Sebastien Buemi set the pace in practice ahead of the season opening ePrix in Beijing, although the Renault e.Dams squad did not have it all there own way as they did on Friday.
Whereas the gap to the rest of the field was over two seconds during Friday’s half hour test session, Buemi’s time of 1m36.991s was just 0.288s faster than Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver Lucas di Grassi, who was victorious in Beijing twelve months ago in the very first FIA Formula E race.
Buemi set his time in the opening of the two practice sessions on Saturday morning, while di Grassi set the pace in the second session as many drivers took different approaches to potential qualifying simulations.
Nicolas Prost confirmed e.Dams’ pace with the third quickest time overall, just under half a second slower than his team-mate, while Loic Duval finished fourth for Dragon Racing and was the last driver to get within one second of the pace of Buemi.
Daniel Abt was fifth in the second Abt ahead of the second Dragon entry of Jerome d’Ambrosio, while the leading Venturi Racing entry of Stephane Sarrazin was seventh.
Sam Bird was the only DS Virgin Racing entry to finish inside the top ten in eighth, with Team Aguri duo Antonio Felix da Costa and Nathanael Berthon completing the top ten.
Reigning champion Nelson Piquet had another disappointing morning, with the Brazilian crashing his NEXTEV TCR entry in the pit lane during the first session, and finished only sixteenth fastest overall, ahead of only Simona de Silvestro of Andretti Autosport and Jacques Villeneuve of Venturi.
De Silvestro brought out the red flags in the second session when she crashed her car with just eight minutes of the session remaining, denying a number of drivers an opportunity to run a qualifying simulation.
Beijing ePrix Free Practice Results (Combined)
|POS||NO.||DRIVER||NAT||TEAM||FP1 TIME||FP2 TIME|
|1||9||Sebastien Buemi||SWI||Renault e.Dams||1m36.991s||1m40.669s|
|2||11||Lucas di Grassi||BRZ||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1m42.199s||1m37.279s|
|3||8||Nicolas Prost||FRA||Renault e.Dams||1m37.484s||1m39.827s|
|4||6||Loic Duval||FRA||Dragon Racing||1m37.890s||1m42.408s|
|5||66||Daniel Abt||GER||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1m40.946s||1m37.993s|
|6||7||Jerome d'Ambrosio||BEL||Dragon Racing||1m38.110s||1m41.965s|
|8||2||Sam Bird||GBR||DS Virgin Racing||1m38.594s||1m41.474s|
|9||55||Antonio Felix da Costa||POR||Team Aguri||1m41.061s||1m39.768s|
|10||77||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Team Aguri||1m43.695s||1m40.283s|
|12||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||FRA||DS Virgin Racing||1m42.000s||1m40.376s|
|13||27||Robin Frijns||NED||Andretti Autosport||1m41.453s||1m40.978s|
|14||88||Oliver Turvey||GBR||NEXTEV TCR||1m40.992s||1m41.055s|
|16||1||Nelson Piquet Jr||BRZ||NEXTEV TCR||1m56.662s||1m41.333s|
|17||28||Simona de Silvestro||SWI||Andretti Autosport||1m41.551s||1m43.150s|
|18||12||Jacques Villeneuve||CAN||Venturi||1m42.590s||No Time|