With just less than 50 days away from the season 7 opener at the Santiago, Chile E-Prix, the FIA ABB Formula E World Series Championship was on-track for their annual test session in Valencia.
Saturday marked Day 1 for the test and we saw some unique twists at the top of the leaderboard.
In the first session, Edoardo Mortara and the ROKiT Venturi Racing entry set the fastest lap time in session one. Mortara posted a time of 1:18.148 and completed a total of 43 laps to put himself on top of the board. He was just 0.031 seconds ahead of Season 6 champion Antonio Felix da Costa, who ended up being second fastest in the test with a time of 1:18.179 seconds.
Mortara had some help posting the quickest time of the session due to a drying track, while others had to face a somewhat damp and wet racing surface with leftover water from the day’s previous showers and storms.
Completing the top five in the first session were Felix da Costa, Oliver Turvey, Alexander Sims and new Dragon Penske Autosport driver Sergio Sette Camara.
Despite posting the quickest time for test session one, Mortara was not the fastest in either sector one, two or three. In fact, Sette Camara was the fastest in sector one posting a time of 22.908, while Robin Frijns posted a time of 26.643 in sector two and Sebastien Buemi with a time of 28.173 in the final sector. Mortara earned third in the first two sectors and only received seventh in the final sector.
There are some notables, however, that took place during the first session. Even though Sergio Sette Camera was the fifth quickest in the session, the Dragon Penske Autosport driver went off the track in the second sector. The Brazilian was able to save the car from further contact with the tire barrier.
Test Session 2
As the first session was a bit wet and damp, drivers started to see some sunshine appear through the clouds for the first time this weekend. And not only did the sun come out to help dry the track a little, but a dry line on the racing surface also started to appear as well.
In the early minutes of the test, Envision Virgin’s newest racing driver Nick Cassidy set the fastest time of the day posting a time of 1:12.982, well above what the time was in the first session. However, as the test session closed, it was Andre Lotterer for TAG Heuer Porsche who was the quickest out of the 24 cars, posting a time of 1:12.519 seconds. Lotterer narrowly beat DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne who placed second by 0.088 seconds.
“P1 is always a good thing,” said Lotterer. “But the priority was to find out more about the car and get through our testing programme. We almost managed to do everything we wanted to do today. It’s a never-ending process to find a better car balance and we’re never happy. There’s plenty to do better and it’s a tight gap to P2, so we need to keep working hard in the next few days.”
Cassidy, for Envision Virgin Racing, impressed a lot of people as he was quicker than anyone else. The New Zealander ended up fourth quickest of the day on the speed charts.
‘Really happy to get started here in Formula E. It’s been tough in the past few months, but I think myself and the team have made the most of it and I felt very prepared for today and this testing. I’m excited to be racing alongside Robin, he’s a natural talent and he is surely fast on track. With us it will be a constant evolution throughout the season and I will definitely be asking him more questions as the season develops.’
Jean-Eric Vergne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Cassidy and Alexander Sims completed the top five.
Testing for Day 2 is slated for 9 a.m. Central European Time, which translates to 3 a.m. ET in the United States. There is no TV for live testing coverage, but fans can follow along with live timing/scoring on their website.