Buemi Leads Heidfeld in First Practice

by Connor Jackson

Sebastien Buemi lead the field at the end of first practice, as he was the only driver to do a qualifying run, as Nick Heidfeld was the fastest of the rest of the drivers at his home track for the Berlin ePrix.

Everyone was straight out at the start of the 45 minute session as many drivers pushed their car to find the limits. It was dusty off line, which affected last time race winner Buemi, who ran off track on a few occasions.

A red flag was brought out with 37 minutes of the session to go because of the timing tape at the end of sector 2 being lifted up and leaving debris on the track. By this point, Nick Heidfeld, in his home race, led the order from Jean-Eric Vergne and Buemi, with the other German, Daniel Abt in fourth.

The session was restarted with 28 minutes left as the drivers all went straight back out to make the most of the time. Some clearly pushed the car too far as championship leader Lucas di Grassi spun at turn 6. No damage was done and the driver immediately set a quicker lap. Despite this, few drivers actually improved before the red flag came out for a second time.

More issues with the timing loop ensured the drivers had only 10 minutes to improve at the end of the circuit. All drivers, but Buemi went out on track and looked to find space. Karun Chandok struggled for grip and became the second spinner at turn 8, recovering but ruining his lap, it would be a difficult session for the Indian as he would finish last of the 20 runners.

As the session started to draw to a close, Heidfeld started to improve setting the fastest first sector, however backed off at the end of the lap to the surprise of Jaime Alguersuari behind him, who had to swerve around him on his lap to go second.

However, it would be Buemi who would be the only driver to do a qualifying run, setting up the car with full power. His lap would be 1.6 seconds quicker than Heidfeld and the rest of the field. At the end of the session, Alguersuari would line up in third in front of Vergne and Jerome d’Ambrosio, who had not set a competitive time until the end of the session.

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