Lucas di Grassi has earmarked himself as an early pacesetter in Marrakesh after setting the quickest time in the first practice session.

The Brazilian driver was nine tenths faster than Jerome d’Ambrosio who finished the session in second place. Di Grassi’s Audi team-mate Daniel Abt rounded out the top three. However di Grassi and d’Ambrosio both used the 200kw Qualifying engine mode which is around eight tenths to a second faster than the 180kw engine mode which the rest of the drivers used.

The session was very hotly contested for the whole 45 minutes with multiple drivers setting quick times. The gap between Abt in 3rd and Alex Lynn in 12th was just over half a second which suggests that the majority of the teams will be very close together for the whole weekend.

However many drivers were caught out by running offline onto large areas of dust. Turn 1 especially was a large issue throughout the session.

Both Venturi drivers were plagued with unreliability for the whole session. Both Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel stopped on the track multiple times and really struggled for performance. Engel could only muster a 17th place whereas Mortara struggled even more and was last, over 4 and a half seconds behind Di Grassi.

Renault e.Dams look to have bounced back from a thoroughly disappointing Hong Kong after Sebastian Buemi set the 5th fastest time and lead the session at points. Nico Prost who was piloting the other Renault car was down in 14th but was a part of the hotly contested midfield.

Jaguar was also able to maintain their strong pace from Hong Kong with Mitch Evans in 4th and Nelson Piquet in 8th. After taking their first podium in Hong Kong, Jaguar will look to build on the result and establish themselves as legitimate front-runners in only their second year of Formula E competition.

Newcomer Tom Blomqvist struggled to get to grips with his new Andretti finishing down in 19th place. Jose Maria Lopez showed slightly better pace on his return to the sport with Dragon finishing with the 13th quickest time.

Championship leader Sam Bird showed strong pace once again finishing in 6th place. Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne was close behind Bird in 7th and will look the overturn the two-point deficit he has to Bird in the Championship. Felix Rosenqvist and Oliver Turvey rounded out the top 10 in 9th and 10th respectively.