08 May 21

FP1: Jaguar back at the front as Bird and Evans head the way in Monaco E-Prix opening session

Jaguar Racing pairing Sam Bird and Mitch Evans stuck themselves to the top of the timesheets in a return to form after a disappointing Valencia weekend, as teams and drivers aim get their heads around the full Monaco race circuit for the first time in Formula E history.

Jaguar Racing duo Sam Bird and Mitch Evans headed the way in Free Practice 1, setting the pace with late flying laps - the Brit pipping the Kiwi with a 1m32.220s by just 0.033 seconds as teams and drivers get to grips with the historic full Monaco race circuit.

The top 15 runners lapped within a second of one-another in a close-run session with plenty of work to do for the 24-car field. A new layout always means a busy morning for engineers, and without shakedown here in Monte Carlo, FP1 was doubly key and "a bit of a squeeze".

WAYS TO WATCH: Where and how to watch every minute of Season 7

"It's always good to start on the right note - it's early but encouraging," said Jaguar Racing Team Principal James Barclay. "Shakedown we normally use as a systems check and without that you just need to be extra prepared. You want to do your 200, 235 and 250kW runs in a free practice session, but it was a bit of a squeeze for everyone at the end there."

The Jaguars edged Robin Frijns' (Envision Virgin Racing) mid-session benchmark, reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH), Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein and standings leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) rounded out the top six.

A mid-session red flag for the recovery of Sergio Sette Camara's stranded DRAGON, which was nudged by Norman Nato's Venturi after the former lost drive at La Rascasse, further shortened the teams' limited run-time. The focus will now be on making the most of Free Practice 2 at 10:15 CEST.

'The most famous race circuit in the world'

For the first time in Formula E history, we'll see a grid of all-electric race cars firing up the hill by Massenet and the famous Casino Square, round the Grand Hotel Hairpin and through the inimitable Monaco tunnel ahead of the harbourfront chicane. They're all instantly recognisable turns, iconic sections of a legendary circuit that has hosted motor racing's past, since 1929, and now its electric future.

WATCH: The Monaco track guide

It's a very different challenge to the short circuit on the quayside that Formula E last raced in Season 5. So, all new energy management profiles and no doubt some setup tweaks for the engineers and drivers to fettle during practice.

Managing usable energy will be key with the big climb up to Casino Square and the drop down to the tunnel, as well as a number of really fast sections. Plenty of overtaking should be possible, too, with the circuit relatively wide and smooth compared to a typical Formula E street circuit.

FANBOOST

Voting is still open for FANBOOST until 15 minutes into Round 7, with Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) heading the way on 24 per cent of the vote ahead of DS TECHEETAH's reigning champion Antonio Felix da CostaJaguar Racing driver Sam Bird, standings leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) and Oliver Turvey (NIO 333).

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Give your favourite driver a power-boost with FANBOOST

Coverage of Free Practice 2 follows at 10:15 CEST, with qualifying ahead of the Monaco E-Prix Round 7 to come at 12:00 and the race itself at 16:00. In the meantime, get up to speed with the full DHL Valencia E-Prix preview.

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2021 Monaco E-Prix Round 7 | Free Practice 1

For everything from the Monaco E-Prix including full session timing and classifications, head to fiaformulae.com/live