Piquet Jr fastest in first session at Long Beach

Nelson Piquet Jr set the fastest lap in the first-ever Formula E free practice session at the famous Long Beach street circuit in California.

Wearing his father’s helmet colours in honour of his first F1 race win here in the US Grand Prix West in 1980, Piquet lapped the shortened version of the IndyCar circuit in 59.723s.

"It's a good start," he said. "We're very confident after a strong Miami race. I want to replay my father's victory 35 years ago this week."

The session was cut short when a red flag was required with six minutes to go when Daniel Abt crashed, removing his right-front wheel against the barrier on the exit of the first chicane after taking too much kerb.

"I was on that outside kerb, and I think our car is too low, and I couldn't steer it any more," he rued.

Piquet, driving his reliveried China Racing machine, was 0.254s clear of Bruno Senna’s Mahindra entry.

The Andretti Autosport machines of Scott Speed and Jean-Eric Vergne was next up, ahead of Abt and early pacesetter Sebastian Buemi.

The chicane at Turn 1 caused plenty of issues, which many cars shortcutting it. Abt's incident actually appeared to damage the kerb.

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About this article
Series Formula E
Event Long Beach ePrix
Track Streets of Long Beach
Drivers Nelson Piquet , Nelson Piquet Jr. , Scott Speed , Bruno Senna , Jean-Eric Vergne , Daniel Abt
Teams NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
Article type Practice report