Formula E decided to run 3 practice sessions because of the position of the pit lane at Long Beach. It was designed so that the teams could maximise the charging time. However Daniel Abt grabbed headlines by putting the car in the wall.
The session started with all the cars straight on track. This was so they could maximise their running on the 24 degree track. Having started 8:15 local time the air was still cool and as a result, would not be a large strain on the engines.
As some drivers set their provisional laps, it was Lucas di Grassi setting an early pace on a 1:03.019. However; problems for Scott Speed saw him stop on track on the back straight. Despite this, the American soon got going again and continued his session without further issues.
As the session went on the times continued to fall, Sebastian Buemi was now the fastest man on track and set a new personal best while stuck behind Nick Heidfeld‘s car. With 15 minutes to go Jean-Eric Vergne stamped his authority, as his lap was beaten by his team mate and then Nelson Piquet Jr.
Nelson was the first to break the 1 minute mark with a 59.7 sec. Bruno Senna joined him as the only other man to break this mark time. Piquet himself has decided to use his fathers helmet for this weekend as a commemoration to his fathers first ever win in F1 at the circuit.
However; the session was cut short after a crash from Daniel Abt. The kerbs had brought up some controversy after the rumble strips were added and as many predicted a driver was caught out. Abt was lifted up over the corner and hit the outside pit wall, breaking his suspension. Abt later claimed his car was “too low for the kerb.”
The session ended with Piquet on top by almost half a second. The rest of the field was bunched up with Senna 2nd, ahead of Speed, Vergne and Abt.