Bird leads Gunther on opening day of Formula E test

Envision Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird topped the first day of Formula E 2019/20 pre-season testing at Valencia as Mercedes’ woes on Nyck de Vries’s car continued.

Bird leads Gunther on opening day of Formula E test

With most of the afternoon action dedicated to long runs, BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Gunther’s session-topping 1m15.926s effort from the morning continued as the day’s benchmark until Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) posted a 1m15.913s just past the halfway stage of the three-hour afternoon session.

Buemi improved his best time of the day to a 1m15.882s but was shuffled down the order due to a flurry of fast times being posted approaching the chequered flag.

Gunther looked to have secured the best time of the day after setting a 1m15.663s late on before Bird pipped him to the top spot by 0.093s.

Antonio Felix da Costa ended the afternoon session and the day overall in third place with a 1m15.681s for DS Techeetah, with Mitch Evans taking fourth for Jaguar ahead of da Costa’s new teammate, reigning FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

Buemi ended up sixth overall as the last driver to go quicker than Gunther’s fastest morning time in the afternoon session on a 1m15.882s.

Oliver Rowland finished the afternoon running in seventh place in the second Nissan e.dams-run car ahead of Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing) and Bird’s teammate Robin Frijns.

Daniel Abt rounded out the top 10 for the works Audi team ahead of BMW driver Alexander Sims and Lucas di Grassi (Audi).

The afternoon running was interrupted by a single brief red flag after an hour had passed by following Jaguar driver James Calado, who finished 19th in the second session, coming to a stop at the pitlane exit

Mercedes’ first day as an FE competitor ended with Stoffel Vandoorne down in 22nd place, 1.881 slower than Bird’s fastest time in the afternoon,

His teammate Nyck de Vries had stopped after an hour of the morning running had been completed after a technical issue that resulted in a blown battery fuse on his Silver Arrow 01 car.

Mercedes continued to investigate the issue during the afternoon running and was only able to get de Vries out for a handful of laps in the final minutes.

Session results

Pos.
Driver / Powertrain
AM PM
1 Sam Bird
Audi e-tron FE06 (Virgin Racing)
1'16.943
34
1'15.570
32
2 Maximilian Gunther
BMW iFE.20
1'15.926
35
1'15.663
54
3 Antonio Felix da Costa
DS E-Tense FE20
1'16.032
27
1'15.681
39
4 Mitch Evans
Jaguar I-TYPE 4
1'16.520
29
1'15.724
46
5 Jean-Eric Vergne
DS E-Tense FE20
1'16.162
37
1'15.798
43
6 Sebastien Buemi
Nissan IM02
1'16.297
31
1'15.882
29
7 Oliver Rowland
Nissan IM02
1'16.246
32
1'15.942
32
8 Pascal Wehrlein
Mahindra M6Electro
1'16.385
36
1'15.975
36
9 Robin Frijns
Audi e-tron FE06 (Virgin Racing)
1'16.640
31
1'16.081
33
10 Daniel Abt
Audi e-tron FE06
1'16.952
27
1'16.084
35
11 Alexander Sims
BMW iFE.20
1'16.828
40
1'16.097
53
12 Lucas di Grassi
Audi e-tron FE06
1'16.297
28
1'16.140
33
13 Nico Müller
Penske EV-4
1'16.387
36
1'16.398
44
14 Andre Lotterer
Porsche 99X Electric
1'16.622
31
1'16.482
44
15 Edoardo Mortara
Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow 01 (Venturi)
1'16.531
27
1'16.537
33
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio
Mahindra M6Electro
1'16.552
23
1'18.046
27
17 Felipe Massa
Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow 01 (Venturi)
1'17.189
16
1'16.580
42
18 Brendon Hartley
Penske EV-4
1'16.839
38
1'16.698
43
19 Oliver Turvey
NIO FE-005

4
1'16.867
33
20 James Calado
Jaguar I-TYPE 4
1'17.738
18
1'17.016
48
21 Neel Jani
Porsche 99X Electric
1'17.343
30
 
22 Stoffel Vandoorne
Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow 01
1'17.389
22
1'17.451
44
23 Nyck de Vries
Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow 01
1'22.500
13
1'17.654
3
24 Ma Qing Hua
NIO FE-005
1'20.571
19
1'20.220
29
 
shares
comments

Calado: Single-seater absence makes “no difference” in FE

Frijns quickest in Valencia test as de Vries crashes

The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Inside Porsche's strong Gen3 start The key factors behind Porsche's strong start to Formula E's new era

How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Diriyah ePrix II
Jake Boxall-Legge

2023 Diriyah E-Prix analysis How Wehrlein's Diriyah double reveals Formula E's form book shake-up

The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Mexico City ePrix
Jake Boxall-Legge

First impressions of FE's new era The first impressions of Formula E's brave new era

How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Mexico City ePrix
Jake Boxall-Legge

How Dennis dominated FE opener How Dennis dominated Formula E's new generation opener

Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Is this Evans' best chance yet? Is this a Formula E 'nearly man's' best chance yet at title glory?

10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Analysis: Valencia pre-season test 10 things we learned from Valencia Formula E testing

How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

Jaguar's big opportunity in FE How Jaguar got its teeth into Formula E's Gen3 development race

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

Prime
Prime
Formula E
Jake Boxall-Legge

How Vandoorne won the FE title The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title