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Jake Boxall-Legge

Cape Town E-Prix: Cassidy beats Mortara in practice

Although warm at 22 degrees C, the session began under slightly overcast conditions as the morning cloud was yet to burn away. 

Mortara was the first driver into the 1m11s as the times quickly began to tumble, but was quickly shuffled out of top spot as the pace aligned with that from Friday’s FP1 session. 

Jean-Eric Vergne stepped into the 1m10s, but was then overhauled by Sacha Fenestraz’s 1m10.869s  as the opening five minutes proved to be a hive of activity. 

The Nissan driver’s time stood for about two more minutes before another flurry of quick laps, and Mortara fired his way back to the top with a 1m10.034s. 

His Maserati MSG team-mate Maximilian Guenther then kicked his team-mate's benchmark into touch with a 1m09.305s, as the German had reached for a 350kW lap. 

After five minutes on top, his countryman Rene Rast eclipsed his laptime by 0.2s, posting a 1m09.092s to sit fastest halfway through the session – and was subsequently joined by McLaren stablemate Jake Hughes in the top two positions. 

Fenestraz then returned to the top with a 1m09.022s, creating a Nissan-powered top three, until Sam Bird shattered the Japanese firm’s stranglehold with a 1m08.550s. His team-mate Mitch Evans followed that up with a pair of purple sectors in the final two-thirds of the lap to go second in the order. 

Dan Ticktum then knocked the Jaguar pair off the top, but was quickly moved aside by Mortara moments later as the session wound down into its final runs. 

Nick Cassidy then snatched top spot at the death of the session, posting a 1m08.118s to beat Mortara’s effort. 

Edoardo Mortara, Maserati Racing, Maserati Tipo Folgore (Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images)

Mortara’s lap was good enough to stay second, clear of Ticktum, Evans, Bird and Stoffel Vandoorne
Antonio Felix da Costa was seventh quickest from Guenther, with Wehrlein and Fenestraz completing the top 10. 

Mortara’s FP1 headliner of a 1m09.700s was a late effort in Friday afternoon’s session, as the Swiss knocked Sam Bird off the top of the timesheets in a twice red-flagged event. 

Fenestraz was first to set a representative time five minutes into the Friday session, doing a 1m14.839s, before home favourite Kelvin van der Linde hit the top with a 1m13.978s. 

Hughes placed his McLaren onto the top with 1m13.229s, moments before a red flag; Sebastien Buemi crashed on the exit of Turn 9 along the waterfront, surfing into the wall to tear off his right-rear wheel.  

Owing to the length of the Buemi-enforced stoppage, 10 extra minutes were tacked onto the end of the session as a result to allow the drivers more time to acquaint themselves with the rigours of the Cape Town circuit. 

Moments after the resumption of the session, Hughes raised the bar with a 1m11.891s before Mitch Evans found 0.2s over the Briton to move above him in the timings. 

Bird briefly hovered above Jaguar team-mate Evans to head the session, but his tenure was fleeting as Guenther poked in a 1m11.612s. 

Stoffel Vandoorne grabbed a 1m11.538s to move into top spot, until Mortara found four tenths to head the session with 15 minutes left. 

Evans broke into the 1m10s with a 1m10.816s, before Abt’s van der Linde came to a stop at Turn 7 to produce a red flag. Lucas di Grassi parked up in the meantime after suffering a suspension failure. 

With the session restarted again for the final few minutes, Bird surpassed the 70-second barrier with a 1m09.858s to knock team-mate Evans off the top. He held the bragging rights for a couple of minutes, but was displaced by Mortara before the chequered flag. 

Cape Town E-Prix - FP2 results (top 10):

Cape Town E-Prix - FP1 results (top 10):


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