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Practice report
Formula E Mexico City ePrix

Mexico City E-Prix: Vergne beats Hughes to lead first FE practice in Gen3 era

Jean-Eric Vergne drew first blood in the 2022-23 Formula E season after setting a 1m13.294s in opening practice of the year at the Mexico City E-Prix.

Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, DS E-Tense FE23

The DS Penske driver spent the session intermittently headlining the timing boards, and beat rookie Jake Hughes to the punch at the end of the session to claim the early bragging rights.

McLaren's Rene Rast set the first benchmark with a 1m19.069s, but that was quickly usurped by Vergne's first run - as the Frenchman took 0.3s out of the German's time.

But the times quickly began to tumble as the drivers got their eye in; Andre Lotterer spent a short spell on top before a flurry of runners shuffled the upper order - the tombola machine eventually landing on Pascal Wehrlein's 1m15.691s.

This preceded a brief full course yellow to allow Formula E's race directors to test out the systems, before Wehrlein was displaced by the DS Penske pair of Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Vergne's 1m15.217s was beaten by Mitch Evans, but the Kiwi's time was quickly overturned by the similarly Jaguar-powered Envision of Sebastien Buemi, who logged a 1m15.030s.

Evans punched in a 1m14.946s to move above Buemi, but Vergne claimed top spot again despite a slide through the Turn 10 chicane.

Jake Hughes, McLaren, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Jake Hughes, McLaren, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Wehrlein took advantage of Vergne's slide to go two tenths faster than the Parisian, sitting on top for a brief spell before the Porsche-powered Andretti of Jake Dennis displaced him.

Vergne's earlier slide had hinted at more pace in his DS Penske package, and he duly delivered by putting half a second over Dennis to lead proceedings after the first 15 minutes, as Dan Ticktum put his NIO 333 car between the two.

Although Vergne's headliner held on for five minutes, Evans returned to the top after breaking the 1m13s barrier - but was then overhauled by Hughes' 1m13.737s effort as the McLaren driver makes his long-awaited Formula E debut.

Hughes took 0.4s out of his own benchmark, but could not prevent Vergne from another return to the uppermost point of the timesheets with a 1m13.294s.

Rast then got too eager on the accelerator through the Peraltada and hit the wall, bending his left-rear suspension and prompting a hasty retreat to the pits.

Oliver Rowland had his own incident at the end of the session, hitting the inside wall at Turn 12 to bring out a yellow flag - which largely stopped anyone else from beating Vergne's time.

Oliver Rowland, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M9Electro

Oliver Rowland, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M9Electro

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Hughes was 0.3s clear of NIO 333's Sergio Sette Camara, who took an impressive third, 0.001s clear of Porsche's Wehrlein.

Reigning champion Vandoorne was fifth ahead of Maserati MSG's Edoardo Mortara, while Evans and Dennis were separated from the Swiss by just 0.06s.

Ticktum ultimately placed ninth overall, as Valencia testing's headline act Maximilian Guenther completed the top 10.

Despite his crash, Rast's best time stood the test of time for 11th, 0.066s clear of Sam Bird.

Formula E Mexico City E-Prix - FP1 results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval
1 France Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske 19 1'13.294    
2 United Kingdom Jake Hughes NEOM McLaren Formula E Team 19 1'13.386 0.092 0.092
3 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara NIO 333 Racing 21 1'13.732 0.438 0.346
4 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 21 1'13.733 0.439 0.001
5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske 19 1'13.841 0.547 0.108
6 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Maserati MSG Racing 21 1'13.843 0.549 0.002
7 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 22 1'13.895 0.601 0.052
8 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'13.900 0.606 0.005
9 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum NIO 333 Racing 21 1'13.904 0.610 0.004
10 Germany Maximilian Gunther Maserati MSG Racing 22 1'13.978 0.684 0.074
11 Germany René Rast NEOM McLaren Formula E Team 18 1'14.081 0.787 0.103
12 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 18 1'14.147 0.853 0.066
13 Brazil Lucas di Grassi India Mahindra Racing 18 1'14.225 0.931 0.078
14 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa Germany Porsche Team 19 1'14.359 1.065 0.134
15 Germany Andre Lotterer United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'14.459 1.165 0.100
16 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 20 1'14.771 1.477 0.312
17 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi United Kingdom Virgin Racing 12 1'14.925 1.631 0.154
18 France Sacha Fenestraz Nissan Formula E Team 20 1'14.930 1.636 0.005
19 France Norman Nato Nissan Formula E Team 20 1'15.007 1.713 0.077
20 Switzerland Nico Müller ABT CUPRA Formula E Team 16 1'15.130 1.836 0.123
21 Netherlands Robin Frijns ABT CUPRA Formula E Team 17 1'15.154 1.860 0.024
22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland India Mahindra Racing 19 1'15.390 2.096 0.236

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