Punta del Este Formula E: Sebastien Buemi sets pace then crashes

Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time in Punta del Este Formula E practice in the opening session, then crashed his Renault e.dams in FP2

Punta del Este Formula E: Sebastien Buemi sets pace then crashes

The Swiss driver, who has been on pole position for each of the two races of the 2015/16 season, posted a best time of 1m15.179s in first practice.

That was more than a second clear of DS Virgin driver Sam Bird at the end of a session in which many frontrunners did not complete a lap with 200kW of power.

In practice two, Buemi lost control after clipping the kerb on the exit of the Turn 14/15 chicane and slewed into the wall, causing damage to the left-rear of his Z.E.15.

He returned to the track in the second car later on but was baulked on his flying lap and wound up just under three tenths behind team-mate Nicolas Prost's 1m15.405s session benchmark.

Splitting the two Renault drivers in second practice was championship leader Lucas di Grassi, while the Brazilian's Abt Audi Sport team-mate Daniel Abt caused a red flag when he lost control at the same place as Buemi and hit the wall, leaving his rear wing on the track in the process.

Abt also had a moment in the earlier session when he spun at the Turn 5/6 chicane, shortly before Bird crashed and caused a red flag and extensive damage to his car.

The Briton clipped the inside wall at Turn 5, bouncing across the kerb and sliding into the wall on the exit.

His team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne also caused a stoppage in the same session with a possible battery problem.

Andretti Autosport driver Robin Frijns backed up his Putrajaya podium with good pace in both practice sessions, ending the second one fifth, while Dragon drivers Jerome d'Ambrosio (fourth in practice two) and Loic Duval (eighth after a mistake) also look strong.

Oliver Turvey gave NEXTEV a minor boost with the 10th best time in 2second practice, while debutant Oliver Rowland wound up slowest after not completing a 200kW lap.

NEW SHAKEDOWN FORMAT TRIALLED

The traditional Friday shakedown session, which normally comprises two three-lap runs behind the safety car split by car swaps, was altered for this event.

Instead of the usual format the safety car was not on the track and the car swap was not mandatory, so drivers were allowed to drive six laps in a 30-minute window.

Those laps were supposed to be within a certain speed, though without the physical obstacle of the safety car many of the drivers appeared to go in excess of this to take advantage of the rare on-track running.

This format is likely to be repeated at some events over the rest of the season, but not all.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m15.179s - 19
2 Sam Bird Virgin Virgin 1m16.327s 1.148s 16
3 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m17.155s 1.976s 20
4 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin Virgin 1m17.930s 2.751s 15
5 Robin Frijns Andretti Spark 1m18.052s 2.873s 19
6 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m18.101s 2.922s 19
7 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 1m18.118s 2.939s 19
8 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Venturi 1m18.175s 2.996s 21
9 Loic Duval Dragon Venturi 1m18.274s 3.095s 15
10 Nelson Piquet Jr. China NEXTEV TCR 1m18.292s 3.113s 22
11 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri Spark 1m18.415s 3.236s 21
12 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m18.421s 3.242s 18
13 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Mahindra 1m18.428s 3.249s 21
14 Bruno Senna Mahindra Mahindra 1m19.053s 3.874s 19
15 Oliver Turvey China NEXTEV TCR 1m19.120s 3.941s 17
16 Nathanael Berthon Aguri Spark 1m19.305s 4.126s 8
17 Simona de Silvestro Andretti Spark 1m19.639s 4.460s 20
18 Jacques Villeneuve Venturi Venturi 1m20.338s 5.159s 18

PRACTICE TWO TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 1m15.405s - 17
2 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m15.539s 0.134s 16
3 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 1m15.694s 0.289s 11
4 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Venturi 1m15.720s 0.315s 16
5 Robin Frijns Andretti Spark 1m15.860s 0.455s 6
6 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri Spark 1m16.246s 0.841s 10
7 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 1m16.324s 0.919s 11
8 Loic Duval Dragon Venturi 1m16.635s 1.230s 16
9 Sam Bird Virgin Virgin 1m16.646s 1.241s 13
10 Oliver Turvey China NEXTEV TCR 1m16.853s 1.448s 14
11 Jacques Villeneuve Venturi Venturi 1m16.919s 1.514s 16
12 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 1m17.618s 2.213s 11
13 Nathanael Berthon Aguri Spark 1m17.780s 2.375s 11
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin Virgin 1m17.788s 2.383s 11
15 Simona de Silvestro Andretti Spark 1m17.790s 2.385s 15
16 Nelson Piquet Jr. China NEXTEV TCR 1m17.794s 2.389s 15
17 Bruno Senna Mahindra Mahindra 1m18.038s 2.633s 13
18 Oliver Rowland Mahindra Mahindra 1m18.508s 3.103s 14

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