Buenos Aires ePrix: Bird goes quickest in opening practice

DS Virgin's Sam Bird set the fastest time of the first 45-minute practice session of Formula E's Buenos Aires ePix.

The Briton's 1m09.913s time was slower than last year’s first practice session benchmark, which had been set by current points leader Sebastien Buemi on a 1m09.475s.

Bird was the only DS Virgin driver to take part in the session after Jean-Eric Vergne was taken ill overnight and is set to be ruled out of competing at all this weekend.

In the meantime, Daniel Abt placed second in his Abt Schaeffler FE01 with a 1m10.302s, while the NEXTEV duo of Nelson Piquet and Oliver Turvey were third and fourth, underlining improved performance for the team's car.

Buemi sat fifth ahead of title rival Lucas di Grassi, who momentarily stopped on the track before rebooting his Abt Schaeffler FE01 and continuing.

Formula E debutant Mike Conway had an impressive first session and was immediately on the pace, placing 12th with a 1m12.209s lap in his Venturi VM200-FE-01

The session was red-flagged after just seven minutes when Simona de Silvestro crashed her Andretti Spark-Renault, having hit a bump as she exited the pits.

Other incidents saw both Salvador Duran (Team Aguri) and Bruno Senna (Mahindra) run off in to the escape road at Turn 10 and Turn 4 respectively, while Robin Frijns (Andretti) and Piquet had lurid moments at the turn one hairpin.

Frijns later stopped on the track with an apparent software problem.

Yellow flags were briefly also shown for a dog which managed to get through to one of the escape roads. Thankfully, the canine intruder retreated before entering the actual circuit.

Practice results:

PosDriverTeamTimeGap
1 United KingdomSam Bird United KingdomVirgin Racing 1:09.913  
2 GermanyDaniel Abt GermanyAudi Sport Team Abt 1:10.302 +0.389
3 BrazilNelson Piquet Jr. ChinaChina Racing 1:10.717 +0.804
4 United KingdomOliver Turvey ChinaChina Racing 1:10.752 +0.839
5 SwitzerlandSébastien Buemi FranceDAMS 1:10.880 +0.967
6 BrazilLucas di Grassi GermanyAudi Sport Team Abt 1:11.152 +1.239
7 FranceStéphane Sarrazin MonacoVenturi 1:11.232 +1.319
8 FranceNicolas Prost FranceDAMS 1:11.291 +1.378
9 NetherlandsRobin Frijns United StatesAndretti Autosport 1:11.429 +1.516
10 PortugalAntonio Felix da Costa JapanTeam Aguri 1:11.690 +1.777
11 FranceLoic Duval United StatesDragon Racing 1:11.948 +2.035
12 United KingdomMike Conway MonacoVenturi 1:12.209 +2.296
13 BelgiumJérôme d'Ambrosio United StatesDragon Racing 1:12.209 +2.296
14 MexicoSalvador Duran JapanTeam Aguri 1:12.343 +2.430
15 SwitzerlandSimona de Silvestro United StatesAndretti Autosport 1:12.432 +2.519
16 BrazilBruno Senna IndiaMahindra Racing 1:12.440 +2.527
17 GermanyNick Heidfeld IndiaMahindra Racing 1:12.578 +2.665

 

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About this article
Series Formula E
Event Buenos Aires ePrix
Track Puerto Madero Street Circuit
Drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. , Sam Bird , Daniel Abt
Teams Virgin Racing
Article type Practice report