Formula E

Formula E Valencia Post-Test Debrief

The Formula E teams have completed their private testing and now the three-day public test at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Jaguar clock the miles

Jaguar completed the most laps of any team, clocking 442 during the three days with only Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler setting more than 400. Nelson Piquet set the most laps of any driver on 246, with Lucas di Grassi on 222 and Andre Lotter on 217.

HWA Racelab set the fewest of anybody on 171, with Stoffel Vandoorne completing the fewest of any driver on 47. He was plagued by battery issues during his only two days in the car before having to leave early for the US Grand Prix.

BMW Andretti set the pace

BMW Andretti set the fastest time on each of the three days, with Antonio Felix da Costa’s 1:16.977 being the week’s best time. The Valencia circuit however bears minimal resemblance to the street circuits FE usually races on, but rival teams are weary of the gains the Andretti squad has made now it is a BMW factory team.

Nissan e.dams software trouble

Nissan e.dams struggled with software issues on the first two days of the test, exacerbated by only having Sebastien Buemi to drive the car after Alex Albon was made unavailable with Toro Rosso pushing him to a Formula 1 drive.

Nissan will bring a software upgrade to the first race in Riyadh, which it is expected to test during one of its remaining filming days.

Replacement drivers

After Albon was removed from e.dams’ testing programme it managed to field in Williams F1 young driver Oliver Rowland for the final day of the test, but no plans have been made about who will take the seat for the season. Jean-Paul Driot told FormulaSpy that he had 30 drivers call him who were interested in the seat.

Dragon line-up

Dragon is the only other team yet to confirm its line-up for the season. Formula 2 racers Antonio Fuoco and Max Gunther both tested for the team in Valencia, but Fuoco is understood to only be on loan from Ferrari and is not in the running for the seat.

Extra testing

Audi gave its customer Envision Virgin Racing three days of its private testing allocation. Manufacturers supplying a customer get an extra seven days in addition to the standard 15.

Venturi gave HWA all seven days, five of which were with Gary Paffett and the other two Vandoorne.

Battery issues

Several teams experienced multiple battery issues during the test. However these are not said to be problems with the McLaren Applied Technologies battery itself, but more the teams operating it at high temperatures. The new McLaren unit is said to be able to operate up to around 80 degrees Celcius, whereas the old Williams Advanced Engineering battery would overheat at 60 degrees.

Brake-by-wire and powertrains

DS is understood to be the only manufacturer that has developed its own brake-by-wire systems and software, whereas others have bought their systems from companies that have previously developed them for LMP1 and F1.

All the manufacturers are believed to now be running a single-speed gearbox to help keep the weight down. The new battery has increased the overall weight of the car by 20kg to 900kg. Precise details on each powertrain layout are yet to surface.

In-season tests

A post-race test is expected to take place in Riyadh which is aimed at pushing female talent into FE. This will be in addition to the post-Marrakesh rookie test in January.

British Formula 3 racer Jamie Chadwick was in Valencia on Friday as a guest of NIO and has been rumoured to be taking on a driver role with one of the teams.


Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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