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Da Costa Tops Saturday Practice at Diriyah

Antonio Felix da Costa leads the way in Saturday morning practice at Diriyah…

Photo: Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa paced the practice session ahead of this afternoon’s second round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at the Diriyah E-Prix.

The new DS Techeetah driver posted a late full-power time of 1:11.084 in the final moments of the 30-lap session as he looks to overturn a difficult race yesterday.

Da Costa’s time was 3.5 seconds faster than yesterday’s pole time as track conditions and grip levels improved markedly.

Second-quickest was Saturday victor Sam Bird. He was just 0.02 seconds off Da Costa’s marker, while Alexander Sims lapped third for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Oliver Rowland led the session for large periods had to make do with the fourth-fastest time for Nissan e.dams, while Pascal Wehrlein and Robin Frijns placed fifth and sixth. Just 0.5 seconds covered the top six.

Double Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne’s difficult start to the season continued after he hit the wall just ten minutes into the session.

Vergne, who’s DS Techeetah team worked late into the night replacing his steering system, was able to slowly make his way back to the pits but did not re-emerge for the remainder of the session. The DS Techeetah has been forced to take a battery change ahead of the qualifying session due to the incident.

Other incidents in the session included Oliver Turvey running down an escape road and Felipe Massa glancing the wall causing damage to the front right suspension of his Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01.

James Calado also suffered damage after he touched the wall and damaged the front and rear of his Jaguar I-Type4 ending his session prematurely.

Qualifying for the second Diriyah E-Prix of the 2019-20 season is set to take place at 11:00 a.m. local time (5:45 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Free Practice 3

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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