Extreme E’s maiden event got underway in Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning with the first of two qualifying sessions around the difficult Alula circuit.
The opening session saw each driver pairing attack the course with a lap each, which is then combined to form the final order heading into qualifying two later on Saturday – this will then decide which team goes into which Sunday event; the Shoot Out, the Crazy Race and the Semi Final.
Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor were quickest as they lapped the course in a combined 10:43.565 over two laps.
Team X44 were narrowly behind with Sebastien Loeb and Christina Gutierrez just 4.5 seconds shy in second place.
There was quite a gap to third with Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz 28 seconds adrift for the Acciona Sainz XE Team.
There were two big crashes during Q1, both causing red flags during the session.
Mattias Ekstrom completed a very competitive time of 4:42.210 for ABT Cupra XE, but during the second lap of Claudia Hürtgen, she struck a rut which flipped her Odyssey 21 SUV, which then rolled multiple times.
Stephane Sarrazin’s incident was almost a carbon copy as he too struck a rut in the road, flipping his Veloce machine on lap 1. Both drivers were unharmed.
Meanwhile Catie Munnings completed her lap with a puncture in the Andretti machine and managed to bring it home in fourth.
The Chip Ganassi outfit had a tough time in seventh as both Kyle Leduc and Sara Price had no power-steering for their runs.
Qualifying 2 takes place at 11am (GMT), 12pm (BST).