Chris Soulsby  |    |   0  |  13 April 2019

Oliver Rowland heads Jean-Eric Vergne in Rome E-Prix FP1

Oliver Rowland set the pace in the opening practice session of the Rome E-Prix weekend, heading DS Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne in the 45-minute session. 

After taking a maiden Formula E podium in Sanya last month, Rowland maintained his pace for Nissan e.dams, lapping the 2.870km-long Rome circuit in 1m 29.738s to set the fastest time. 

Trailing the Briton by 0.055s was Vergne who topped the timesheets multiple times over the course of the session before being beaten to the fastest time by Rowland while Lucas di Grassi completed the top three, 0.255s off the pace for Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.

Using Audi's e-Tron FE05 powertrain in his Envision Virgin Racing car, Sam Bird set the fourth fastest time in the session while Season Two champion Sebastien Buemi completed the top five in the second Nissan IM01, unable to equal his team-mate's best time, 0.330s off the pace.

Heading into the second half of the 2018/19 campaign with a 100% points scoring record, Daniel Abt was sixth fastest in the second works Audi while Antonio Felix da Costa emerged as the fastest BMW driver in seventh, 0.520s off the pace.

Robin Frijns pipped Edoardo Mortara to the eighth fastest time in the second Envision Virgin car while the trailing Swiss-Italian racer settled for ninth, 0.061s slower than the Dutchman ahead.

In 10th place was Pascal Wehrlein, fronting what was a mediocre session for Mahindra Racing, with team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio ending the session with the slowest time in 22nd, 2.165s off the pace.

With one second covering the top 14, FP1 was closely grouped, with Jaguar's Mitch Evans setting the 11th fastest time, followed by Jose Maria Lopez, Stoffel Vandoorne, Andre Lotterer and Felipe Massa who completed the top 15.

BMW's Alexander Sims followed Massa in 16th while Tom Dillmann fronted a 17-18 for NIO, with Oliver Turvey setting the 18th fastest time.

Gary Paffett followed Turvey in 19th in the second HWA Racelab while Formula E returnees Maximilian Gunther and Alex Lynn were 20th and 21st, with d'Ambrosio completing the field. 

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