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di Grassi shows he means business in FP3


Lucas di Grassi headed the field in the opening practice session of the final day of the season, showing his hand early on a day that could see him take his maiden Formula E title.

Glorious sunshine once again greeted the Formula E paddock for FP3, with the Renault e.dams duo of Sebastien Buemi and Nico Prost making the most of their garage position to break the silence and head out on track first.

Still running a makeshift tub following his shunt yesterday, Buemi set the first lap time of the afternoon with a 1:30.148s.

With the majority of the field taking to the track, the times immediately started to tumble with Nelson Piquet Jr taking over the top spot as the Brazilian set a 1:27.947s ahead of the Techeetahs of Jean-Eric Vergne and Stephane Sarrazin.

With drivers settling into long runs and finding their rhythm again, Felix Rosenqvist put down a new marker of 1:23.923s to lead ahead of Robin Frijns and Sam Bird, before the Englishman then went purple in all three sectors to grab P1.

The ABT Schaeffler pair then showed their hand, with di Grassi briefly taking the top spot before being trumped by Daniel Abt seconds later. Not long after, Nico Prost split the pair for second place, 0.044s behind Abt.

Looking to make the most of a crucial day for his title defence, Buemi then surged to the top of the times with a 1:23.019s, the Swiss driver showing that he means business today.

The session remained relatively event-free thereafter, with the only drama coming from a couple of escape road visits from Piquet Jr and Abt.

With 12 minutes to go Prost smashed in a new fastest lap with a time of 1:21.840s, 1.1s ahead of his team-mate, signalling the start of 200kW laps.

The times then start to come down further, with Buemi, Bird, Vergne and the ABT Schaefflers all improving their times in the top six, with di Grassi laying down a 1:21.442s to go P1 and start of his championship challenging day in the best way possible.

Prost finished ahead of Buemi to make it a Renault e.dams 2-3, while Antonio Felix da Costa impressed as he steered his MS Amlin Andretti to the fourth fastest time.

Rosenqvist, aiming to topple Bird for third in the stanings, ended the session fifth fastest ahead of Jose Maria Lopez and Bird, while Mitch Evans, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Vergne rounded out the top ten.



Images courtesy of FIA Formula E Media


About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.