Formula E test drives in Valencia: Mitch Evans tops timing sheet on Thursday
After a fire in the pit lane had caused an enforced break in Formula E testing over the last day and a half, the drivers were allowed back on track on Thursday. In the afternoon session, Mitch Evans set the fastest time. Apart from a few technical problems and trips into the gravel, there were no major incidents.
But it wasn't quite business as usual on the second day of testing, either: the fire caused damage to the infrastructure and cars in Mahindra's pits, which is why the Indian team only ran one car. In addition, the session was extended from three to 4.5 hours to make up for the lost testing time. As a further precaution, the power output of all cars was reduced to 300 kW.
Porsche tested rookie driver Gabriela Jilkovaas - she replaced Antonio Felix da Costa for the first three hours. The first relevant lap time came from Jean-Eric Vergen with 1:25.900 minutes. Robin Frijns, Edo Mortara and Oliver Rowland also showed good laps early in the session, frequently changing positions in the leading group.
After about an hour, Jaguar showed the first sign of life: Mitch Evans grabbed the lead. Just minutes later, teammate Cassidy also showed up in the lead group and lined up behind his teammate. Mortara was the first to break the 1:25 minute mark and complained about technical problems with the car at the same time. He had previously caused yellow flags due to power failures, but this could be remedied after a restart. At the same time, he lacked grip, especially in turn 14.
Pascal Wehrlein stormed into third place at the halfway into the session and from that point onwards never left the leading pack. In addition, customer team Andretti seemed to be testing how much energy could be saved in the slipstream, as Jake Dennis and Norman Nato raced closely behind each other for several laps.
Felix da Costa with biggest jump of closing stages
In the final hour, Oliver Rowland set the fastest time of the day, four tenths ahead of Mortara. This was cancelled shortly afterwards due to exceeding the track limits. As the day progressed, he struggled, especially in turn 11, landing in the gravel several times and complaining of "severe oversteer". Jehan Daruvala, on the other hand, seemed to be getting more and more comfortable with his new car and finally made it into the top 10, as did Maserati driver Maximilian Günter, who ended up sixth.
The biggest jump in the closing stages was made by Antonio Felix da Costa, who moved up from 19th to second within a few minutes. However, he was unable to hold off Mitch Evans for the day's win. His best time of the day was a 1:24.791. Behind the two, Edoardo Mortara finished third. Robin Frijns and Pascal Wehrlein completed the top five.
While the Jaguar - especially of Mitch Evans as well as the customer car of Robin Frijns - showed strongly, many questions remain about ERT (formerly NIO 333). Sette Camara did only one lap and remained in the pits for the rest of the afternoon after a drivetrain swap. Dan Ticktum did more laps but could not get beyond 20th place. In between he radioed almost in despair, "That's all I can do." They have a chance to improve tomorrow.
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