Formula E

Buemi top in first Berlin practice

Sebastien Buemi came out on top in a busy opening session in Berlin. He waited until the final moments to set his fastest time of the session, half a second faster than team mate Nico Prost in second.

It was a dominant performance from the Renault e.dams duo. The next fastest driver, Mahindra’s Felix Rosenvist, was more than a second slower than Buemi.

Both e.dams drivers may have enjoyed a clean session, but the dusty Tempelhof track proved tricky for a number of their competitors.

Robin Frijns almost became the first casualty of the weekend when he ran out of shape through the chicane on his first flying lap. He was able to recover his Amlin Andretti before he could collide with a wall.

Nelson Piquet wasn’t so lucky. The NextEV driver also ran  into trouble through the chicane, hitting the wall hard at the exit. He was able to continue and eventually pull into the pits. He finished the session 11th after a brief spell at the top of the order.

A number of drivers also had difficulties at the hairpin including Antonio Felix Da Costa and Daniel Abt, who briefly brought out the yellow flags when he stopped on track. The German was able to continue.

Abt’s team mate and championship contender Lucas Di Grassi didn’t run into trouble, but he was nowhere to be seen at the top of the order. He eventually finished the 45 minute session in 9th, nearly two seconds slower than Buemi.

The first red flag of the weekend was brought out by Mitch Evans, who stopped on track about a third of the way through the session. He couldn’t get started again under his own power, and had to be towed out of the way. The team was able to solve the problem and Evans was able to finish the session seventh fastest.

DS Virgin enjoyed a strong session. Jose Maria Lopez was briefly top of the order, before being knocked down to fourth by Rosenqvist, Prost, and Buemi. He finished fourth, just ahead of team mate Sam Bird.

Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne seemed to have problems early in the session when he was bottom of the order and struggling to move forwards. He found pace before the end of the session and finished sixth.

Feature image credit: FIA Formula E Media

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