Mitch Evans claimed top honours in free practice 2 at the Rome E-Prix, ahead of qualifying for the 13th round of the 2022/23 Formula E season.

The Jaguar driver topped the timesheets by over six-tenths of a second after setting a stunning 1:37.881, putting him ahead of championship leader Jake Dennis and António Félix da Costa.

As the opening session on Saturday got underway, the air temperature was already 26°C, despite the 30-minute session having started at 08:10 local time. Sérgio Sette Câmara became the first victim of a Turn 7 lock-up, with the Brazilian having entered the run-off area. He was immediately followed into the run-off by NIO 333 team-mate Dan Ticktum.

Unlike in free practice 1 on Friday afternoon, all 22 drivers set a lap time in the opening minutes, mostly due to Mahindra having fixed a software issue which affected themselves and customer outfit ABT CUPRA.

Championship contender Nick Cassidy was the early pacesetter after the opening 10 minutes, following a respectable 1:39.729 – a tenth of a second slower than title rival Pascal Wehrlein’s leading time in FP1.

Fellow championship rival Evans became another victim of Turn 7, whilst Sette Câmara went off at the corner for a second time. With just under 17 minutes remaining, Sébastian Buemi set the fastest lap of the weekend after becoming the first driver to dip into the 1:38s. The Envision driver posted a 1:38.904, putting him ahead of René Rast and Evans.

Drivers’ Championship leader Dennis elevated himself to fourth as FP2 moved into its second half, with the Andretti driver needing a big Saturday morning after missing the bulk of FP1.

Buemi was displaced at the top of the timesheets as the session entered its final 10 minutes, as a trio of cars went narrowly quicker than the Swiss driver. Reigning World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne went quickest following an impressive 1:38.753, whilst Maximilian Günther and Jean-Éric Vergne slotted into second and third.

Just under two-tenths split the top five drivers with seven minutes remaining, until Evans broke into the low 1:38s. The ‘King of Rome’ posted a very strong 1:38.308, to put him three-tenths ahead of Wehrlein, who had moved to the top briefly prior to the Jaguar driver completing his lap.

Dennis showed his cards for the first time as the session entered its final four minutes, with the Briton having gone just over a tenth slower than Evans. A brief yellow flag was then required as Robin Frijns span at Turn 11, thankfully without colliding with the wall at the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR.

The yellow flag for Frijns did ruin several lap times, especially as only a minute remained on the clock. As the chequered flag was flown, Evans decimated the field after moving into the 1:37s. Evans set a sensational 1:37.881, to end FP2 just over six-tenths ahead of Dennis in second.

Dennis failed to improve on his last lap after becoming the latest victim of Turn 7. Behind Dennis in third was Da Costa, with his Porsche team-mate Wehrlein in fourth. Edoardo Mortara claimed fifth ahead of André Lotterer, Buemi and Vandoorne. Günther and Vergne completed the top 10.

It meant three of the four championship contenders occupied the top four places in FP2, whilst Cassidy, concerningly, could only salvage 15th. The Envision driver will be keen to find some pace with his team ahead of qualifying, which takes place in just under two hours – 09:40 GMT.

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