Diriyah FE: Frijns beats de Vries to top spot in Saturday practice

Envision Virgin driver Robin Frijns set the pace in practice for the second Diriyah E-Prix, beating the in-form Nyck de Vries with a last-gasp effort on Saturday afternoon

Diriyah FE: Frijns beats de Vries to top spot in Saturday practice

Having dominated the first Riyadh race on Friday, Mercedes de Vries looked set to continue his unbeaten run in the 45-minute practice session, having broken his own lap record from qualifying and then sett a blistering lap of 1m07.440s on his full power run.

But Frijns, who failed to take part in qualifying on Friday after requiring a change of battery, managed to lap the circuit in 1m07.294s in the dying minutes of the session, outpacing his Mercedes rival by 0.146s.

Frijns' rookie teammate Nick Cassidy also made a late lunge up the order, his effort of 1m07.449s putting him third ahead of Oliver Rowland, who was the first driver to break into the 1m07s in practice using last season's Nissan powertrain.

Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah) ended up just over two tenths off the pace in fifth, recovering from a horrific performance in the first of the Diriyah races that left him well outside the points.

Edoardo Mortara was a promising sixth after scoring a podium for Mercedes' customer Venturi on Friday, ahead of the works car of Stoffel Vandoorne.

The Swiss driver then ended up crashing heavily in the barriers after practice had ended, going straight on at the chicane after completing a practice start.

Mortara has been taken away in an ambulance as a precautionary measure - but is conscious and talking.

Sebastien Buemi was eighth in the second of the two Nissans, ahead of the Jaguar of Sam Bird and the factory Audi of Lucas di Grassi.

The BMWs of Jake Dennis and Maximilian Gunther finished 12th and 17th respectively, the latter ending up more than a second off the pace, while two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne could only finish 14th in the second DS Techeetah.

The only red flag of the session was caused by Andre Lotterer, who hit the wall at Turn 11 before coming to a rest at the following corner with visible damage to his Porsche.

Porsche now faces a race against time to repair his 99X Electric car in time for qualifying.

Lotterer's teammate Pascal Wehrlein, who qualified on the front row on Friday, was 18th quickest.

Diriyah E-Prix Saturday practice results

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1m07.294s
2 Nyck de Vries Mercedes 0.146s
3 Nick Cassidy Envision Virgin Racing 0.155s
4 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 0.158s
5 Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah 0.218s
6 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Racing 0.254s
7 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes 0.268s
8 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 0.455s
9 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 0.484s
10 Lucas di Grassi Audi 0.590s
11 Oliver Turvey NIO 333 0.723s
12 Jake Dennis BMW Andretti 0.733s
13 Rene Rast Audi 0.896s
14 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 0.897s
15 Tom Blomqvist NIO 333 0.956s
16 Norman Nato Venturi Racing 0.962s
17 Maximilian Guenther BMW Andretti 1.024s
18 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche 1.104s
19 Alex Lynn Mahindra Racing 1.236s
20 Nico Muller Dragon Penske Autosport 1.309s
21 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 1.359s
22 Alexander Sims Mahindra Racing 1.549s
23 Sergio Sette Camara Dragon Penske Autosport 1.552s
24 Andre Lotterer Porsche 2.507s

shares
comments
Rowland hopes Mercedes doesn't repeat its F1 dominance in FE

Previous article

Rowland hopes Mercedes doesn't repeat its F1 dominance in FE

Next article

Diriyah FE: Mercedes, Venturi stopped from qualifying after Mortara crash

Diriyah FE: Mercedes, Venturi stopped from qualifying after Mortara crash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Robin Frijns , Nyck de Vries
Author Rachit Thukral
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Plus

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
How Andretti is planning for life after BMW Plus

How Andretti is planning for life after BMW

Michael Andretti's team is a Formula E ever-present and that's not about to change despite BMW's forthcoming exit. But, with both its drivers contracted to the German giant and McLaren weighing up a possible entry, some key decisions lie ahead

Formula E
Feb 26, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Plus

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021
Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test Plus

Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

As off-track politics threatens to overshadow events on it, the upcoming Formula E season is perhaps its most important since the championship's inception. And that's a shame, given that the focus should be on what promises to be its closest title fight yet

Formula E
Feb 24, 2021