BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims topped the first day of the 2018/19 FIA Formula E Championship’s pre-season testing at Valencia.
No one could better Sims’ time of 1m17.553s set in the afternoon session as he led a BMW Andretti 1-2 pretty much until the final few minutes where DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer displaced Antonio Felix da Costa from second.
The German set a 1m17.654s in the afternoon session to beat da Costa’s 1m17.727s in the same session. Audi’s Lucas di Grassi was fourth after his best time of 1m17.739s set in the morning session.
His teammate Daniel Abt slotted in fifth with a late lap of 1m17.819s in the afternoon session as Mahindra Racing’s new signing Jerome D’Ambrosio finished sixth with a 1m17.987s lap time, also set in the afternoon session.
DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne was seventh with a 1m18.033s lap time set in the morning session – interestingly the Frenchman’s best time in the afternoon session was only 0.002s slower than his morning’s time.
Sebastien Buemi in the new Nissan was eighth with a 1m18.100s lap time set in the afternoon session, followed by Dragon Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez (1m18.154s) and Venturi’s Felipe Massa (1m18.176s) in the Top 10.
The new partnership between Virgin and Audi started off with Sam Bird finishing 11th after his best time of 1m18.456s in the afternoon session. NIO’s Tom Dillmann (1m18.504s) was 12th from another newcomer Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein (1m18.606s).
The second Virgin of Robin Frijns (1m18.690s) ended up 14th with Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara (1m18.707s) in 15th from Jaguar’s Mitch Evans (1m18.747s), NIO’s Oliver Turvey (1m19.053s) and HWA Racelab’s Gary Paffet (1m19.144s).
The veteran British driver brought out the red flag in the morning session – which was the only one in the whole day of running – after he slid into the barrier put to create a small chicane on the larger circuit.
HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne (1m21.023s) finished only 19th after his day was cut short due to issues with the car in the afternoon session where he did not complete any lap. Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet Jr (1m23.286s) was 21st.
Dragon’s Maximillian Gunther (1m32.242s) was 22nd with Antonio Fuoco getting no laps in the afternoon session. In 20th was Buemi who drove Alexander Albon’s car in the afternoon session as the Thai-British driver is amid contractual trouble over a F1 move.