until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Ma crash leaves FE teams blind going into qualifying

by Matt Beer
1 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E teams will go into Santiago E-Prix qualifying largely blind after a heavy crash for Ma Qing Hua curtailed final practice in Chile.

Oliver Rowland and Sam Bird topped the two sessions, but only a handful of drivers had chance to tackle the revised circuit at full power. They were stymied by Ma slewing heavily into the Turn 4 wall with seven minutes to go in practice two.

The NIO 333 driver was unhurt, but his car suffered heavy damage and the clock ticked down to zero before the clear-up could be completed. That was the second red flag of practice two, the first having been required so a cooling device accidently left on Brendon Hartley’s Dragon could be retrieved from where it had land on the circuit.

Nissan e.dams driver Rowland got in a higher-power run between red flags to set the practice pace with a 1m04.799s lap. Rowland has had an eventful day already – sustaining minor damage when he tagged the rear of Maximilian Gunther’s BMW at the hairpin in the opening session, and then banging wheels with Antonio Felix da Costa, who turned in on him approaching the first corner, just before taking the session two top spot.

Felipe Massa and Mitch Evans were the only other drivers who managed to try qualifying-style runs in practice two and completed the top three. In first practice, Envision Virgin driver Bird had grabbed the honours with a 1m04.914s lap that put him a relatively comfortable 0.150s clear of second-placed da Costa.

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