Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird topped the times for the first day of ABB Formula E Championship pre-season testing at Valencia, Spain, with a lap of 1m15.570s. The British driver was followed by BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s new hire Max Guenther, with a time of 1m15.663s. The German driver’s time set during the morning (1m15.926s) remained unchallenged for the majority of the session with the top 10 all finishing within half a second of each other.
Close behind was DS Techeetah’s new recruit Antonio Felix da Costa, who topped his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne’s time with a 1m15.681s. The reigning champ followed in fifth with a time of 1m15.798s while Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s frontman Mitch Evans sat between the two teammates with a time of 1m15.724s.
Mercedes-Benz EQ rookie Nyck de Vries failed to post a lap time for the majority of the session before going out with minutes to spare and setting a 1m17.654s lap The Dutch driver, fresh from winning the Formula 2 Championship, suffered technical difficulties in the morning when his car had to be recovered on track.
For Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi, the session saw him rank 12th fastest with a 1m16.140s. The former champ remains with the Audi squad for another season as he aims for his second title.
Only five drivers — Nico Muller, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Edoardo Mortara, Neel Jani and Stoffel Vandoorne — failed to better their times set during the morning session while 16 drivers posted times all within a second of each other.
Testing continues on Wednesday.