Nyck De Vries has ended the first practice session of the season fastest for Mercedes in Diriyah after setting 1.08.693 six-tenths clear of Andre Lotterer in the Porsche.
The practice session was moved to Thursday to allow the teams and drivers to get some practice laps under the floodlights ahead of the first night race in Formula E’s history. In the final ten minutes of the session the majority of the field turned the motor up to 250kW.
De Vries managed to get a clean lap in early without any traffic to set his fastest time. Lotterer set a 1.09.281 to end the session second for Porsche in a season where the German manufacturer will want to make a step up after a solid first season.
Lucas Di Grassi ended the 45-minute session third fastest after setting a 1.09.327. The season four champion is in talks with at least two teams ahead of season eight when Audi depart the all-electric championship at the end of season seven.
Edoardo Mortara finished fourth for Venturi ahead of Oliver Rowland who was fifth in the Nissan and Alex Lynn finished the session sixth for Mahindra.
Mitch Evans was the lead Jaguar driver in seventh ahead of reigning champion Antonio Felix Da Costa was eighth fastest for Ds Techeetah who are running their season six powertrain.
Robin Frijns finished ninth for for Envision Virgin Racing and Maximilian Gunther ended the session in tenth fastest for BMW.
Alexander Sims finished 11th for Mahindra with Stoffel Vandoorne finishing in 12th in the second Mercedes. Tom Blomqvist was 13th for the NIO 333 team with Rene Rast in 14th.
Jean-Eric Vergne was 15th ahead of Nico Muller and Pascal Wehrlein who is making his return to the series after leaving Mahindra in June. Sergio Sette Camara was 18th in the Dragon ahead of Sébastien Buemi.
Sam Bird was 20th in the second Jaguar with Oliver Turvey in 21st in the second NIO 333 car. The three rookies ended the session at the back of the field with Norman Nato in 22nd, Nick Cassidy in 23rd and Jake Dennis in 24th.