Formula E Paris: Di Grassi heads Vergne in practice with lap record

Reigning Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi set the fastest time across two disrupted practice sessions ahead of Saturday's race in Paris

Formula E Paris: Di Grassi heads Vergne in practice with lap record

Audi racer di Grassi was the only driver to set a lap below the 61-second bracket, as he finished 0.191 seconds faster than current championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne in FP2.

Both the 45-minute FP1, topped by Virgin Racing's Sam Bird, and the 30-minute second practice sessions were halted by red flags - with Jaguar's Nelson Piquet Jr hitting the wall in both sessions.

Local hero Vergne topped the FP2 times after the initial laps had been completed with a time of 1m01.560s, before Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist - who clattered into the barriers at the Turn 11/12 quick double right-hander, early on in FP1 and brought out the day's first red flags - went 0.4s faster using his full 200kW mode.

With eight minutes remaining, Piquet, who had crashed heavily at Turn 2 - which will be the final corner before the starting grid due the track's spilt start and finish lines - in FP1, hit the wall as he went wide through the long Turn 5 at the far end of the circuit that passes close to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The series one champion is having to have the car he crashed in FP1 rebuilt around a new tub, and he completed just three laps in FP2 before his second incident.

Second practice resumed with just three minutes left on the clock, when several drivers attempted a final last-gasp 200kW qualifying simulation.

Vergne and Mitch Evans pushed Rosenqvist down the order before di Grassi usurped them both as the chequered flag fell with a time of 1m00.881s, which is a new track record.

Evans will take a 10-place grid drop from wherever he qualifies after Jaguar elected to change his gearbox ahead of the Paris event following a check of the unit after the last race in Rome.

Rosenqvist ended up fourth in the combined practice times ahead of Daniel Abt and Oliver Turvey, with Bird seventh.

Piquet's best time in FP2 was good enough for eighth place in the overall standings despite his lack of laps in the second session.

Sebastien Buemi, who slid into the barriers at low speed approaching the pitlane entry midway through FP1, was ninth, as Techeetah's Andre Lotterer rounded out the top 10.

Alex Lynn was 11th for Virgin, while Dragon's Jerome D'Ambrosio was the only driver not to improve their best practice time in FP2.

Ma Qing Hua - making his first appearance for the NIO squad after replacing Luca Filippi for this event - was slowest in both sessions and wound up 2.239s adrift of di Grassi's best overall effort.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m01.698s - 25
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m01.716s 0.018s 28
3 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m01.790s 0.092s 28
4 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m01.999s 0.301s 24
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m02.023s 0.325s 24
6 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 1m02.208s 0.510s 26
7 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 1m02.224s 0.526s 21
8 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m02.238s 0.540s 23
9 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m02.285s 0.587s 26
10 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m02.354s 0.656s 26
11 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 1m02.382s 0.684s 26
12 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m02.407s 0.709s 15
13 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m02.522s 0.824s 22
14 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m02.623s 0.925s 25
15 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m02.818s 1.120s 25
16 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m03.026s 1.328s 27
17 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m03.116s 1.418s 24
18 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m03.306s 1.608s 22
19 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m03.475s 1.777s 26
20 Ma Qinghua NIO NextEV NIO 1m03.841s 2.143s 25

FP2 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m00.881s - 19
2 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m01.072s 0.191s 13
3 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m01.091s 0.210s 14
4 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m01.126s 0.245s 19
5 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m01.187s 0.306s 16
6 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 1m01.327s 0.446s 15
7 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m01.354s 0.473s 17
8 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m01.480s 0.599s 4
9 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m01.515s 0.634s 14
10 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m01.532s 0.651s 19
11 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 1m01.570s 0.689s 14
12 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m01.593s 0.712s 20
13 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m01.776s 0.895s 20
14 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m01.821s 0.940s 15
15 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 1m01.826s 0.945s 13
16 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m01.849s 0.968s 15
17 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m02.401s 1.520s 11
18 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m02.478s 1.597s 17
19 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m02.884s 2.003s 16
20 Ma Qinghua NIO NextEV NIO 1m03.120s 2.239s 15


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Series Formula E
Drivers Jean-Eric Vergne , Lucas di Grassi
Author Alex Kalinauckas
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