Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird started the 2019/20 FIA Formula E Championship season pre-season test by topping Day 1 at Valencia.
With the field set after the morning announcement from NIO, the first test day of 2019/20 Formula E season saw plenty of action at Valencia with drivers getting some crucial laps under their belt in order to build on for the tough year ahead.
It was Envision Virgin’s Bird on top on Day 1 of Formula E test with a 1m15.570s lap in his Audi e-tron FE06 as he beat BMW Andretti’s Maximilian Gunther (1m15.663s) by 0.093s only. Another new recruit, DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa (1m15.798s) was third.
Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans split the two DS Techeetah drivers with Jean-Eric Vergne in fifth behind. The Frenchman was though ahead of the two Nissan e.Dams drivers with Sebastien Buemi in sixth ahead of Oliver Rowland.
The Top 10 had Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein, Envision Virgin’s Robin Frijns and Audi’s Daniel Abt, with his teammate Lucas di Grassi only 12th behind BMW Andretti’s Alexander Sims. It was a pretty straightforward day for most of the drivers.
The two new Formula E factory squads had a reasonable day with Porsche’s Andre Lotterer in the lead in 14th ahead of teammate Neel Jani in 21st, while the Mercedes duo of Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries were only 22nd and 23rd.
De Vries had a slightly difficult start after stopping on track due to technical issues, while Jani and Vandoorne did not improve on their times in the afternoon session. Jaguar’s James Calado brought out a red flag after he stopped at the pit exit.
Along with Jani and Vandoorne, GEOX Dragon’s Nico Muller, Mahindra’s Jerome D’Ambrosio and Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara did not show any improvement in the afternoon session. The combined times of Day 1 is below:
— ABB Formula E (@FIAFormulaE) October 15, 2019
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