London E-Prix 1 – Dragon/Penske’s Sergio Sette Camara topped the FP1 lap times with Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy more than a tenth and a half behind.
The first of three half-hour practice sessions, one each day over the weekend, will take place on ExCeL London’s unique indoor/outdoor circuit. Since last season, the double hairpin that made up turns 10 and 11 has been replaced by a chicane with a much shorter route to the next chicane at turns 12 and 13.
(FP1) First Practice Results – 2022 London E-Prix 1
Nyck de Vries was the early leader at the start with a time of 1:17, but was quick to drop it to 1:16.431, while Mitch Evans and Sergio Sette Camara got behind. The defending champion held top spot for the first half of the session but was then demoted by Envision’s Robin Frijns with a 1:15.562 while Stoffel Vandoorne’s other Mercedes jumped to P2.
While de Vries also improved but his initial time of 1:15 did not see him improve, his second effort brought him back to the top with a 1:15.083 while Vandoorne also edged Frijns while that the two Andrettis of Jake Dennis, who won the opening race in London last year, and Oliver Askew were the only others within 1:15 at the time.
In the final ten minutes of practice, it was reported that the teams were having problems with their GPS systems, which meant it was difficult to know exactly where all the cars on the track were for traffic purposes. With the times constantly being set, things were constantly changing on the timing screens, but at the top Pascal Wehrlein had put the other German team ahead, as the Porsche driver shaved a few hundredths to a 1:15.050.
In the final five minutes the drivers started to get well past the 1:14 with first Evans clocking a 1:14.659 and then Dragon’s Sette Camara taking the upper hand with a 1:14.487. Just when the session seemed to end without incident, Championship challenger Edoardo Mortara locked himself in the T1 and spun despite managing to keep his Venturi off the wall. This brought out a brief yellow flag before the Swiss rider could straighten up and continue.
The session ended very well for Dragon, with Sette Camara’s time retaining P1 with Antonio Giovinazzi in P4 just 0.271 seconds behind his teammate. Jaguar’s Evans remained P2 while Nick Cassidy, who was strong in qualifying last time out in New York, was P3.
The driver who spent the longest time leading the lap, de Vries, finished in P5 with 1:14.834 ahead of Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi. Wehrlein was P7 .533 over Sette Camara while Vandoorne 1:15.027 took him to P8.
The top ten was completed by Sam Bird’s second Jaguar while Antonio Felix da Costa, who won the second race in New York last time out, finished 10th with a time of 1:15.093.