Nicolas Prost led Sebastien Buemi in China as the Renault e.dams squad dominated Formula E’s first Friday test session.
The 30-minute practice session was introduced ahead of the Beijing ePrix’s day of official running at the request of the teams after a long break between the final pre-season test and the China opener.
It meant a busy half-hour in which most drivers were on track for almost the entire duration, pitting only to change cars.
The Renault Z.E.15 drivers led the session from the beginning and, after a late yellow flag caused by Loic Duval’s stranded Dragon Racing car at Turn 12, Prost improved late on to a 1m37.291s.
That bested the 1m37.912s from Buemi, while DS Virgin Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne also improved in the dying seconds to jump to third, but was more than two seconds back from Prost with a best-of-the-rest effort of 1m39.405s.
Mahindra made an encouraging start by completing the top five with Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld. Oliver Turvey was sixth-quickest for Team China Racing, but the home outfit’s reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr caused the session’s only red flag when he stopped on track.
He rejoined for a final exploratory run and still fared better than the two Trulli drivers, whose cars never left the team’s garage.