Formula E Hong Kong: Vergne fastest in free practice for Teechetah

Jean-Eric Vergne set the quickest time across the two practice sessions for Formula E's 2016/17 season opener in Hong Kong

Formula E Hong Kong: Vergne fastest in free practice for Teechetah

The Techeetah driver used his Renault powertrain to full effect to top the second of the two Sunday morning sessions, clocking a 1m02.350s around the 1.86km Hong Kong central harbour-front circuit.

That put Vergne a quarter of a second clear of works Renault e.dams driver Nico Prost in FP2, and also shaded Lucas di Grassi's FP1 best.

Di Grassi was one of only a handful of drivers to opt for a full-power (200kW) lap in FP1, with Renault's defending champion Sebastien Buemi a tenth slower than the Abt Audi Sport man.

That meant FP2 was a hive of activity as the rest of the field bid to complete qualifying simulations, but their efforts were disrupted multiple times.

The biggest issue came when Loic Duval lost control of his Dragon Racing car through the final corner with just over half the session remaining, slamming into the wall on the outside.

His Faraday Future-backed machine came to rest in the middle of the circuit with both right-hand side wheels broken, and that stopped the session for several minutes.

Di Grassi took the rear wing off his Abt car with just over five minutes to go when he ran deep into Turn 2 and hit the barrier as he tried to spin the car round.

He also distracted the following Jose Maria Lopez, and DS Virgin Racing's triple World Touring Car champion damaged his front wing by nosing the barrier and soon after broke his own rear wing when he spun at Turn 7.

That left part of the rear bodywork on the track and a yellow flag for the rest of the session, compromising several 200kW efforts - including one from Buemi.

It allowed Lopez's team-mate Sam Bird to end the session third fastest, four tenths slower than Vergne, with Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist and Andretti's Antonio Felix da Costa fifth.

Jaguar's return to major international motorsport has started in a muted fashion.

Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans were slowest in FP1 and only improved to 17th and 19th at 200kW in the second session, and were within two seconds of Vergne's benchmark.

The second session ended with a crash for Nelson Piquet Jr - the NextEV smashed the kerb at the Turn 3 / 4 chicane and nosed hard into the wall on the exit of the corner.

FREE PRACTICE 1

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m02.381s - 32
2 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m02.526s 0.145s 25
3 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m02.960s 0.579s 23
4 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m03.434s 1.053s 25
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m03.464s 1.083s 22
6 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m03.577s 1.196s 26
7 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 1m03.701s 1.320s 26
8 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m03.782s 1.401s 26
9 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m03.792s 1.411s 31
10 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m03.912s 1.531s 25
11 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m03.954s 1.573s 26
12 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS Virgin 1m03.955s 1.574s 24
13 Loic Duval Dragon Penske 1m04.034s 1.653s 24
14 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m04.044s 1.663s 28
15 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1m04.049s 1.668s 18
16 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 1m04.441s 2.060s 21
17 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1m04.494s 2.113s 26
18 Ma Qinghua Techeetah Renault 1m04.718s 2.337s 21
19 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 1m05.081s 2.700s 17
20 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m05.182s 2.801s 14

FREE PRACTICE 2

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m02.350s - 16
2 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m02.611s 0.261s 18
3 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m02.724s 0.374s 15
4 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m02.825s 0.475s 13
5 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m02.957s 0.607s 17
6 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m03.044s 0.694s 13
7 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m03.082s 0.732s 15
8 Ma Qinghua Techeetah Renault 1m03.159s 0.809s 17
9 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 1m03.230s 0.880s 14
10 Loic Duval Dragon Penske 1m03.231s 0.881s 9
11 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m03.458s 1.108s 18
12 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1m03.466s 1.116s 21
13 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m03.609s 1.259s 18
14 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 1m03.644s 1.294s 17
15 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1m03.676s 1.326s 18
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m03.831s 1.481s 17
17 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 1m04.020s 1.670s 17
18 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m04.097s 1.747s 18
19 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m04.336s 1.986s 16
20 Jose Maria Lopez Virgin DS Virgin 1m05.056s 2.706s 14

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