evolution towards the end of the session brought the laptimes below the 70-second range for the first time this weekend, as the dust that had pervaded the circuit continued to be cleared by running on track.

Mitch Evans was the first to beat Rowland's timesheet-topper from FP1, posting a 1m10.479s and then taking two-hundredths of a second out of his own time - both enough to see off a full-power effort from Jean-Eric Vergne.

Vergne's DS Techeetah team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa then beat Evans and was momentarily quickest before Pascal Wehrlein was the first to dive below the 1m10s to log a 1m09.973s.

Shaking off his FP1 incident, Nyck de Vries made up for lost time and beat Wehrlein's lap to sit atop the order, but his Mercedes stablemate Stoffel Vandoorne began the final 10 minutes as the fastest driver - going nearly two-tenths faster than de Vries.

PLUS: Why Vandoorne is poised to deliver Mercedes a perfect Formula E sign-off

Venturi's Edoardo Mortara, also propelled by the Mercedes powertrain, was able to wrest control of the session from Vandoorne - but was immediately beaten by Dragon Penske's Sergio Sette Camara.

Nick Cassidy was next to pick up the baton, bringing the times closer to the 1m09s mark, before handing off to Sam Bird - before Jake Dennis set a pleasing 1m09.000s.

Dennis briefly topped the times before being usurped by Rowland

Dennis briefly topped the times before being usurped by Rowland

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Although Dennis had hoped to remain atop the standings, Rowland threw in his fastest effort with about a minute to spare - with Bird also getting into the 1m08s bracket by the close of the session.

Dennis remained third ahead of da Costa, while Frijns' lock-up kept him in fifth place, over a tenth ahead of Wehrlein.

Vergne was seventh quickest ahead of Cassidy, as new Nissan e.dams recruit Maximilian Gunther placed ninth ahead of Andretti rookie Oliver Askew.

Formula E's all-new qualifying system follows, which will use a knockout format to set the grid for the opening Diriyah E-Prix race.

Diriyah E-Prix - Second practice results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 30 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland India Mahindra Racing 1'08.957  
2 10 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'08.972 0.015
3 27 United Kingdom Jake Dennis Avalanche Andretti Formula E 1'09.000 0.043
4 13 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa China Techeetah 1'09.048 0.091
5 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'09.070 0.113
6 94 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 1'09.172 0.215
7 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah 1'09.208 0.251
8 37 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'09.255 0.298
9 22 Germany Maximilian Gunther France DAMS 1'09.413 0.456
10 28 United States Oliver Askew Avalanche Andretti Formula E 1'09.502 0.545
11 7 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United States Dragon Racing 1'09.508 0.551
12 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 1'09.518 0.561
13 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Monaco Venturi 1'09.541 0.584
14 9 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'09.656 0.699
15 36 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 1'09.718 0.761
16 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Germany Mercedes 1'09.740 0.783
17 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 1'09.806 0.849
18 17 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Germany Mercedes 1'09.906 0.949
19 33 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'09.962 1.005
20 29 United Kingdom Alexander Sims India Mahindra Racing 1'10.157 1.200
21 3 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'10.520 1.563
22 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi United States Dragon Racing 1'10.590 1.633
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