Formula E: Ticktum tops Buemi in 2nd Diriyah practice

Dan Ticktum has topped the 2nd Formula E practice session in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Ticktum’s time of 1m10.099s beat Sebastien Buemi ‘s 1m10.302s.

The top 20 cars all set their best times within a second.

This performance from NIO is one of a string of promising results so far in Season 9. After struggling in recent years, the NIO team have pulled out some great results, including Ticktum getting into the Duels and sealing fifth on the grid in Mexico City earlier this month.

Ticktum led the pack, with a time of 1m10.099s – the first time he’s topped a Formula E session. The Briton also made an impressive 0.202s gap to Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi in second place behind. The Swiss driver, and Season 2 Formula E Champion, is celebrating his 100th race in Diriyah and will hope this pace is a sign of things to come.

Dan Ticktum, NIO 333 FE Team, NIO 333 ER9

Despite the race being held at night and under floodlights, the conditions in FP2 are similar to those we’ll see in qualifying, which could cause a shake-up of the grid.

Jaguar TCS Racing powertrains looked strong, with Buemi’s Envision in second, Mitch Evans crossed the chequered flag third, and teammate Sam Bird followed in fifth. Bird headed a more representative FP1 on Thursday and has two wins at this iconic venue – the most of any driver on the current grid.

Reigning champion, DS PENSKE’s Stoffel Vandoorne, slotted into fourth, four-tenths off Ticktum’s time. Despite showing competitiveness in pre-season testing, the DS PENSKE team have so far failed to translate that fully into potential on-event. Vandoorne’s teammate, two-time champ Jean-Eric Vergne finished the session down in 14th.

Unfortunately for the ABT CUPRA of Nico Mueller, his session was brought to a halt after whacking his Gen3 machine into a barrier. The heavy damage, which was sustained to the rear left of the car, saw him immediately forced to pull over and come to a stop.

Not the start to race day that ABT CUPRA would have wanted, especially with Mueller’s new teammate, Kelvin van der Linde, participating in his first-ever Formula E race weekend. The South African racing driver, van der Linde, is making his debut in the championship after Robin Frijns recovers from surgery on his hand.

At the end of the session, Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther clipped the wall and brought back some advertising banner to the garage. It didn’t look like there was too much damage to the car, but the drivers will have to be careful of these tight and twisty walls with this new generation of car, with even the likes of Mahindra Racing’s Lucas di Grassi almost getting caught out himself in the 30-minute practice run.

Qualifying comes next at 15:40 local. The 2023 CORE Diriyah City E-Prix, Round 2 of Season 9, gets underway from 20:00 local.

Practice 2 Results

Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time Behind Gap
1 33 Dan Ticktum NIO Formula E Team 22 1m10.099s 0.000s 0.000s
2 16 Sébastien Buemi Virgin Racing 20 1m10.302s 0.203 0.203
3 9 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 21 1m10.447s 0.348 0.145
4 1 Stoffel Vandoorne Dragon Racing 19 1m10.529s 0.430 0.082
5 10 Sam Bird Jaguar Racing 19 1m10.597s 0.498 0.068
6 94 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche Team 21 1m10.752s 0.653 0.155
7 3 Sergio Sette Camara NIO Formula E Team 21 1m10.758s 0.659 0.006
8 58 René Rast McLaren 21 1m10.771s 0.672 0.013
9 27 Jake Dennis Andretti Autosport 18 1m10.777s 0.678 0.006
10 5 Jake Hughes McLaren 21 1m10.777s 0.678 0.000
11 48 Edoardo Mortara Maserati Racing 15 1m10.792s 0.693 0.015
12 8 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Racing 20 1m10.858s 0.759 0.066
13 36 Andre Lotterer Andretti Autosport 21 1m10.865s 0.766 0.007
14 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Dragon Racing 18 1m10.871s 0.772 0.006
15 17 Norman Nato Nissan e.Dams 18 1m10.881s 0.782 0.010
16 7 Maximilian Gunther Maserati Racing 17 1m10.897s 0.798 0.016
17 11 Lucas di Grassi Mahindra Racing 21 1m10.902s 0.803 0.005
18 23 Sacha Fenestraz Nissan e.Dams 20 1m10.990s 0.891 0.088
19 13 Antonio Felix da Costa Porsche Team 22 1m11.046s 0.947 0.056
20 37 Nick Cassidy Virgin Racing 21 1m11.075s 0.976 0.029
21 4 Kelvin van der Linde Team Abt 19 1m11.693s 1.594 0.618
22 51 Nico Müller Team Abt 4 1m12.670s 2.571 0.977