Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi topped the times in the first competitive practice session of the new FIA Formula E Championship season this morning.
The Season Two champion set a best lap at 1.03.310 to enjoy a 0.4s advantage over Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans, who also set a full 200kW qualifying simulation lap.
Best of the 180kW runners was Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Daniel Abt with a 1:03.969. He was followed by teammate and reigning champion Lucas di Grassi, who was just 0.113s behind.
Rounding out the top five was DS Virgin’s Sam Bird. This was despite a quick trip down the Turn 2 escape road as he locked his brakes at the recently re-surfaced corner. The DS Virgin driver, however, was able to return to the track without further incident.
There was incident aplenty throughout the session as drivers explored the limits of the 1.86 km Hong King harborside circuit.
Neel Jani had a troublesome first-ever Formula E session after nudging the Turn 10 wall and breaking a right front wishbone on his Dragon Racing entry.
The former Porsche LMP driver finished 20th, one place ahead of fellow Formula E new boy Kamui Kobayashi in one of the two Andretti entries.
Fellow Formula E debutant Andre Lotterer also glanced the same wall in the final minutes and damaged the right rear corner of his Techeetah Renault Z.E 17.
The final ten minutes of the session saw drama as Felix Rosenqvist pulled off the track at the final turn.
The problem came just as the Mahindra driver was set to complete his fastest lap after he set the quickest overall sector one time. Rosenqvist’s issue triggered a Full Course Yellow period.
The second practice session is scheduled at 09:30 a.m. local time.
RESULTS: Free Practice 1