Rookie Sims tops first Valencia Formula E test day

BMW i Andretti driver Alexander Sims was fastest at the end of the first day of pre-season testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Sims topped the morning session with a 1:17.567 but improved by 0.014 seconds in the afternoon to hold the top spot.

The best times were around one second quicker than they were this time last year thanks to the arrival of the more powerful Gen2, despite the use of a much tighter makeshift chicane on the pit straight.

Andre Lotterer was second fastest for DS Techeetah, 0.1 seconds off the pace, to split the two BMWs with Antonio Felix da Costa in third.

Daniel Abt headed his Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team-mate Lucas di Grassi in fourth, three tenths off Sims’ pace.

Jerome d’Ambrosio was sixth on his first official day as a Mahindra driver, four tenths away from the top time.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne lost most of the afternoon’s running due to a battery change, which was needed on several other cars during the session.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans and FE rookies HWA Racelab’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein also required battery changes early in the day.

Vandoorne suffered a terminal issue, however, completing nothing more than a handful of installation laps.

It was the same for Dragon’s Maximilian Gunther, who had an undiagnosed problem on his Penske EV-3 car, which meant fellow F2 racer Antonio Fuoco could not take over from him in the afternoon.

Alex Albon also suffered problems in his Nissan e.dams. While team-mate Sebastien Buemi was eighth fastest, Albon was unable to complete a lap.

Buemi attempted to run Albon’s car in the afternoon, but it stopped on track prompting one of two red flags for the day.

Gary Paffett caused the other, sliding his HWA into the barriers at the makeshift chicane. He finished the day 18th fastest.

Pre-season test Day One times

  1. Alexander Sims BMW Andretti 1:17.553 (74 laps)
  2. Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 1:17.654 (69 laps)
  3. Antonio Felix da Costa BMW Andretti 1:17.727 (82 laps)
  4. Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:17.819 (85 laps laps)
  5. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:17.962 (77 laps)
  6. Jerome d’Ambrosio Mahindra 1:17.987 (60 laps)
  7. Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 1:18.033 (44 laps)
  8. Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 1:18.100 (35 laps)
  9. Jose Maria Lopez Dragon 1:18.154 (62 laps)
  10. Felipe Massa Venturi 1:18.176 (71 laps)
  11. Tom Dillmann NIO 1:18.504 (66 laps)
  12. Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra 1:18.606 (35 laps)
  13. Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1:18.690 (47 laps)
  14. Edoardo Mortara Venturi 1:18.707 (68 laps)
  15. Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 1:18.732 (49 laps)
  16. Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:18.747 (72 laps)
  17. Oliver Turvey NIO 1:19.053 (54 laps)
  18. Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 1:19.144 (55 laps)
  19. Stoffel Vandoorne HWA Racelab 1:21.023 (13 laps)
  20. Nelson Piquet Jaguar 1:21.629 (93 laps)
  21. Maximilian Gunther Dragon 1:32.242 (3 laps)
  22. Alex Albon Nissan e.dams – no time
  23. Antonio Fuoco Dragon – no time

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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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