It may be a new pre-season, but Renault e.Dams is again at the top of the time sheets with Sébastien Buemi setting the fastest lap during the first day of Formula E testing at Donington Park.
On a day punctuated by a brief mid-afternoon rain squall, Buemi completed a 1:32.095 lap to give his team the ideal start to the two-day test – mirroring the inaugural pre-season, where e.Dams were in fact fastest on all four test days.
The test was the first public display of the eight new-for-season two electric powertrain manufacturers and as the teams gradually build into their test programs for these new power units. Buemi’s fastest lap was just over a second slower than his fastest time set in last year’s pre-season.
Second fastest for the day was ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas di Grassi (1:32.158), ahead of the second Renault e.Dams of Nicolas Prost (1:32.286). DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird was fourth, ahead of Team Aguri’s Salvador Durán and the Mahindras of Bruno Senna and his new teammate Nick Heidfeld.
Reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr ended the day 13th of the 16 cars at the circuit, however the Brazilian only completed three laps of the circuit.
Two new faces ran their first Formula E laps during the day, with 1997 Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve placing 14th, whilst former GP2 Series racer Tom Dillmann completed 20 laps for Team Aguri to end the day in ninth, 4.234 seconds slower than Buemi’s lap time. The Frenchman is due drive again for the team during Tuesday’s second day of testing and is hotly tipped to secure one of the team’s two seats.
Andretti’s Simona de Silvestro and Trulli’s Jarno Trulli were both present at the track during the day and while neither team turned a lap on Monday; both are expected to run on Tuesday.
Also joining the field for the second day is Oliver Turvey in the second NEXTEV TCR car, and Daniel Abt will take over from di Grassi in the single car being run by ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport.
|2015-16 Formula E Formula E Pre-Season Test – Day 1 Session Times|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.DAMS||1:32.095||26|
|2.||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:32.158||+ 0.063||17|
|3.||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.DAMS||1:32.286||+ 0.191||26|
|4.||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:32.523||+ 0.428||12|
|5.||Salvador Durán||Team Aguri||1:32.549||+ 0.454||34|
|6.||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||1:35.653||+ 3.558||26|
|7.||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||1:35.700||+ 3.605||34|
|8.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:36.324||+ 4.229||22|
|9.||Tom Dillman||Team Aguri||1:36.329||+ 4.234||20|
|10.||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||1:36.361||+ 4.266||26|
|11.||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:35.032||+ 4.609||26|
|12.||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:37.987||+ 5.892||10|
|13.||Nelson Piquet Jr||NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team||1:38.052||+ 5.957||3|
|14.||Jacques Villeneuve||Venturi Formula E Team||1:38.176||+ 6.081||17|
|15.||Jarno Trulli||Trulli Formula E Team||no time||0|
|16.||Simona de Silvestro||Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||no time||0|
Images via FIA Formula E Team