Di Grassi tops Paris ePrix practice

Di Grassi tops Paris ePrix practice
By AutoSport

20/05/2017 at 10:57Updated

Last year's Paris ePrix winner Lucas di Grassi topped practice for Formula E's return to the French capital.

The Abt Audi Sport driver left it to the dying moments of the second session to go quickest by two tenths of a second.

Di Grassi and championship leader Sebastien Buemi were among several drivers to leave it late to carry out a 200kW lap in FP2.

In the closing minutes of the session Jose Maria Lopez was quickest on a 1m01.559s, which Buemi could not quite match on a last-minute qualifying simulation and ended up 0.022s adrift of in his Renault e.dams machine.

Moments later di Grassi vaulted to the top with a 1m01.359s, fractionally faster than Mike Conway's practice benchmark last year.

Daniel Abt backed up the Audi-backed team's pace with the fourth-fastest time, just 0.01s slower than first-practice pacesetter Buemi.

The track appears slower here than last year, despite warmer temperatures due to the race taking place a month later, with no real improvement in laptimes.

Turn 1 continued to catch drivers out, with di Grassi and Lopez among several drivers to lock up and run deep into the run-off area.

Jean-Eric Vergne's attempt at a 200kW was scruffy and only good enough to ninth ahead of qualifying for his home race, as the Renault-powered Frenchman seeks to end his Formula E win drought.

Apart from a lurid slide at Turn 14 the returning Conway performed well standing in for the DTM-competing Loic Duval at Faraday Future Dragon Racing.

After running seventh in FP1 he was only 16th fastest, but lapped just 0.033s slower than team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio.

Formula E debutant Tom Dillmann, in for Maro Engel (also on DTM duty) at Venturi, was 18th, 1.4s off the pace and three tenths slower than Stephane Sarrazin in the same car.

Oliver Turvey, who was eighth quickest in FP2, takes a 10-place grid penalty into qualifying.

The British driver's NextEV team has replaced the motor on his NEXTEV TCR002 powertrain, the second time this season it has done so.

That breaches Article 28.2 of the sporting regulations, which dictates a driver only has one free change of motor, inverter or gearbox each season.

Anyone crashes between T12 and T13 in qualifying will have their lap disallowed. This is to prevent abuse of the timing line exiting T13.