Formula E Punta del Este: Di Grassi tops practice with record lap

Lucas di Grassi set a new record lap of the Punta del Este Formula E track as he topped the second practice session for Audi Sport

Formula E Punta del Este: Di Grassi tops practice with record lap

The reigning champion ended FP2 0.408 seconds clear of DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird, who just pipped Jaguar's Mitch Evans to second place.

The top nine spots in the second session were filled by drivers from nine different teams.

Earlier in the day, Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time in FP1, and the 2015/16 champion was one of the first drivers to go for a full power 200k/w effort in the second session.

But the former Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver encountered heavy traffic - a problem that impacted drivers up and down the field throughout practice - and although he took the top spot, he was quickly shuffled down the order.

Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne then briefly took first place before NIO driver Oliver Turvey usurped him at the head of the times.

The 30-minute second session was disrupted by a heavy crash for Andretti's Tom Blomqvist, who clattered a big kerb at the second part of the Turn 10/11 chicane just after he clipped the wall running onto the back straight following the double left-hander at Turns 8 and 9.

The impact on the kerb swung Blomqvist's car around and he hit the wall hard, destroying its left-rear.

After a six-minute delay, the session resumed to allow the drivers to make their final preparations ahead of qualifying.

Di Grassi seized P1 with a lap of 1m13.672s, but only set a personal best time in the first sector, suggesting he could have gone faster.

Turvey improved his best time but was shuffled down to fourth by the late efforts of Evans and Bird.

Nico Prost jumped up to fifth late on to head Vergne and Edoardo Mortara.

Mortara damaged his car's survival cell at the second chicane on the track's return leg, Turn 14/15, during Friday's shakedown, which necessitated an overnight change.

He was initially hit with a 10-place grid penalty, but had that rescinded by the stewards because a "sufficient repair of the chassis is not possible" in Punta del Este.

He will be able to use the replacement in Uruguay as well as at the Rome and Paris rounds, but will have to switch back to the original cell for May's Berlin round if it can be repaired.

Nick Heideld improved from 13th in FP1 to eighth overall following the second session, with Buemi's traffic-hit laps meaning his best time from first practice put him ninth in the overall order.

Blomqvist rounded out the top 10 despite his crash, ahead of Virgin's Alex Lynn.

Luca Filippi was 13th after practice and the NIO driver was reprimanded for his practice start following FP1.

Drivers are required to line up in single file when doing so. He was then place under investigation during FP2 after allegedly speeding under the red flag.

Nelson Piquet, who spectacularly held an oversteer moment at the final hairpin late on, headed Mexico winner Daniel Abt and Techeetah driver Andre Lotterer in 16th.

Felix Rosenqvist set a purple first sector during a full power effort in FP2, but had to back out of the lap and wound up 20th and last overall, one spot behind his earlier finishing position in first practice.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m14.536s - 24
2 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m14.879s 0.343s 19
3 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m14.941s 0.405s 26
4 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 1m15.036s 0.500s 24
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m15.098s 0.562s 27
6 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m15.129s 0.593s 24
7 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m15.176s 0.640s 24
8 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 1m15.357s 0.821s 25
9 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m15.513s 0.977s 24
10 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m15.584s 1.048s 24
11 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m15.626s 1.090s 27
12 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m15.635s 1.099s 25
13 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m15.876s 1.340s 22
14 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m15.908s 1.372s 24
15 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m16.107s 1.571s 24
16 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m16.132s 1.596s 25
17 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 1m16.162s 1.626s 20
18 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m16.216s 1.680s 22
19 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m16.369s 1.833s 29
20 Luca Filippi NIO NextEV NIO 1m16.570s 2.034s 25

FP2 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 1m13.672s - 13
2 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 1m14.080s 0.408s 14
3 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 1m14.135s 0.463s 14
4 Oliver Turvey NIO NextEV NIO 1m14.267s 0.595s 13
5 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m14.270s 0.598s 12
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 1m14.400s 0.728s 9
7 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Venturi 1m14.408s 0.736s 15
8 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 1m14.504s 0.832s 12
9 Tom Blomqvist Andretti Andretti 1m14.536s 0.864s 13
10 Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin 1m14.602s 0.930s 14
11 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m14.679s 1.007s 11
12 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1m14.868s 1.196s 10
13 Luca Filippi NIO NextEV NIO 1m15.042s 1.370s 13
14 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m15.070s 1.398s 11
15 Maro Engel Venturi Venturi 1m15.071s 1.399s 17
16 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Jaguar 1m15.170s 1.498s 13
17 Daniel Abt Audi Audi 1m15.624s 1.952s 13
18 Andre Lotterer Techeetah Renault 1m15.700s 2.028s 10
19 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Penske 1m15.712s 2.040s 12
20 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 1m15.859s 2.187s 14


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Series Formula E
Drivers Lucas di Grassi
Author Alex Kalinauckas
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