Sebastien Buemi has kept reigning Teams’ Champions Renault e.Dams’ perfect Formula E pre-season testing record intact, topping the second day of testing at Donington Park ahead of the championship’s second season. The Swiss driver’s 1:31.050s lap broke his own unofficial lap record from Season 1 testing by 0.038 seconds.
The lap times on the second day of testing were markedly quicker, with nine drivers managing to lap quicker than the 1:32.095 time posted by Buemi on Tuesday’s opening test day.
While not the only driver to set a lap time with their car set to ‘qualifying mode’ (which makes the full 200kw available to the driver), in what may be an ominous sign to e.Dams’ rivals Buemi suggested there is a lot more performance to come from the new Renault Z.E.15 powertrain.
“It was a bit of a scrappy lap, but it’s difficult to do a perfect lap around here,” he said afterwards.
“I think we could go a second quicker, maybe even into the 1m29s. I’m quite happy but we are really only at the start of the new package. Now we need to work on the details of the package. We could do quite a bit on the car and the car is a bit easier to drive, the stability is better, the brakes are better. I see some good potential, we just need to extract it from the car.”
In second position, four tenths behind Buemi was DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird. Having won two races during season one with the (formerly) control Spark-Renault SRT-01e car, Bird noted there are some changes in driving style required to adapt to his new VIRGIN DSV-01 for the forthcoming season.
“Obviously we did plenty of work before this test so now at Donington it’s just a case of fine tuning and refining to make sure everything works 100 per cent for the first race in Beijing,” said the Briton. “The car is quite a significant change with few gear changes needed but the guys at DS and Virgin have done a fantastic job and hopefully we can head into the season with a strong package.”
Third place was taken by Daniel Abt, who took over ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s testing duties for Day 2 after team mate Lucas di Grassi drove the car on Monday:
“For the two days we decided to split the running with Lucas testing on Monday and myself today. It helped us gain more consecutive running and work on set-up changes more easily. These past two days we’ve focused on fixing software issues and mechanical issues and we took a massive step forward from the first day to the second. The car felt good and fast and it feels like we have a good package,” he added.
Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna completed a strong day for Mahindra in positions fourth and sixth respectively, separated by the second Renault e.Dams of Nicolas Prost.
At the other end of the results, gearbox issues carried over from day one prevented both NEXTEV TCR cars of reigning champion Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey from running, nor did Trulli Formula E get a car on track for team owner/driver Jarno Trulli.
Simona de Silvestro completed installation laps for Andretti, however diagnosing and solving teething issues with the Andretti ATEC-01 prevented the Swiss driver from setting a flying lap time.
Another interesting point from the first two days of testing is the differing electric motor sounds produced by the various manufacturer’s cars. Just as each manufacturer of internal combustion engines in Formula One produces a unique engine note, the same can be said for each of the nine different Formula E powertrains in use for the 2015/6 season.
Pre-season testing will continue for Formula E teams next week, with a second two-day test at Donington on August 17 and 18.
|2015-16 Formula E Formula E Pre-Season Test – Day 2 Session Times|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.DAMS||1:31.050||44|
|2.||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:31.469||+ 0.419||32|
|3.||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:31.537||+ 0.487||57|
|4.||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||1:31.541||+ 0.491||37|
|5.||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.DAMS||1:31.592||+ 0.542||37|
|6.||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing Formula E Team||1:31.869||+ 0.819||39|
|7.||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:31.915||+ 0.865||37|
|8.||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||1:32.001||+ 0.951||41|
|9.||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team||1:32.033||+ 0.983||40|
|10.||Tom Dillman||Team Aguri||1:32.369||+ 1.319||64|
|11.||Jacques Villeneuve||Venturi Formula E Team||1:33.090||+ 2.040||34|
|12.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:34.955||+ 3.905||35|
|13.||Simona de Silvestro||Amlin Andretti Formula E Team||no time||6|
|14.||Nelson Piquet Jr||NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team||no time||0|
|15.||Jarno Trulli||Trulli Formula E Team||no time||0|
|16.||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team||no time||0|
Images via FIA Formula E Championship