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Vandoorne Tops Free Practice, New Qualifying Format Revealed

Vandoorne leads shortened Free Practice session while new quali format announced…

Photo: HWA

Stoffel Vandoorne went fastest in the rescheduled single Free Practice session for the Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday morning, while an incident for Edoardo Mortara reduced the already limited green flag time available.

The HWA driver and ABB FIA Formula E Championship rookie posted a time of 1:18.868 late in the 35-minute session to go quickest.

It comes after both FP1 and FP2 were cancelled earlier in the day, owing to wet weather conditions, resulting in a limited single Free Practice session being held after the track had been sufficiently dried.

It began with three laps behind the safety car, while drivers only had around 15 minutes of green flag running after Venturi driver Mortara crashed into the barrier, causing a red flag.

He appeared to have a problem with the brakes on his Venturi VFE-05.

Sam Bird was second fastest for Envision Virgin Racing with a time 0.177 seconds off the pace, ahead of Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland.

Felipe Massa and Felix Rosenqvist both had separate incidents at Turn 1 late in the session, leaving the Swede with minor nose damage on his Mahindra Racing car.

Qualifying Rescheduled, Narrowed to Two Groups

The FIA has communicated a revised qualifying schedule and format, which is set to get underway at 11:25 a.m. local time.

It will be made up of two groups of 15 minutes each instead of the standard four-group system, with Groups 1 and 3 combined into a new Group A and Groups 2 and 4 in Group B.

The grid will be decided by combining the results from the two sessions, with the fastest driver from either session taking pole.

The usual Super Pole shootout won’t be held.

The first qualifying session will take place 35 minutes after the revised Free Practice session finished at 10:50 a.m.

RESULTS: Free Practice 

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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