Local hero Nick Heidfeld showed his strength in Berlin as he topped the time sheets ahead of Sebastien Buemi and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.
It has been a sunny start to the Formula E day in Berlin. As soon as the red light at the pit stop exist went out, all 20 driver headed out onto the historic Berlin Tempelhof track immediately. Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) quickly took over the lead but had no time to get comfortable there. Just a short full-course yellow practice later, Mahindra Racing’s local hero Nick Heidfeld topped the time sheets with a 1:10.731.
With about 25 minutes left, comeback racer Stephane Sarrazin (MS&AD Andretti) hit the wall in turn 1, causing a red flag. As one of the tech-pro barriers needed to be replaced as a result of the accident, the drivers lost a valuable amount of practice time as the session was only restarted with 15 minutes still on the clock.
Before the session was disrupted, Heidfeld was leading the electric squad ahead of his teammate Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing) and Oliver Turvey (NIO Formula E). Interestingly, Rosenqvist has been the only driver within the top-5 of the current championship standings who was able to position himself among the fastest ten in FP1.
Once the drivers could return to the track, Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) joined Rosenqvist in the top-ten with a time that put him in P3 for the moment. Times at the top continue to drop, with Rosenqvist gaining the lead with a 1:10.543 and Alex Lynn (DS Virgin Racing) jumping to P3. Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne (TECHEETAH) was flying as well and put in an impressive first sector that put him into P1 just moments after the Swede took over from Heidfeld.
The local hero could not stand for this, gave it all the 200kw his car could give and regained the lead in the last few seconds of the practice session. The German thus finished FP1 ahead of Buemi and Vergne.