Sebastien Buemi broke his own lap record around the Punta del Este street circuit to lead the opening Formula E practice session for the Punta del Este E-Prix. 

The Renault e.dams driver posted a blistering lap of 1:14.536 to end the first practice session on top, finishing nearly four-tenths of a second clear of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans with a time over half a second better than his 2015 pole position effort. 

Buemi, who has won both races to be held at the Uruguayan coastal circuit, is still searching for a first victory of the 2017/2018 campaign as he looks to make up ground in the championship fight. 

The season two champion set his best lap shortly after damaging the rear wing of his Renault Z.E. 17, following a brush with the barriers. 

An impressive late flying lap from Evans put Jaguar second in the timesheets, and the New Zealander could have gone even quicker had he not encountered traffic in the final sector. 

Audi’s Lucas di Grassi was third quickest but over four-tenths down on Buemi’s time, edging Briton’s Alex Lynn, who was fourth quickest for the DS Virgin squad. 

Championship leader Jean Eric Vergne, who claimed a stunning pole position at Punta del Este in his debut race in 2014, was fifth fastest for Techeetah, less than a tenth of a second faster than the second DS Virgin car of Sam Bird. 

Nelson Piquet ensured both Jaguar’s made an appearance in the top ten in the opening session with the seventh-fastest time, ahead of NIO’s Oliver Turvey.

Mexico City race-winner Daniel Abt was ninth ahead of Nico Prost, who finished the 45-minute session over a second down on his Renault e.dams teammate. 

 

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