Local driver José María López positioned himself on top of the standings on a first free practice session that saw the red flags twice, as Antonio Felix da Costa’s Andretti crashed and later stopped on track, causing the action not to be restarted.
Early in the session, DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and reigning champion Sébastien Buemi led the standings. The Swiss driver later dropped to lower positions in the top five, as Nelson Piquet Jr’s NEXTEV NIO topped the standings for several minutes.
It was during Piquet Jr’s lead that da Costa crashed, causing the red flags to be displayed and cars returning to the pits. The broken car was quickly taken to the Andretti garage to be repaired, as the Portuguese driver would hop into the second car to continue the restarted session.
Following this interruption, López managed to get first on the standings, followed by Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans. “Pechito” showed a really strong pace, remaining first for the rest of the session. Jean-Éric Vergne got his Techeetah up to second place, as Kiwi driver Evans dropped to third.
This first free practice session was stopped five minutes earlier due to da Costa’s second car stopping on track at turn five, causing the red flags to be deployed once again. FP1 finished with López first ahead of Vergne, Evans, Buemi and Bird.