Photo: Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne tops Formula E FP2 in Santiago

By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer

Jean-Eric Vergne’s late final run served as the fastest time in an eventful 30-minute Free Practice 2 for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Chile.

The Techeetah ace’s fast lap of 1:18.662 came in the waning moments of the final pre-qualifying practice for Saturday’s Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix, as he and several others were attempting a final full-power lap ahead of the morning’s upcoming qualifying session.

While Vergne was able to complete his circuit, many of the Frenchman’s fellow competitors were unable to set a final time after the session was called early for a red flag.

The stoppage came courtesy of Renault e.dams’ Nicolas Prost, who stuffed his No. 8 into the barrier head-on at the exit of Turn 9 in the midst of his final planned run.

As a result of the incident, the session ended under red-flag conditions, preventing many teams from completing what could have been their best laps of the day. Because a red flag also ended the morning’s earlier first practice session, teams will start the afternoon’s race without completing the traditional race start practice that’s typically done at the end of the sessions.

Alex Lynn ended the session in second for DS Virgin Racing with a time of 1:18.692. Mitch Evans (1:18.872) followed in third, with Nick Heidfeld (1:18.887) and Felix Rosenqvist (1:18.962) rounding out the top five. Sam Bird (1:19.227), Edoardo Mortara (1:19.240), Daniel Abt (1:19.264), Sebastien Buemi (1:19.274) and Lucas di Grassi (1:19.320) completed the top 10.

Facing a small issue in the Turn 8 hairpin once again was Nelson Piquet Jr. The Season One champion carried too much pace into the turn, forcing himself to head into the runoff area and turn around for the second time on the day.

Marrakesh E-Prix standout Jose Maria Lopez also encountered an issue, sliding up into the barrier with the left-rear of his Dragon Racing machine early in the session. Lopez aired on the side of caution and returned to the pit area shortly after the shunt.

The Formula E paddock will return to the 12-turn Parque Forestal Ciudad De Santiago for qualifying at 10:00 a.m. ET. The event will be aired live by Formula E Radio in the United States, with a tape-delayed video offering on FOX Sports 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Santiago E-Prix Free Practice 2 Results

Position Car No. Driver Team Time
1 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 1:18.662
2 36 Alex Lynn DS Virgin Racing 1:18.692
3 20 Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:18.872
4 23 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:18.887
5 19 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 1:18.962
6 2 Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing 1:19.227
7 4 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Formula E Team 1:19.240
8 66 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:19.264
9 9 Sebastien Buemi Renault e.dams 1;19.274
10 1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:19.320
11 16 Oliver Turvey NIO Formula E Team 1:19.364
12 6 Jose Maria Lopez Dragon Racing 1:19.414
13 68 Luca Filippi NIO Formula E Team 1:19.671
14 7 Jerome d’Ambrosio Dragon Racing 1:18.714
15 28 Antonio Felix da Costa AS&AD Andretti Formula E 1:19.803
16 18 Andre Lotterer Techeetah 1:20.039
17 3 Nelson Piquet Jr. Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:20.051
18 5 Maro Engel Venturi Formula E Team 1:20.143
19 27 Tom Blomqvist AS&AD Andretti Formula E 1:20.298
20 7 Nicolas Prost Renault e.dams 1:20.301

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.