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Jake Boxall-Legge

Diriyah E-Prix: Evans snatches top spot from Ticktum in FE FP3

Sam Bird kicked off the more representative times of the session with a 1m12.163s, but the pace quickly escalated as the drivers shook off the morning cobwebs and began their runs in earnest.

Friday's polesitter Sebastien Buemi then collected a 1m11.620s, which was quickly knocked off the top by the NIO 333 pairing of Sergio Sette Camara and Ticktum.

Antonio Felix da Costa, who was caught up in a lap 1 tangle with Mitch Evans and the Mahindras in the first race, displaced the NIO 333s from the top, before Bird migrated north once more with a 1m10.811s.

Evans pipped his Jaguar team-mate by half a tenth, but was then succeeded by Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz at the top of the timing boards by 0.014s.

McLaren's Jake Hughes then put his car on top with a 1m10.324s, and then bettered his lap by three tenths two laps later, but Buemi broke the 70s barrier to set a 1m09.897s, moving above the Briton.

Sette Camara produced a 1m09.758s to relegate the Envision driver down a position at the halfway mark of the session.

Despite a setup change that caused understeer into Turn 1, Buemi reckoned he would keep the tweaks as he claimed a 1m09.575s to return to the top, but was again displaced by a NIO 333 car as Ticktum went fastest by 0.3s.

Dan Ticktum, NIO 333 FE Team, NIO 333 ER9 (Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images)

The Briton's time continued to hold firm despite efforts from Norman Nato and Jean-Eric Vergne in the final few minutes, the latter 0.009s up on Ticktum in the opening pair of sectors, but losing nearly a tenth in the final sector to slot into second.

Evans then stole the show at the chequered flag, logging a 1m09.092s at the close of the session to go fastest ahead of Ticktum and Vergne.

Nato's time was good enough for fourth, 0.125s ahead of race one podium finisher Bird. The following cars were separated by mere fractions, with Rene Rast, Buemi, Hughes and Stoffel Vandoorne all within half a tenth of Bird's fifth-placed time.

Andre Lotterer completed the top 10 ahead of Sette Camara, but both are under investigation for a technical infraction - as is Abt's Nico Muller.

Muller's replacement team-mate Kelvin van der Linde had a minor contretemps with Antonio Felix da Costa, as the two got too close in the series of sweeping corners at the back of the circuit - knocking off the South African's front wing endplate.

Van der Linde had earlier come to a stop at Turn 4 at the start of the session, but was able to reboot his Mahindra-powered car to carry on with his session.

Lucas di Grassi propped up the times after he made a rare mistake at Turn 18 to hit the barrier side on. Although he was able to escape with minimal damage, he did not return to the circuit after retreating to the pits.

Full FP3 results:

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 20 1'09.092     129.948
2 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 21 1'09.241 0.149 0.149 129.668
3 France Jean-Eric Vergne United States Dragon Racing 18 1'09.315 0.223 0.074 129.530
4 France Norman Nato Japan Nissan e.Dams 21 1'09.417 0.325 0.102 129.340
5 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 21 1'09.542 0.450 0.125 129.107
6 Germany René Rast United Kingdom McLaren 20 1'09.554 0.462 0.012 129.085
7 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi United Kingdom Virgin Racing 21 1'09.575 0.483 0.021 129.046
8 United Kingdom Jake Hughes United Kingdom McLaren 20 1'09.586 0.494 0.011 129.025
9 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne United States Dragon Racing 20 1'09.587 0.495 0.001 129.024
10 Germany Andre Lotterer United States Andretti Autosport 17 1'09.645 0.553 0.058 128.916
11 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 22 1'09.646 0.554 0.001 128.914
12 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa Germany Porsche Team 22 1'09.723 0.631 0.077 128.772
13 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 21 1'09.728 0.636 0.005 128.763
14 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Maserati Racing 19 1'09.786 0.694 0.058 128.656
15 France Sacha Fenestraz Japan Nissan e.Dams 20 1'09.803 0.711 0.017 128.624
16 Germany Maximilian Gunther Monaco Maserati Racing 21 1'09.853 0.761 0.050 128.532
17 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'09.873 0.781 0.020 128.495
18 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 17 1'09.958 0.866 0.085 128.339
19 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland India Mahindra Racing 18 1'10.009 0.917 0.051 128.246
20 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Germany Team Abt 11 1'10.311 1.219 0.302 127.695
21 Switzerland Nico Müller Germany Team Abt 18 1'10.628 1.536 0.317 127.122
22 Brazil Lucas di Grassi India Mahindra Racing 11 1'10.904 1.812 0.276 126.627
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