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Bird Quickest in Paris Opening Practice

DS Virgin’s Sam Bird leads red flag-affected opening session at Circuit des Invalides…

Photo: Formula E

Sam Bird set the fastest time during the opening Free Practice session for today’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship Paris E-Prix.

The DS Virgin Racing driver turned in a time of 1:01.698 to draw the early advantage at Circuit des Invalides, with Lucas di Grassi just 0.018 seconds behind.

Bird’s effort came right at the end of the 45-minute session, which was halted twice by red flag stoppages.

The first came when Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed with less than 10 minutes completed, limiting the morning’s running.

The second incident occurred when Rome pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist lost control of his Mahindra car going through the Turn 10 right-hander, hitting the outside barriers and coming to a rest on driver’s left.

Rosenqvist was forced to run back to the pits and use his second car for the remainder of practice.

The Swedish driver’s registered time of 1:02.623 was enough to end the session in 14th.

Sebastien Buemi also had a moment with four minutes to go, locking up and nosing his Renault e.dams car into the chicane barriers to bring out the yellow flags.

Third in the opening session was Di Grassi’s Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler teammate Daniel Abt with a 1:01.790, while Mitch Evans slotted into third for Panasonic Jaguar Racing.

Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne, who paced the mid part, was fourth in his Techeetah-Renault, ahead of Alex Lynn in the second DS Virgin car.

Jose Maria Lopez (Dragon Racing) and Antonio Felix da Costa (Andretti) were seventh and eighth as the top 10 drivers all fell under a seven tenths of a second blanket.

Saturday’s 30-minute second practice session takes place at 10:30 a.m. local time.

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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