Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns ended the first free practice fastest in Marrakesh with Antonio Felix Da Costa finishing in second and Frijns’ team-mate Sam Bird ended the session third.
Frijns and Bird have proven that Virgin Racing has made significant progress from their performance levels in pre-season testing, after the in-season test in Saudi Arabia which they ended fastest.
The session began in darkness as the sun did not rise till part way through the session, however, with track time so precious in Formula E, all 22 cars were out in the freezing conditions as the green flag dropped.
The Dutchman lapped the 1.83-mile Moulay El Hassan circuit in 1:17.808 to lead Da Costa by 0.094 seconds. Frijns’ time was two-seconds quicker than the track record in Marrakesh, set by Nico Mueller for Audi in the in-season test session last year.
Bird, fastest lap was a 1:17.918 to finish the session a tenth behind his team-mate. Oliver Rowland finished fourth for Nissan e.dams ahead of Oliver Turvey in fifth for NIO.
Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans ended the session sixth fastest with his team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr in seventh.
Alexander Sims finished the session eighth fastest, with Sebastien Buemi in ninth and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne in tenth place.
The only on-track stoppage saw Pascal Wehrlein’s Mahindra parked briefly at Turn 10. The Formula E rookie was able to reset his car and continue shortly after.
Edoardo Mortara also briefly stopped his Venturi in the final stages but, like Wehrlein, was able to recover and make it back to the pits.