Despite some troubles at the start of the 30 minute practice running, Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans topped the session around the famous Monte Carlo streets. The Kiwi is desperate for his first Formula E win around the principality, having come within touching distance the previous two seasons.
It was an early start for the Formula E grid, as a different schedule for Monaco means that both Free Practice 1 and 2 are held on race day. With no overnight data to analyse and everything happening within a matter of hours, things could get a big shake-up.
Air temperatures were just 19°C by just 07:30 local time, and the session was quickly under yellow flags as the Avalanche Andretti of Andre Lotterer had an unusual off at Mirabeau. Although the Andretti driver and his car were unharmed in the incident, all Porsche-powered cars were grounded for the first half of the session. They later confirmed that the software issue that affected the recuperation systems, related to regen, had been resolved.
As well as the Porsches, Jaguar’s Mitch Evans had a slow start to the day as mechanics worked on his car when the session went green, and the pit lane opened.
Regular running resumed most of the session, with the drivers wanting to get as much track time as possible around this iconic circuit. However, Mahindra Racing’s Lucas di Grassi brought out yellow flags as he had a spin at Sainte-Devote. As well as locking up and damaging his front wing, di Grassi struggled to get going again but eventually limped back to his garage, impacting the rest of the grid from setting quicker laps towards the end of the FP1.
Evans ended the session fastest, with a 1m30.361s with DS PENSKE’s Stoffel Vandoorne 0.126s behind him. The Belgian won here last year and will hope to make it two victories in a row with his new team. Maximilian Guenther and Edoardo Mortara finished in third and fourth for Maserati MSG Racing, respectively - a promising start for the Monaco-based squad with such a rich history of success at his incredible venue.
Vandoorne’s teammate Jean-Eric Vergne (DS PENSKE) finished fifth, with NEOM McLaren’s Rene Rast in sixth, NIO 333’s Sergio Sette Camara in seventh and Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi in eighth. Lotterer finished ninth despite his early off, with Jaguar’s Sam Bird rounding out the top ten.