Andre Lotterer survived a hairy opening free practice in Paris to top the timesheets for DS Techeetah ahead of a fast-improving Nissan outfit.
Free Practice One for the Paris ePrix began in cold, damp conditions and standing water immediately caught out Lucas di Grassi, who proceeded to out-brake himself and damage his Audi’s front suspension in the process.
Di Grassi was able to return, but the compromised steering saw the Brazilian finish last in the standings.
“There was quite a lot of damage”, said di Grassi. “I lost the rear over a bump on the straight. I was at least able to get some running, but the car should be repaired properly for second practice”.
Both Virgin Envision drivers were not averse to incidents of their own, with both Sam Bird and Robin Frijns getting into altercations with Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi; the first with the Swiss driver catching a brake on the painted white lines and the second with Frijns running wide.
Reigning Champion Jean-Eric Vergne was lucky to escape damage when he got his DS Techeetah all crossed up down the straight in a 100+ metre slide. The Frenchman managed to avoid the barriers and continue unscathed at his home ePrix.
As the track began to dry, the times dropped accordingly, but with eight minutes remaining Sam Bird yet again found himself in trouble – this time by his own doing and launching his car into the barriers and damaging his front left corner in the process.
The incident brought out the red flags and effectively ending the session, which left Andre Lotterer at the top of the timesheets ahead of the Nissan e.Dams entries of Buemi and Oliver Rowland.
Lotterer would again top Free Practice Two until a late burst from Mitch Evans (Jaguar) and Oliver Rowland (Nissan) saw him drop to fourth, with teammate Jean-Eric Verge in seventh.
The Audi’s of Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt would recover to finish third and sixth respectively, whilst Buemi Sebastien Buemi and Jose Maria Lopez would recovery from large spins to finish fifth and twentieth respectively.
Image: Formula E
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