FREE PRACTICE 1: Frijns tops first Formula E session in Tokyo

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FREE PRACTICE 1: Frijns tops first Formula E session in Tokyo

Envision Racing's Robin Frijns headed the way in an eventful FP1 session on Formula E's first visit to Tokyo, and to Japan.

frijns quickest fp1 tokyo

The top 15 runners were split by less than a second and six teams represented in the top six at the chequered flag, with the field getting their first taste of the Odaiba streets. Frijns headed Edo Mortara (Mahindra Racing) and Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing) with times tumbling as conditions improved towards the end of the session. Standings leader Nick Cassidy wound up sixth for Jaguar TCS Racing - though as ever, practice is about more than just times, it's about learning a new circuit and getting the car prepped correctly.

The sun shone down for the first Free Practice 1 session in Tokyo, a big contrast to the wet weather seen in the Japanese capital this morning. The heavy rain, which resulted in only some of the grid going for a track walk in the torrential conditions, was still left around parts of the track which made it even more challenging for the drivers. 

RESULTS: Free Practice 1 classification

One area affected by the standing water was Turn 1, with drivers such as TAG Heuer Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa and ABT CUPRA’s Lucas di Grassi going wide just minutes into the session. However, they weren’t the only ones; a huge percentage of the field struggled to find any grip at the start of their laps. 

Red flags were shown eight minutes in when the DS PENSKE of Stoffel Vandoorne came to a halt at the entry into Turn 4. The Season 8 World Champion had a technical problem with his GEN3 machine, but was swiftly recovered and removed from the track by the marshals. 

Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis made a small but costly mistake as he nudged his Andretti into the barriers at Turn 16, with the front nose taking the impact. It didn’t stop him from trying to set more laps though, although he did come close to the wall on another attempt! 

There was also an unusual incident between NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird and the Nissan of Sacha Fenestraz towards the end of practice. Fenestraz, who is representing the home team Nissan this weekend, was whacked by Sam Bird as they both entered the first turn and suffered significant damage to the front of his car. 

Bird, who won last time out in São Paulo, had trouble braking into the first turn but was able to drive back to the pit lane, whereas Fenestraz was left stranded and resulted in yet another red flag. Race Control added an additional five minutes to the end of the session, helping these drivers get in as many laps on this new circuit as possible as the sun started to set. 

The times started to tumble as the session reached its conclusion, as drivers tried their qualifying simulations and it was Frijns who capitalised while Edo Mortara (Mahindra Racing) and Maximilian Guenther (Maserati MSG Racing) rounded out the top three.