Lucas Di Grassi has ended the first free practice session fastest in Rome, which was overshadowed by a crash after the session between Oliver Turvey, Jean-Eric Vergne and Jake Dennis.
The crash occurred as the driver stopped on track to prepare for a practice start, but Turvey came into Turn 6 at full speed and slammed into Vergne who was close to stationary on the track. Turvey’s momentum also caused him to hit Jake Dennis. All three cars have suffered substantial damage as a result. It will now be a race against time to see if those cars will make it out for qualifying in three hours time.
Tom Blomqvist, Turvey’s teammate, also crashed at Turn 14 in his NIO 333 car. The Brit sustained suspension damage on the left hand side.
Di Grassi set a 1.38.785 to end the session fastest in his Audi. The season four champion set his lap using the qualifying mode of 250kW. Stoffel Vandoorne was second fastest for Mercedes with a 1.38.847.
Robin Frijns was three-tenths off the pace in third for Envision Virgin Racing. Sergio Sette Camara continued Dragon’s strong showing this season as the Brazilian ended the session fourth fastest.
Norman Nato was the lead Venturi driver in fifth with Nick Cassidy behind him in the second Virgin Racing car in sixth.
Diriyah race winner Sam Bird was seventh for Jaguar with Oliver Rowland in eighth. Dennis ended the session in ninth for BMW and Mitch Evans rounded out the top ten.
Elsewhere. Jen-Eric Vergne was 11th fastest for Ds Techeetah with his teammate and reigning champion Antonio Felix Da Costa in 15th.
Championship leader Nyck e Vries was 16th and Sébastien Buemi was 24th fastest.