Bird sets fastest time in dramatic Buenos Aires Formula E practice

Sam Bird set the fastest time across two incident-filled practice sessions for Formula E's Buenos Aires ePrix

Bird sets fastest time in dramatic Buenos Aires Formula E practice

The DS Virgin Racing driver won last year's race in Argentina and improved contentiously in FP2 to top the quicker of the two morning sessions on a 1m08.792s.

That lap came after Lucas di Grassi crashed in his Abt Audi Sport entry and brought out the yellow flags at the start of the middle sector.

Bird insisted over the team radio he backed off under the yellow, but still found enough time elsewhere to leapfrog Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist.

"It's gone OK so far," said Bird. "The car feels OK, we've had some issues to combat and I'll have to combat them for the rest of the weekend."

The British driver said the problem was "temperature-related", having already suffered an issue with a faulty regen paddle - how he initiates harvesting energy from the electric motor - in Friday's shakedown.

Marrakech polesitter Rosenqvist was 0.165s slower than Bird, with di Grassi third ahead of championship leader Sebastien Buemi, whose second 200kW effort was ruined by the yellow flags.

Both sessions were heavily disrupted, with FP2 only just having resumed when di Grassi shunted.

Loic Duval shed a wheel on his Faraday Future Dragon Racing car just after the halfway mark of the 30-minute session, which caused a red flag.

Before that Oliver Turvey had clipped the wall at the Turn 9/10 chicane, and Jaguar's Adam Carroll and Bird spun at Turn 5 earlier on.

In the morning session, which was headed by DS Virgin Racing's home hero Jose Maria Lopez, Antonio Felix da Costa was responsible for two stoppages.

The Portuguese driver planted his Andretti machine in the wall 20 minutes into the longer 45-minute session, then stopped on track later on in his second car.

PRACTICE 1

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS Virgin 1m09.431s
2 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 0.528s
3 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 0.680s
4 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 0.874s
5 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 0.940s
6 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1.081s
7 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1.098s
8 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1.325s
9 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 1.361s
10 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1.452s
11 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1.549s
12 Loic Duval Dragon Penske 1.645s
13 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 1.798s
14 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1.898s
15 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 2.004s
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 2.154s
17 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 2.157s
18 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 2.186s
19 Ma Qinghua Techeetah Renault 2.885s
20 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 2.931s

PRACTICE 2

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m08.792s
2 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 0.165s
3 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 0.262s
4 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 0.335s
5 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 0.374s
6 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 0.421s
7 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 0.473s
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 0.522s
9 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 0.680s
10 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 0.804s
11 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 0.821s
12 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 0.950s
13 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1.054s
14 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 1.348s
15 Ma Qinghua Techeetah Renault 1.528s
16 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1.688s
17 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS Virgin 1.852s
18 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 2.092s
19 Loic Duval Dragon Penske 2.694s
20 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 3.000s


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