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Santiago E-Prix: Lopez tops practice for Dragon

Santiago E-Prix: Lopez tops practice for Dragon
By Motorsport.com

26/01/2019 at 15:15Updated 26/01/2019 at 15:39

Dragon Racing driver Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest time across the two free practice sessions for ABB FIA Formula E’s second visit to Santiago.At a new 1.45-mile track set entirely within the city’s Park O’Higgins, scorching heat is set to be a key factor in the outcome of the race - as FP1 had got underway at 8am with the temperature already at 24.5 degrees. Audi’s Lucas di Grassi topped that

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Dragon Racing driver Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest time across the two free practice sessions for ABB FIA Formula E’s second visit to Santiago.

At a new 1.45-mile track set entirely within the city’s Park O’Higgins, scorching heat is set to be a key factor in the outcome of the race - as FP1 had got underway at 8am with the temperature already at 24.5 degrees.

Audi’s Lucas di Grassi topped that session - which was disrupted by a big crash for Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi - with a best time of 1m08.630s.

Virgin Racing pair Sam Bird and Robin Frijns each took a turn at the top spot during the shorter second session – which peaked at 28.4 degrees – with the latter holding the benchmark time for much of FP2.

But during a string of fastest laps set on full power late on during the 30-minute session, Lopez rose to the top of the times with a 1m08.194s.

He looked set to improve again with his final lap of FP2 with fastest sectors in the opening two thirds of the track before fading significantly during the final sector.

Frijns ended up second with his own best full-power effort – a 1m08.260s – coming during the flurry of fast times.

Di Grassi put himself third late on to split the Virgin drivers, with Bird ending up fourth as a result.

Pascal Wehrlein, who looked to be grappling with a sliding car throughout much of the early running, claimed fifth place for Mahindra Racing.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans twice brushed the barrier at the exit of the Turn 12 left-hander, but did not cause visible damage to his machine and he ended up sixth.

Championship leader Jerome d’Ambrosio was seventh quickest in FP2, ahead of Alexander Sims, Oliver Rowland and Antonio Felix da Costa in the second BMW Andretti car.

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Daniel Abt finished 11th ahead of DS Techeetah pair Jean-Eric Vergne, who locked up at the final hairpin mid-way through the second session, and Andre Lotterer.

Lotterer glanced the wall on the exit of the tight Turn 7 right-hander, which feeds onto the long curved section of the track, at the start of the final third of FP2 but he was able to continue.

Buemi hit the track at the beginning of FP2 despite missing much of the first session following his heavy crash at Turn 7 during FP1.

The 2015/16 FE champion locked up heavily on the approach to the corner and struck the inside wall with his right-front, which sent him careering into the barriers on the outside with major damage to the right side of his car and this caused a lengthy red flag delay.

But Buemi’s machine was fixed in time for him to go out and set the 15h best time in FP2.

Venturi’s Felipe Massa was another driver struggling with the handling of his car and he had off-track moments at Turn 12 and the final corner on his way to 16th in FP2, just ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr (Jaguar) and HWA racer Stoffel Vandoorne.

FP1 results

1 11 Lucas di Grassi Team Abt 25 1'08.630
2 94 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 25 1'08.776 0.146
3 2 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 24 1'08.988 0.358
4 4 Robin Frijns Virgin Racing 26 1'09.059 0.429
5 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 29 1'09.135 0.505
6 28 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Autosport 27 1'09.475 0.845
7 16 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 30 1'09.487 0.857
8 36 Andre Lotterer Techeetah 28 1'09.528 0.898
9 66 Daniel Abt Team Abt 26 1'09.563 0.933
10 64 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 28 1'09.583 0.953
11 20 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 25 1'09.597 0.967
12 27 Alexander Sims Andretti Autosport 28 1'09.700 1.070
13 48 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 24 1'09.751 1.121
14 19 Felipe Massa Venturi 26 1'09.780 1.150
15 17 Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 27 1'09.875 1.245
16 3 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Racing 23 1'09.991 1.361
17 7 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Racing 26 1'10.017 1.387
18 22 Oliver Rowland DAMS 18 1'10.305 1.675
19 5 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 26 1'10.309 1.679
20 6 Maximilian Gunther Dragon Racing 20 1'10.349 1.719
21 8 Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 30 1'10.350 1.720
22 23 Sébastien Buemi DAMS 5 1'13.891 5.261

FP2 results

1 7 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Racing 19 1'08.194
2 4 Robin Frijns Virgin Racing 16 1'08.260 0.066
3 11 Lucas di Grassi Team Abt 16 1'08.299 0.105
4 2 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 16 1'08.341 0.147
5 94 Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 15 1'08.442 0.248
6 20 Mitch Evans Jaguar Racing 15 1'08.456 0.262
7 64 Jérôme d'Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 15 1'08.533 0.339
8 27 Alexander Sims Andretti Autosport 15 1'08.660 0.466
9 22 Oliver Rowland DAMS 14 1'08.684 0.490
10 28 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Autosport 13 1'08.755 0.561
11 66 Daniel Abt Team Abt 16 1'08.781 0.587
12 16 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 14 1'08.823 0.629
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 14 1'08.833 0.639
14 36 Andre Lotterer Techeetah 18 1'08.856 0.662
15 23 Sébastien Buemi DAMS 21 1'08.892 0.698
16 19 Felipe Massa Venturi 17 1'08.896 0.702
17 3 Nelson Piquet Jr. Jaguar Racing 16 1'08.921 0.727
18 5 Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 18 1'09.299 1.105
19 6 Maximilian Gunther Dragon Racing 19 1'09.799 1.605
20 8 Tom Dillmann NIO Formula E Team 10 1'10.441 2.247
21 17 Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 17 1'10.550 2.356
22 48 Edoardo Mortara Venturi 17 1'10.558 2.364
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