Puebla E-Prix: Rowland leads incident-filled practice sessions

Oliver Rowland topped the times in both the wet and dry incident-packed Formula E practice sessions for Nissan e.dams ahead of an inaugural Puebla E-Prix in Mexico.

Puebla E-Prix: Rowland leads incident-filled practice sessions

The Nissan e.dams driver bolted to the top of the leaderboard in the dying moments of the 30-minute second stint with a fine 1m22.861s effort to move a full 0.268s clear of reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa.

This came despite the top two both crashing earlier on in the session, with da Costa (DS Techeetah) having posted his flying lap before running straight on at the tight first left-hand corner.

Rowland had been in the wars also at Turn 1, having initially locked up his fronts before losing the rear and clouting the concrete wall on the exit - but emerging unscathed.

In an uncharacteristic result for Formula E, a sizeable sixth tenth gap split the top four with the second DS Techeetah machine of Jean-Eric Vergne running third ahead of Alex Lynn (Mahindra Racing).

Rowland had also come out on top in the protracted and rain-soaked opening practice, having headed Porsche racer Pascal Wehrlein by 0.086s in a crash-strewn session.

With a wall added at the Turn 5-6 left-hander compared to the simulator preparation, drivers were left unsighted for the blind and off-camber Turn 7 right-hander.

This caught out several of the big names in the slippery conditions, with Rene Rast (Audi), da Costa and Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) coming off worse as they glanced the wall.

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The tap forced Rast to stop and pull of the circuit at the next corner with suspension damage, although the three-time DTM title winner rejoined later on.

Mahindra Racing driver Alexander Sims brought out an early red flag when he locked the rears on the exit of Turn 11 and stopped with a suspected battery-related issue.

This led to a lengthy delay while his car was recovered, with the session eventually extended by 15 minutes.

That and a practice full-course yellow lap mitigated the time loss for Vergne, whose DS Techeetah mechanics completed a swift 15-minute swap of the powertrain after identifying a fault while making set-up changes following a Friday evening shakedown session.

Dragon Penske Autosport driver Sergio Sette Camara came a cropper throughout the Saturday morning runs.

The Brazilian already carries a 20-place grid drop for Puebla after his team broke the seal on his homologated inverter, although not changing any parts, to check a fault.

He lost the rear and smacked the wall at Turn 7 in the first practice run, which forced him to head immediately for the pits. He then rejoined the track only to suffer a sizeable lock-up into Turn 1 and career straight on.

Following the second session, Sette Camara remains under investigation for suspected speeding in the pitlane.

Sergio Sette Camara, Dragon Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Sergio Sette Camara, Dragon Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Cassidy pulled off the save of the day when he lost the rear of his Envision Virgin Racing machine on the approach to Turn 7, but caught the massive slide as he ran over the grass and doused the patchy asphalt in mud.

While rain is forecast to interrupt qualifying, in the more representative drier session, points leader Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin) ran to ninth behind title rivals Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes) and Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans in seventh.

FP2 Result

shares
comments
Formula E was "adamant" Mexico would still feature on 2021 calendar

Previous article

Formula E was "adamant" Mexico would still feature on 2021 calendar

Next article

Puebla E-Prix: Wehrlein grabs pole in dramatic qualifying

Puebla E-Prix: Wehrlein grabs pole in dramatic qualifying
Load comments
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Plus

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Plus

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

Formula E
Jul 23, 2021
How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Plus

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Plus

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space Plus

How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Plus

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021