Rome E-Prix: Second FE practice aborted due to kerb damage

Formula E cancelled the second practice session ahead of the Rome E-Prix after only 10 minutes of running as a kerb breakage could not be repaired in time. 

Rome E-Prix: Second FE practice aborted due to kerb damage

Formula E cancelled the second practice session ahead of the Rome E-Prix after only 10 minutes of running as a kerb breakage could not be repaired in time.

The second 30-minute run was red flagged early on as the inside kerb at Turn 12 of the chicane worked itself loose after final hits from Mahindra Racing driver Alex Lynn and Nico Muller.

Drivers were informed by race director Scot Elkins that the session would resume, but after a 40-minute stoppage, Elkins eventually abandoned the session.

This was chiefly to allow sufficient time for the cars to be recharged in time for the qualifying session an hour later.

It is understood that the kerb will now be removed altogether to leave only the inside wall to define the edge of the circuit at Turn 12.

The extensive delays did however allow Tom Blomqvist and Jake Dennis to get back into their repaired cars after being involved in two red-flag incidents during first practice.

BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Guenther topped the very limited running courtesy of a 1m39.517s laptime, which was 0.8s slower than Lucas di Grassi’s FP1 benchmark.

But Gunether, who failed to finish either race in the Saudi Arabia double-header event, did run 0.192s clear of next-best Nyck de Vries.

That led a Mercedes 2-3 finish ahead of Nissan e.dams runner Oliver Rowland and Dragon Penske Autosport’s Muller.

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Both teams were set to debut their new cars for the 2021 season in Rome but delays, with Nissan citing the pandemic as hindering parts supply, means those introductions will be held off until the Monaco E-Prix on 8 May.

With Oliver Turvey and Jean-Eric Vergne on the sidelines for second practice as a result of the earlier multi-car pile-up when an unsighted NIO 333 driver ploughed into a queue of cars lining up for practice starts, only 20 drivers completed a lap.

Dennis was critical of a lack of yellow and red flags prior to the incident at the blind Turn 6, describing the marshalling as "a poor effort".

“It's a completely blind this corner," he said.

"Even during the session, I was thinking 'if someone crashes here, for sure you hit them'. He couldn't do anything by the time he saw us.”

Rome E-Prix - FP2 results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 28 Germany Maximilian Gunther United States Andretti Autosport 1'39.517  
2 17 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 1'39.709 0.192
3 5 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team 1'39.900 0.383
4 22 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland France DAMS 1'39.924 0.407
5 6 Switzerland Nico Müller DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT 1'39.961 0.444
6 37 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'40.042 0.525
7 20 New Zealand Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 1'40.232 0.715
8 99 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 1'40.530 1.013
9 10 United Kingdom Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 1'40.995 1.478
10 13 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa China Techeetah 1'41.085 1.568
11 23 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 1'41.551 2.034
12 11 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Germany Team Abt 1'41.691 2.174
13 7 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT 1'41.924 2.407
14 33 Germany René Rast Germany Team Abt 1'42.027 2.510
15 94 United Kingdom Alex Lynn India Mahindra Racing 1'42.606 3.089
16 29 United Kingdom Alexander Sims India Mahindra Racing 1'43.262 3.745
17 71 France Norman Nato Monaco Venturi 1'43.277 3.760
18 48 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 1'44.362 4.845
19 36 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 1'51.099 11.582
20 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1'56.157 16.640
21 8 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team    
22 25 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah    
23 27 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport    
24 88 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team    
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