Stephane Sarrazin was quickest in the opening practice session of the Visa London ePrix as the Venturi driver beat home favourite Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) and Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi to head the field.


Sarrazin emerged at the top of the timesheets after a frantic final few minutes of the session where the fastest time changed hands several times.

Championship leader Nelson Piquet Jr ended up sixth quickest, but the NEXTEV TCR driver had spent most of the session at the front before the flurry of changes late on.

The majority of the field were quickly out of the pitlane when the session got underway as the drivers got acclimatised to the bumps around the Battersea Park track.

Bird and di Grassi beat Andretti’s Jean-Eric Vergne into fourth place ahead of Daniel Abt in the second Audi Sport ABT machine.

Dragon Racing’s Jerome D’Ambrosio was seventh fastest, but the Belgian driver brought out a red flag with 20 minutes of the session remaining when he appeared to run wide at Turn 1 and stopped on track a few corners later.

Salvador Duran had a moment at Turn 3 but the Mexican driver was able to stop his car before hitting the barrier on the exit of the corner and was able to reverse away before ending the session in 16th.

Sebastien Buemi, who currently sits third in the points table, ended the session in eighth, but the e.dams-Renault driver stopped at Turn 9 before he had a chance to complete his final flying lap.

Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok was ninth quickest with Buemi’s e.dams-Renault team-mate Nicolas Prost rounding out the top 10.