Nick Cassidy has finished sixth and Mitch Evans tenth in the opening practice session for the Rome E-Prix, but it was a massive three-car crash that overshadowed proceedings.
Jean-Eric Vergne, Oliver Turvey and Jake Dennis were involved in a pile-up at the very end of the session.
Turvey was unaware that both Vergne and Dennis had slowed to a crawl for customary practice starts on the main straight.
With a blind entry, Turvey arrived at speed and slammed into the back of Dennis and Vergne, sending debris skewing across the circuit.
All drivers have been cleared by the medical crew, with teams now scrambling to repair the cars in time for qualifying, which is slated to begin at 10 pm NZT.
Adding salt to the wounds for Turvey’s NIO 333 team, the sister car of Tom Blomqvist collected the barrier just minutes earlier to bring out the red flag.
Blomqvist had been experiencing brake dramas for most of the session and ran into repeated strife at turns 12 and 14. It would be the latter where he would eventually have his accident.
Lucas di Grassi topped the 45-minute session, edging out Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne by 0.062s.
Considering Cassidy had never been to the Rome street circuit before, the Kiwi’s sixth place in practice is a strong omen for the rest of the weekend.
Evans ended up inside the top-ten, eight-tenths off the pace of di Grassi.
The Jaguar driver is the most recent Rome E-Prix winner and is yet to begin his full qualifying simulations. Instead, he spent most of FP1 focusing on race runs.
There is a second practice session scheduled to begin at 8 pm NZT.
The first of two races this weekend will then start at 2 am.
Every session can be caught live on Sky Sport 5.
|1||Lucas Di Grassi||1.38.785s|
|4||Sérgio Sette Câmara||+0.259s|
|15||António Félix da Costa||+1.254s|
|16||Nyck de Vries||+1.354s|