U.S. Markets open in 13 mins

Sanya FE: Nissan's Sebastien Buemi tops practice after late crash

Buemi tops Sanya practice after late crash

Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time across the two practice sessions for ABB FIA Formula E's inaugural race at Sanya, despite hitting the barriers head-on.

Buemi set a best time of 1m07.288s to depose long-time leader Antonio Felix da Costa and go fastest by 0.109s.

That practice two session-topping time from Buemi came just 10 minutes after he had crashed into the barriers at the exit of Turn 3 - the left-hander where the track's attack mode activation zone is located.

He appeared to have an issue mid-corner and went nose-first into the barriers as result, but was able to reverse away and head back to the pits for repairs.

Buemi rejoined the action late-on and set the quickest time with just over two minutes of the second practice remaining.

Oliver Rowland, who had topped the opening 45-minute session, set the third fastest time in the other Nissan.

Behind Rowland came Jerome d'Ambrosio and Jean-Eric Vergne, who finished just 0.177s adrift of Buemi's best effort in fifth despite visibly struggling with the handling of his car during first practice - where he ended up seventh.

During the second session, the cameras captured Vergne gesticulating furiously towards Jaguar's Nelson Piquet Jr as they ran through the penultimate corner during the early running.

Buemi tops Sanya practice after late crash

Hong Kong winner Edoardo Mortara finished sixth fastest for Venturi, ahead of Audi's Lucas di Grassi and the Dragon Racing pair Felipe Nasr and Jose Maria Lopez.

Lopez was one of several drivers to have a major lock-up at the Turn 8 hairpin, which is likely to be a major overtaking spot in the race.

Current drivers' championship leader Sam Bird ended up just outside the top 10 in FP2, 0.427s slower than Buemi.

Stoffel Vandoorne led Felipe Massa and Andre Lotterer in positions 12-14, ahead of Daniel Abt and Robin Frijns.

Frijns scraped his Envision Virgin Racing car along the Sanya circuit's walls on a number of occasions during the first practice session without causing major damage.

Piquet had to climb out of his car early on in the second session, the reason for which was an FIA-requested halo light battery change, which was confirmed by the Jaguar team.

Alexander Sims ended up 20th during second practice in the other BMW Andretti-run car, ahead of HWA's Gary Paffett and Mahindra Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Both Paffett and Wehrlein hit the wall going through Turn 6, which is an acceleration zone right-hand blast that leads onto the long run - officially Turn 7 - heading down to the hairpin.

Wehrlein struck the wall first and appeared to hit it harder with his left-rear wheel, while Paffett seemed to strike it more square-on.

Both drivers were able to recover to the pits.

Free practice two result

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 1m07.288s 16
2 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW 0.109s 13
3 Oliver Rowland e.dams 0.165s 18
4 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra 0.168s 15
5 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 0.177s 15
6 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 0.240s 17
7 Mitch Evans Jaguar 0.290s 14
8 Lucas di Grassi Audi 0.290s 11
9 Felipe Nasr Dragon 0.359s 15
10 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon 0.369s 15
11 Sam Bird Virgin 0.427s 13
12 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA 0.520s 17
13 Felipe Massa Venturi 0.629s 15
14 Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 0.664s 19
15 Daniel Abt Audi 0.761s 15
16 Robin Frijns Virgin 0.989s 12
17 Tom Dillmann NIO 1.128s 16
18 Oliver Turvey NIO 1.145s 16
19 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 1.373s 15
20 Alexander Sims BMW 1.444s 13
21 Gary Paffett HWA 1.952s 16
22 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra 2.617s 8

Free practice one result

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Oliver Rowland Nissan 1m07.561s 26
2 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW 0.064s 30
3 Alexander Sims BMW 0.190s 27
4 Lucas di Grassi Audi 0.191s 26
5 Sebastien Buemi Nissan 0.297s 26
6 Robin Frijns Audi 0.410s 24
7 Jean-Eric Vergne DS 0.458s 25
8 Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra 0.598s 27
9 Mitch Evans Jaguar 0.660s 22
10 Daniel Abt Audi 0.738s 28
11 Stoffel Vandoorne Venturi 0.741s 26
12 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 0.768s 29
13 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra 0.962s 26
14 Gary Paffett Venturi 0.987s 29
15 Sam Bird Audi 0.989s 23
16 Felipe Nasr Penske 1.115s 25
17 Oliver Turvey NIO 1.260s 26
18 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar 1.261s 29
19 Felipe Massa Venturi 1.567s 27
20 Jose Maria Lopez Penske 1.709s 25
21 Tom Dillmann NIO 1.724s 24
22 Andre Lotterer DS 2.093s 25

Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus