The ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s official preseason test at Valencia ended the way it began, with BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Max Guenther setting the pace.
Despite only a year’s worth of experience in the all-electric single-seater series, Guenther held his place at the top of the standings throughout the three days, winding up with the fastest lap of 1m15.087s. Behind him was Mahindra Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein with a 1m15.190s while Geox Dragon’s Nico Mueller was third overall at 1m15.198s.
Guenther’s performance comes one year after BMW dominated testing with Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Sims behind the wheel. Despite the strong start, the marque lost its lead after round two in the 2018/19 season.
Reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne managed a best finish of third in the first session on Monday with his DS Techeetah entry. TAG Heuer Porsche’s new pairing of Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani failed to make it into the top-10 fastest times, with Lotterer securing a best finish of 11th in the afternoon of the second day of testing. The outfit’s humble approach to Formula E with its “start from zero” campaign combined with the results from testing would suggest there’s a long road ahead for the German marque as it grapples with its new motorsport challenge.
Another notable absence from the top half of the times was Mercedes-Benz EQ rookie Nyck de Vries, who remained near the bottom of the standings throughout the three days of testing. Fresh from winning the Formula 2 Championship, de Vries battled technical issues early on in testing before colliding with the wall on the second day.
Belgian teammate Stoffel Vandoorne made it further up the rankings than de Vries but still failed to break into the top 10 on any of the three testing days. With a year of learning gained with the HWA Racelab team, time will tell if the Mercedes-Benz EQ works team will field a competitive challenger.
Struggling to break out of the twenties was newly-named NIO 333 team, as seasoned Formula E driver Oliver Turvey led his new teammate Ma Qing Hua. Ma achieved a best place finish of 21st over the three days, while Turvey made it up to 18th.
Having completed three days of on-track testing, the cars and drivers will next go head-to-head in the season opener in Saudi Arabia on November 22.