Andre Lotterer (TAG Heuer Porsche) posted the fastest time on the first day of ABB Formula E Championship testing at the Spanish circuit of Valencia. Lotterer and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) squeezed in a couple of late full-power efforts to take first and second spots, with the Frenchman’s teammate Antonio Felix da Costa winding up third quickest.
The field took advantage of the afternoon sun and rising track temperatures which yielded a drying line at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with times some six seconds quicker than had been seen in the morning session. In the end, the top 18 runners were separated by less than a second.
“P1 is always a good thing,” said Lotterer, “but the priority was to find out more about the car and get through our testing program. We almost managed to do everything we wanted to do today. It’s a never-ending process to find a better car balance and we’re never happy. There’s plenty to do better and it’s a tight gap to P2, so we need to keep working hard in the next few days.”
Nick Cassidy was an impressive fourth quickest in his debut with Envision Virgin Racing, one of several Formula E rookies to show strongly. Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) rounded out the day seventh best and Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) was ninth.
“It’s been a really cool year and I’m really happy to get started to be honest,” said the 26-year-old Cassidy, who joins Formula E after a standout season of Japanese racing. “It’s been a difficult last few months in terms of being in a different continent to where I needed to be to prepare — wasn’t easy. It’s been mainly theory and making the most of video conferencing since I joined the team. I haven’t been able to be in Europe and I’ve been busy with Super Formula and Super GT and I’ve had to split my focus but I’m still in good shape today.
“My experience in Japan is quite different in very different machinery but working with a manufacturer and developing the technical side of things, I’ve learned a lot. There’s plenty I can bring here to the table. At the same time, there’s a lot to learn from the guys at Envision Virgin Racing.”
The official series pre-season test continues Sunday.