Bird tops Buenos Aires Formula E practice, top 3 time for Mitch Evans

Autosport

Sam Bird set the fastest time across two incident-filled practice sessions for Formula E’s Buenos Aires ePrix.

The DS Virgin Racing driver won last year’s race in Argentina and improved contentiously in FP2 to top the quicker of the two morning sessions on a 1m08.792s.

That lap came after Lucas di Grassi crashed in his Abt Audi Sport entry and brought out the yellow flags at the start of the middle sector.

Bird insisted over the team radio he backed off under the yellow, but still found enough time elsewhere to leapfrog Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist.

“It’s gone OK so far,” said Bird. “The car feels OK, we’ve had some issues to combat and I’ll have to combat them for the rest of the weekend.”

The British driver said the problem was “temperature-related”, having already suffered an issue with a faulty regen paddle – how he initiates harvesting energy from the electric motor – in Friday’s shakedown.

Marrakech polesitter Rosenqvist was 0.165s slower than Bird, with di Grassi third ahead of championship leader Sebastien Buemi, whose second 200kW effort was ruined by the yellow flags.

Both sessions were heavily disrupted, with FP2 only just having resumed when di Grassi shunted.

Loic Duval shed a wheel on his Faraday Future Dragon Racing car just after the halfway mark of the 30-minute session, which caused a red flag.

Before that Oliver Turvey had clipped the wall at the Turn 9/10 chicane, and Jaguar’s Adam Carroll and Bird spun at Turn 5 earlier on.

In the morning session, which was headed by DS Virgin Racing’s home hero Jose Maria Lopez, Antonio Felix da Costa was responsible for two stoppages.

The Portuguese driver planted his Andretti machine in the wall 20 minutes into the longer 45-minute session, then stopped on track later on in his second car.

PRACTICE 1

POSDRIVERTEAMCARGAP
1Jose Maria LopezVirginDS-Virgin1m09.431s
2Jean-Eric VergneTecheetahRenault0.528s
3Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar0.680s
4Sebastien Buemie.damsRenault0.874s
5Sam BirdVirginDS-Virgin0.940s
6Felix RosenqvistMahindraMahindra1.081s
7Nicolas Proste.damsRenault1.098s
8Nick HeidfeldMahindraMahindra1.325s
9Lucas di GrassiAbtABT Schaeffler1.361s
10Oliver TurveyNextEVNEXTEV TCR1.452s
11Nelson Piquet Jr.NextEVNEXTEV TCR1.549s
12Loic DuvalDragonPenske1.645s
13Robin FrijnsAndrettiAndretti1.798s
14Antonio Felix da CostaAndrettiAndretti1.898s
15Stephane SarrazinVenturiVenturi2.004s
16Jerome d’AmbrosioDragonPenske2.154s
17Adam CarrollJaguarJaguar2.157s
18Daniel AbtAbtABT Schaeffler2.186s
19Ma Qing HuaTecheetahRenault2.885s
20Maro EngelVenturiVenturi2.931s

PRACTICE 2

POSDRIVERTEAMCARGAP
1Sam BirdVirginDS-Virgin1m08.792s
2Felix RosenqvistMahindraMahindra0.165s
3Lucas di GrassiAbtABT Schaeffler0.262s
4Sebastien Buemie.damsRenault0.335s
5Robin FrijnsAndrettiAndretti0.374s
6Nelson Piquet Jr.NextEVNEXTEV TCR0.421s
7Oliver TurveyNextEVNEXTEV TCR0.473s
8Jean-Eric VergneTecheetahRenault0.522s
9Nicolas Proste.damsRenault0.680s
10Maro EngelVenturiVenturi0.804s
11Daniel AbtAbtABT Schaeffler0.821s
12Antonio Felix da CostaAndrettiAndretti0.950s
13Nick HeidfeldMahindraMahindra1.054s
14Stephane SarrazinVenturiVenturi1.348s
15Ma Qing HuaTecheetahRenault1.528s
16Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar1.688s
17Jose Maria LopezVirginDS-Virgin1.852s
18Jerome d’AmbrosioDragonPenske2.092s
19Loic DuvalDragonPenske2.694s
20Adam CarrollJaguarJaguar3.000s

Bird tops Buenos Aires Formula E practice, top 3 time for Mitch Evans

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