Opening practice for the Buenos Aires ePrix threw up a few surprises and nervous moments for team engineers after a three-month break for the Formula E fraternity.
First practice was a happy hunting ground for DS Virgin Racing’s home hero Jose Maria Lopez, who despite being amongst a small few to complete a 200kW lap, enjoyed half a second advantage over his nearest rival in Jean-Eric Vergne.
Opening practice was interrupted by two red flags courtesy of Antonio Felix da Costa, the first putting his first car in jeopardy after clouting the wall, while his return in the second car was cut short with power issues. Mitch Evans however gave Jaguar some cause for optimism by getting within one-tenth of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Tacheetah in third position just ahead of Sebastien Buemi for e.Dams Renault.
Lucas di Grassi bounced back early in the second session for Audi ABT Schaeffler to lead the pack, but a mere seven-tenths of a second would cover the top ten runners.
Second Practice was a few minutes young before an errant wheel-nut parted way with Loic Duval’s Faraday Future Dragon Racing entry, cutting short the session with just eleven minutes left to run – incurring some choice words from team boss Jay Penske.
Oliver Turvey was lucky to escape with just damage to a steering arm on his NEXTEV NIO after clouting the barriers and ricocheting across a bollard; the pressure starting to show on drivers seeking an edge heading into qualifying as Felix Rosenqvist headed the field.
Practice was extended by five minutes by virtue of the copious red flag stoppages in each session. Championship rivals Buemi and di Grassi were on the pace straight away, with the Brazilian biting off more than he could chew and clouting the wall hard just a few corners into his lap, damaging the front and rear of the car.
Sam Bird would go quickest but with his lap recorded during the yellow flag period, just ahead of Rosenqvist..
Qualifying starts in just over 90 mins.
Images: FIA Formula E
300-101 400-101 300-320 300-070 300-206 200-310 300-135 300-208 810-403 400-050 640-916 642-997 300-209 400-201 200-355 352-001 642-999 350-080 MB2-712 400-051 C2150-606 1Z0-434 1Z0-146 C2090-919 C9560-655 642-64 100-101 CQE CSSLP 200-125 210-060 210-065 210-260 220-801 220-802 220-901 220-902 2V0-620 2V0-621 2V0-621D 300-075 300-115 AWS-SYSOPS 640-692 640-911 1Z0-144 1z0-434 1Z0-803 1Z0-804 000-089 000-105 70-246 70-270 70-346 70-347 70-410