It has been just six weeks since the grand finale that was the London ePrix. Already, Formula E teams have gathered their thoughts together ahead of season two and, complete with new electric motors in their cars, are busy testing on track. Donington Park plays host to all the official test days, which are free to attend.
The first test session started with grey skies and the threat of rain, which did eventually come to something, with a few drivers braving the wet weather, presumably to make the most of testing out the tyres and wet-weather handing of the cars in the wet.
With several drivers still missing or not yet officially signed and with testing still seemingly in its infancy despite months of unofficial testing, lap times were surprisingly high with Sébastien Buemi setting the fastest time of the day at 1:32.092s, which compares to his quickest time of last year’s testing sessions at 1:31.083s. Perhaps this gives a good indication that both the Renault powered Renault-e.dams is the one to watch this year and that speeds will have increased over last year’s pace setting benchmarks.
Of the cars participating in testing today, two notable exceptions did not complete a lap, including Trulli and Andretti who are racing the Motomatica JT-01 and Andretti ATEC-01, respectively.
Jacques Villeneuve showed to trial his Venturi but it was clear that both he was new to the sensations of electric racing and that the car was not yet setup to perfection for him. Likewise, the Venturi’s motor appeared a little behind the pace of the other teams initially, although this was only its first official day out so can be expected to improve as the practice sessions move on.
Frenchman Tom Dillmann made his Formula E test debut for Team Aguri, completing a few exploratory laps in the wet ahead of an expected full run tomorrow. There were familiar faces in unfamiliar colours too, as Jean-Eric Vergne made his public test debut for DS Virgin Racing, while Nick Heidfeld had his first outing as a Mahindra Racing driver.
Testing resumes tomorrow at 9am. For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com
FIA Formula E Championship – Donington Park – Pre-season testing (Day 1) – Results:
- Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, 1:32.095s
- Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, 1:32.158s
- Nicolas Prost, Renault e.dams, 1:32.286s
- Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 1:32.523s
- Salvador Duran, Team Aguri, 1:32.549s
- Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:35.653s
- Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 1:35.700s
- Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, 1:36.324s
- Tom Dillmann, Team Aguri, 1:36.329s
- Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:36.361s
- Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Virgin Racing, 1:36.704s
- Loic Duval, Dragon Racing, 1:37.987s
- Nelson Piquet Jr, NEXTEV TCR, 1:38.052s
- Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi, 1:38.176s
- Jarno Trulli, Trulli, no time set
- Simona de Silvestro, Andretti, no time set
Source; FIA Formula E