Lucas di Grassi laid down the early pace in Marrakesh on Saturday by topping the first Formula E practice session of the weekend for Audi.

Defending Formula E champion di Grassi was one of two drivers to complete a qualifying simulation in FP1, allowing him to finish more than nine-tenths of a second clear of the field.

Di Grassi set a fastest time of 1:20.310 to mark a new track record for Formula E at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, with Dragon Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio following in second place after also putting in a time at full power.

The remaining 18 drivers opted against a qualifying simulation, leaving their power capped at 180kW, with di Grassi's teammate Daniel Abt finishing as the best of the rest in third place, 1.2 seconds off the pace.

Mitch Evans led Jaguar's charge in fourth place ahead of Renault's Sebastien Buemi and DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird, with Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne following in P7 as the quartet was separated by less than one-tenth of a second.

Nelson Piquet Jr. finished eighth in the second Jaguar, while 2016 Marrakesh pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist was ninth ahead of Oliver Turvey, who rounded out the top 10.

A number of drivers struggled for grip on the dusty circuit, while a repainted run-off at the final corner also gave a couple of drivers a scare as they found the limits of the track.

Venturi had a difficult session as both Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara suffered multiple stoppages on-track, leaving them 17th and 20th respectively in the final classification.

Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix - Free Practice 1 Result