Buenos Aires ePrix: Local hero Lopez leads FP1

DS Virgin Racing's Jose Maria Lopez led Jean-Eric Vergne in the first official track action of the Buenos Aires ePrix on Saturday morning.

Buenos Aires ePrix: Local hero Lopez leads FP1
Virgin Team Photo, Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, Spark-Citroen, Virgin DSV-02, Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, Spark-Citroen, Virgin DSV-02, Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing, Spark-Citroen, Virgin DSV-02
Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing, Spark-Citroen, Virgin DSV-02
Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah, Spark-Renault, Renault Z.E 16
Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah, Spark-Renault, Renault Z.E 16
Sébastien Buemi, Renault e.Dams, Spark-Renault, Renault Z.E 16

Lopez set a fastest lap of 1m09.431s around the 2.48kms Puerto Madero track, a time which was 0.5s quicker than the top time last year.

The Argentinian, who is racing on his home track in Formula E for the first time, used the maximum 200kW power to set his time.

Vergne was 0.528s adrift of Lopez in the Renault-powered Techeetah car. The Frenchman was the quickest of the 170kW runners in the session this morning.

Mitch Evans also used the 200kW maximum power to his advantage and placed third, giving a boost to the Jaguar team as it searches for its first points of the season.

Championship leader and winner of the first two races, Sebastien Buemi, placed fourth, just ahead of last year’s Buenos Aires winner Sam Bird in the second of the DS Virgin Racing cars.

The expected rain showers held off for the 45-minute session, which began with inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr setting the early pace in his NextEV NIO entry.

The Brazilian ended the session in 11th, just behind his teammate Oliver Turvey.

Marrakesh polesitter Felix Rosenqvist set an impressive sixth best time in his Mahindra M3 ELECTRO as he continues to learn the track on his first visit.

The session was red-flagged after 20 minutes, when Antonio Felix Da Costa had a sizeable accident in his Andretti ATEC-02.

The winner of the inaugural Buenos Aires ePrix in 2015 had just survived one lurid moment before he slammed the Turn 6 wall, inflicting damage to the front and rear of his car. The stoppage meant that 12 minutes of running were lost in the session.

Other than Da Costa’s faux pas, the session was relatively incident-free.

In fact, it was the Portuguese driver who again brought out the yellow flags as he returned to the fray, when he parked his other car at the side of the track with a problem and triggered the second red flag of the session as he was unable to restart.

Practice times:

PosDriverTeamTimeGap
1 argentina  Jose Maria Lopez  DS Virgin Racing 1:09.431  
2 france  Jean-Eric Vergne  Techeetah 1:09.959 0.528
3 new_zealand  Mitch Evans  Jaguar Racing 1:10.111 0.680
4 switzerland  Sebastien Buemi  Renault e.Dams 1:10.305 0.874
5 united_kingdom  Sam Bird  DS Virgin Racing 1:10.371 0.940
6 sweden  Felix Rosenqvist  Mahindra Racing 1:10.512 1.081
7 france  Nicolas Prost  Renault e.Dams 1:10.529 1.098
8 germany  Nick Heidfeld  Mahindra Racing 1:10.756 1.325
9 brazil  Lucas di Grassi  Audi Sport ABT 1:10.792 1.361
10 united_kingdom  Oliver Turvey  NextEV NIO 1:10.883 1.452
11 brazil  Nelson Piquet Jr.  NextEV NIO 1:10.980 1.549
12 france  Loic Duval  Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:11.076 1.645
13 netherlands  Robin Frijns  MS Amlin Andretti 1:11.229 1.798
14 portugal  Antonio Felix da Costa  MS Amlin Andretti 1:11.329 1.898
15 france  Stephane Sarrazin  Venturi 1:11.435 2.004
16 belgium  Jerome d'Ambrosio  Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:11.585 2.154
17 united_kingdom  Adam Carroll  Jaguar Racing 1:11.588 2.157
18 germany  Daniel Abt  Audi Sport ABT 1:11.617 2.186
19 china  Ma Qing Hua  Techeetah 1:12.316 2.885
20 germany  Maro Engel  Venturi 1:12.362 2.931
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