After a promising start in both practice sessions with both drivers in the top five fastest, the team had high hopes for the day. However, neither driver could get enough heat in their tyres and qualified outside the top five with Jose Maria Lopez starting in 7th place and Sam Bird in 10th on the grid.
With the chaos of the 2015 Monaco ePrix in mind, the teams and drivers were particularly wary of incidents at the 1st turn. This year was not as dramatic, but congestion on the inside of the first turn caused Pechito to be hit from behind and pushed into the car in front, damaging both his front and rear wing.
Bird was looking strong awhen he broke his suspension after brushing the wall coming out of the swimming pool chicane and had to pit. Then Jose Maria Lopez entered the pit lane shortly after Sam’s departure having been forced by the race officials to replace the damaged wings he sustained at the first corner.
As a result of being 3 laps behind, Sam changed strategy to aim for fastest lap. Jose also changed to the same strategy and returned to the pits at lap 43 to make adjustments to the front wing flaps and tyre pressures to optimise his chances of success, he made a number of very quick laps to challenge Sam and came to within a tenth of a second of Sam’s fastest time.
“I wanted to have a clean race, I had a very good FP1 & 2 with no mistakes from my side. I think we still have to work a bit to understand the car but I think the potential is there to easily be in the top 3, it’s just hard to bring everything together”.