THE ABB FIA FORMULA E WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF WITH THREE DAYS OF TESTING IN VALENCIA | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

THE ABB FIA FORMULA E WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF WITH THREE DAYS OF TESTING IN VALENCIA

27.11.20

24 drivers to take to the track around Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Only 100 days on from the end of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin, drivers and teams are preparing to return to the track this weekend for the official 2020/21 pre-season test around Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Three days of testing are on the agenda between 28 November and 1 December, divided into five separate sessions. Both Saturday, 28 November and Sunday, 29 November will comprise of a three-hour morning session (09:00 – 12:00) and three-hour afternoon session (14:00 – 17:00), followed by six hours of uninterrupted running between 09:00 and 15:00 on Tuesday, 1 December. Monday, 30 November has been set aside for off-track activities.

All 24 entrants are due to take to the circuit in Spain, headed by defending champion António Félix da Costa for DS Techeetah, alongside team-mate and two-time title-winner Jean-Éric Vergne, with the Chinese outfit one of five teams in the field to retain an unchanged driver line-up.

Similarly maintaining the status quo for those three days of testing in Valencia are Nissan e.dams (where Sébastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland pair up for a third consecutive campaign), Mercedes-Benz EQ (2019/20 runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler (former champion Lucas Di Grassi and René Rast, who contested the second half of last season for the squad) and Dragon / Penske Autosport (Nico Müller and Sérgio Sette Câmara, who joined the team for Berlin during the summer).

Elsewhere, there will be a whole host of familiar faces in new places. Sam Bird – who won last season’s curtain-raiser in Saudi Arabia – has departed Envision Virgin Racing after six years to join Mitch Evans at Panasonic Jaguar Racing, while former Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein returns to the championship for the first time since Morocco back in February. The German teams up with countryman and multiple Le Mans 24 Hours winner André Lotterer at Porsche.

Alex Lynn remains with Mahindra Racing, having joined the team in Berlin and completed last season with a trio of top ten finishes, and he will be partnered by namesake and compatriot Alexander Sims. NIO has a similarly all-British line-up, with the incumbent Oliver Turvey set to race alongside Tom Blomqvist, who contested the final two rounds of 2019/20 for Panasonic Jaguar Racing.

Many eyes, finally, will be on the three newcomers in the field in Valencia. Nick Cassidy replaces Bird alongside Robin Frijns at Envision Virgin Racing, after driving for the team in the 2020 Rookie Test in Marrakesh; Jake Dennis joins Maximilian Günther at BMW i Andretti Motorsport in place of Mahindra recruit Sims; and Norman Nato enters the fray with ROKiT Venturi Racing, where he will partner Edoardo Mortara.

As competitors finalise their preparations for what looks sure to be another fiercely-contested Formula E campaign, the first one as a World Championship, the Valencia test promises to offer the first glimpse of the early pecking order in the all-electric racing series. Daily reports will be published on fia.com.