Audi ABT Schaeffler have started the Marrakech ePrix in an almost perfect way. On a difficult day due to the track and weather conditions, Di Grassi has led the FP1 and finished second in the FP2. His team mate Daniel Abt has led the second session after finishing third on the first one.
The weekend started with difficult track conditions. The low temperatures caused low grip, which caused several driver mistakes during the first minutes. There were many brakes lock-ups, the FCY period was tested and Edoardo Mortara had reliability problems during these first stages of the session. A few moments later, the other Venturi car, driven by Maro Engel, had the same problems.
The times were, at the beginning, led by the e.Dams drivers, who seemed to have found out the pace they lacked in Hong Kong. As the session reached its second half, more teams started to set competitive times, like DS Virgin, Jaguar or even Dragon.
When the last minutes came, Engel was still on trouble, André Lotterer stopped on track as well, Jerome D’Ambrosio was leading and the Audi ABT drivers found the pace to set competitive lap times. In the end, Lucas Di Grassi did the best time of the session, a 1:20.310, with D’Ambrosio second and Daniel Abt third. Both the Brazilian and the Belgian drivers were, however, the only ones to use the extra power of qualifying mode.
Moving into FP2, track conditions hadn’t improved a lot, the sun wasn’t shining and there was dense fog over the track. Again, it was no uncommon to see driver locking the brakes or spinning.
This time, drivers did their laps in qualifying mode (200kW) since the very beginning, so the times from FP1 were easily improved. Abt was on top for the most part of the season.
On the last 6 minutes, everyone went on track for their qualifying simulation. Times dropped and the leader was constantly changing. Some drivers reached the first 1:19 laps of the day and it was finally Abt who took the best time of the session with a 1:19.760, followed from a tenth by Di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi. The top 15 drivers were within a second of distance, so the qualifying is very likely to be tight.