Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi top practice

Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi shared practice honours for the Formula E season-opening Beijing ePrix, with Renault e.dams favourite for pole position

Beijing Formula E: Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi top practice

The Renault squad dominated the opening session as Buemi improved late on to a 1m36.991s to lead team-mate Nicolas Prost by almost half a second.

In practice two neither driver managed a 200kW lap, after Simona de Silvestro's crashed Andretti Autosport-run Spark SRT_01E brought out the red flags with less than eight minutes remaining.

Prost had just emerged from the pitlane when the session was halted and ended up 2.6s off the pace in fifth as the session was not restarted.

Dragon Racing's Venturi VM200-FE-01s had offered the greatest challenge to Buemi and Prost in first practice, with Loic Duval best of the two drivers and within a second of Buemi's benchmark.

But the Frenchman and team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio were also denied a 200kW run in the second session, in which di Silvestro's accident compromised the run plans of several teams.

Di Grassi was one of the few drivers to get a clean run at qualifying power in the later session, and made the most of it to best Abt Audi Sport team-mate Daniel Abt by a comfortable margin.

Brazilian di Grassi's benchmark of 1m37.279s was easily the closest the Abt Schaeffler FE01s have been to the early pacesetting Renaults, and they were well clear of Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi) and Antonio Felix da Costa (Aguri) in third and fourth.

Reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr finished bottom of the timesheets in the first session after crashing in the pitlane.

An apparent problem with the speed limiter caused his NEXTEC TCR 001 to suddenly accelerate, spinning Piquet into the inside concrete barrier.

It broke the front left corner and with a technical issue on the Brazilian's other car, he failed to emerge again in practice one and racked up just five laps.

Car problems kept him in the pits for the first half of the second session, and his 200kW lap was four seconds off di Grassi's pace.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 1m36.991s - 19
2 Nicolas Prost e.dams 1m37.484s 0.493s 19
3 Loic Duval Dragon 1m37.890s 0.899s 17
4 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon 1m38.110s 1.119s 18
5 Sam Bird Virgin 1m38.594s 1.603s 16
6 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1m40.636s 3.645s 20
7 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 1m40.684s 3.693s 17
8 Daniel Abt Abt 1m40.946s 3.955s 10
9 Oliver Turvey China 1m40.992s 4.001s 18
10 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri 1m41.061s 4.070s 15
11 Bruno Senna Mahindra 1m41.212s 4.221s 20
12 Robin Frijns Andretti 1m41.453s 4.462s 19
13 Simona de Silvestro Andretti 1m41.551s 4.560s 20
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin 1m42.000s 5.009s 13
15 Lucas di Grassi Abt 1m42.199s 5.208s 15
16 Jacques Villeneuve Venturi 1m42.590s 5.599s 16
17 Nathanael Berthon Aguri 1m43.695s 6.704s 13
18 Nelson Piquet Jr. China 1m56.662s 19.671s 8

PRACTICE TWO TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lucas di Grassi Abt 1m37.279s - 7
2 Daniel Abt Abt 1m37.993s 0.714s 7
3 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 1m38.336s 1.057s 9
4 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri 1m39.768s 2.489s 7
5 Nicolas Prost e.dams 1m39.827s 2.548s 10
6 Nathanael Berthon Aguri 1m40.283s 3.004s 5
7 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra 1m40.349s 3.070s 5
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin 1m40.376s 3.097s 8
9 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 1m40.669s 3.390s 9
10 Robin Frijns Andretti 1m40.978s 3.699s 8
11 Oliver Turvey China 1m41.055s 3.776s 10
12 Nelson Piquet Jr. China 1m41.333s 4.054s 4
13 Bruno Senna Mahindra 1m41.457s 4.178s 9
14 Sam Bird Virgin 1m41.474s 4.195s 9
15 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon 1m41.965s 4.686s 10
16 Loic Duval Dragon 1m42.408s 5.129s 10
17 Simona de Silvestro Andretti 1m43.150s 5.871s 8
18 Jacques Villeneuve Venturi - - 2


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