FP2 REPORT: Bird goes quickest ahead of São Paulo qualifying

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FP2 REPORT: Bird goes quickest ahead of São Paulo qualifying

NEOM McLaren's newest signing managed to finish the Free Practice session quickest.

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NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird topped the timesheets for the second and final free practice in São Paulo, as the grid prepare for qualifying in just a matter of hours. The Brit, who stood on the podium here last year, set a time of 1:12.773s in a session that was impacted by a red flag for Mahindra Racing’s 

Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans also suffered an unlucky mechanical issue which limited the running time of last year’s winner at this Brazilian street circuit. 

Holder of the Julius Baer Pole Position here last year, DS PENSKE’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished the session in second, with Oliver Rowland (Nissan) in third. Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis slotted his Andretti into fifth, with TAG Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein rounding out the top five. 

As it happened

The session got off to a dramatic start, when Mitch Evans started crabbing around this bumpy 2.93km circuit. Evans was last year’s winner here, and the guy who topped the timesheets in FP1 yesterday, however he reported problems with his Jaguar just minutes into session, radioing that “the wheel keeps kicking back, I don’t know what it could be.”

Team Principal James Barclay confirmed that the problem was with the car’s front driveshaft but the team were quick to try and find a fix, sending him back out later on in the session.

Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther went quickest 10 minutes into FP2, but despite the German’s rapid pace he will be starting towards the back of the grid as he picked up a 20 place grid penalty for changing his gearbox before FP2. 

Double waved yellows were waved with nine minutes of practice left to go, after Edoardo Mortara received a warning on the steering wheel of his Mahindra Racing telling him to stop the car. The six-time race winner pulled his GEN3 machine over to the side of the track just after Turn 3, and brought out the red flags as his car needed to be recovered. 

What does each flag and caution mean in Formula E?

The session did get back to green flag racing for the last minute, but left no time for setting fast laps. Instead, the grid completed some practice starts ahead of today’s race.  

SCHEDULE: Where, when and how to watch or stream the 2024 São Paulo E-Prix Round 4

On to race day on Saturday 16 March; qualifying follows at 09:40 local with lights out on Round 4 at 14:00 local/17:00 UTC.

WATCH: How to watch or stream Formula E's Sao Paulo E-Prix where you are

View the full schedule in your time zone and check the broadcaster listings or tap the Ways to Watch button above to find out where to watch all the racing action where you live.