FE - Lotterer and Porsche set the pace as rookies impress on opening day in valencia | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

FE - Lotterer and Porsche set the pace as rookies impress on opening day in valencia

28.11.20

Formula E - Day 1 Testing 

André Lotterer put Porsche at the top of the pecking order as ABB FIA Formula E World Championship testing began in earnest in Spain today (28 November), and with the leading 19 protagonists all blanketed by less than a second, a pulsating campaign looks to be in prospect.

A number of drivers topped the timesheets on the opening day of the test around Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, but when the final chequered flag dropped, it was Porsche’s Lotterer who grabbed early bragging rights as teams began their preparations for the seventh season of the all-electric single-seater series.

Lotterer languished right down towards the tail of the 24-strong field during the morning session – interrupted by drizzle that sent several drivers skating off-track – but fired up the order on a dry track surface in the afternoon to lead the way with a lap time of 1:12.519, less than a tenth-of-a-second ahead of two-time champion Jean-Éric Vergne (DS Techeetah) on a 1:12.607.

The Frenchman’s team-mate, defending title-holder António Félix da Costa, wound up just behind in third (1:12.651), having featured up at the sharp end throughout, followed by impressive rookie Nick Cassidy, the Envision Virgin Racing driver posting a best effort of 1:12.689 and setting the pace outright for a while in the afternoon.

Alexander Sims was consistently quick throughout and placed fifth for Mahindra Racing on a 1:12.705, with René Rast heading the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler charge in sixth (1:12.740).

Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) was another newcomer to shine as he stopped the clocks with a time of 1:12.777 for seventh position.

Nico Müller ended up eighth for Dragon / Penske Autosport (1:12.800), ahead of BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Jake Dennis (1:12.837), who made it three rookies inside the top ten and was another driver to briefly top the order during the morning session.

Robin Frijns put the second Envision Virgin Racing entry tenth on a 1:12.860, narrowly pipping former champions Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) and Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) in 11th and 12th respectively.

Mercedes-Benz EQ pairing Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries sat one-two for much of that session, but ended proceedings significantly lower down, while ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara had the most mixed day of all. Fastest in the morning, he could manage no better than 23rd in the afternoon.

Day two of the test will get underway at 09:00 local time tomorrow (Sunday, 29 November).