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Lotterer sets the early pace in Paris

Andre Lotterer topped the timesheets for Techeetah, in the first practice session for the Paris E-Prix. 

The track was wet after rain fell overnight and heavy clouds hovered over the Formula E paddock. 

Before a lap time was set, Audi’s Lucas di Grassi sustained damage to the front of his car, after he hit a bump on one of the straights and lost the rear of his car.

As a result, the Brazilian broke the right front steering arm and although he returned to the rack, he finished the session in 22nd.

Shortly after, the Nissan of Sebastien Buemi locked up under braking and hit Envision Virgin’s Sam Bird, and caused both to spun. 

Thankfully for them, neither driver hit the barriers.

At the front, the times dropped in rapid fashion and with one-third of the session completed, Jose Maria Lopez was fastest for Dragon Racing with a 1m12:379s.

The red flag was then deployed when Robin Frijns crashed and subsequently damaged his steering, while Buemi also spun at the same corner. 

Because of this, there was a lengthy delay to repair the barriers.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, the drivers went back out on track. 

On his out lap, DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne spun on the straight and ended up going down the escape road.   

Meanwhile, his team-mate Andre Lotterer was trading fastest laps with the Nissan of Oliver Rowland. 

Lotterer came out on top and set a lap time of 1m11.020s to go quickest, with Buemi sandwiched between them in second place. 

With less than ten minutes to go, the red flag was brought out once again after Sam Bird crashed into the barriers.

Ironically, the incident occurred at the same corner as his Envision Virgin team-mate Robin Frijns. 

The stewards declared that the session would not be restarted, and Lotterer ended the session on top, ahead of Nissan’s Buemi and Rowland. 

HWA’s Gary Paffett was six tenths off the pace in fourth, with Bird fifth despite his crash and the Mahindra of Pascal Wehrlein in sixth place. 

Vergne recovered from his spin to finish seventh, with Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, NIO’s Tom Dillman and the Dragon of Jose Maria Lopez rounding up the top ten.   


Aaron Lloyd Collins

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