DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird has ended the first day of the final two-day pre-season Formula E test atop the time sheets at Donington Park.

Cold temperatures, strong winds and intensifying rain meant that Bird’s best lap of 1:30.451s set in the early afternoon could not be beaten by his rivals, but also did not challenge the sub-1:30s times set in last week’s round of testing.

Second position was claimed by the driver who set the testing lap record last week, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas di Grassi, 0.3s behind Bird. The four Venturi-powered cars followed: Dragon Racing’s Loïc Duval and Jérôme d’Ambrosio were third and fifth, while the Venturi ‘factory’ cars of Jacques Villeneuve and Stéphane Sarrazin finished in fourth and sixth.

Renault e.Dams, who led the opening pre-season tests had a quiet day with Sébastien Buemi in seventh and Nicolas Prost in eleventh, as did Mahindra with Nick Heidfeld tenth and Bruno Senna twelfth.

Only single cars completed laps from NEXTEV TCR – Oliver Turvey completing 54 laps of solid running to finish the day in eighth – and Team AIndyCar racer Stefano Coletti takes to the track.

Andretti Formula E had planned to trial Robin Frijns alongside confirmed driver Simona de Silvestro, however neither car set a flying lap time. The team are confident of finally running both on the final day of testing.

For the Trulli team the day started with some good news, announcing that Salvador Durán had joined its line-up, but once again the car – powered by an all-new Motomatica JT-01 powertrain – failed to get out of the garage.

The final pre-season test concludes on Tuesday, where several driver changes from Monday’s running (beyond the debut of Coletti) will occur. Daniel Abt will take charge of both ABT cars from di Grassi, and Jean-Éric Vergne will do the same for DS Virgin. Dragon will again use both drivers, but split their running during the day: Duval is scheduled to run the morning session, with d’Ambrosio to take over in the afternoon.


2015-16 Formula E Formula E Pre-Season Test – Day 5 Session Times
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team 1:30.451 36
2. Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:30.772 + 0.321 37
3. Loïc Duval Dragon Racing 1:32.022 + 1.571 36
4. Jacques Villeneuve Venturi Formula E Team 1:32.154 + 1.703 37
5. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dragon Racing 1:33.419 + 2.968 22
6. Stéphane Sarrazin Venturi Formula E Team 1:33.569 + 3.188 31
7. Sébastien Buemi Renault e.DAMS 1:33.883 + 3.432 38
8. Oliver Turvey NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team 1:34.203 + 3.752 54
9. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing Formula E Team 1:34.571 + 4.050 22
10. Nathanaël Berthon Team Aguri 1:34.739 + 4.288 47
11. Nicolas Prost Renault e.DAMS 1:34.895 + 4.444 40
12. Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing Formula E Team 1:35.611 + 5.160 30

Images via FIA Formula E Championship

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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.
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