|2015 Donington Test|
|Date||10th - 25th August|
|Location||Donington Park, UK|
|Lap length||4.020km (2.498mi)|
|Driver||Lucas di Grassi|
2014 Punta del Este Test
2015 Punta del Este Test
Lucas di Grassi ended the test as the fastest man, setting the first ever sub-1:30.000 lap in a Formula E car. The six days saw the majority of the field set times under the 2014 record set by Sébastien Buemi, as eight new cars made their public debuts. Renault e.dams, meanwhile, looked to be the class of the field, as Nicolas Prost and Sébastien Buemi completed 353 laps in their new RENAULT Z.E.15s, and topped the times on three of the six days.
The summer of 2015 had seen the completion of the eight manufacturer's private development of their new powertrains for the new season, all of which were confirmed and homologated on the 3rd of August, a week before the first day of the test. Although the cars all shared the Spark-Renault SRT_01E as a base, their separate powertrains would give different methods of power delivery and performance, as the FIA also raised the maximum power delivery to 170kwh in race mode.
There would also be new faces within the teams, as several drivers switched teams. Jean-Eric Vergne completed a switch to DS Virgin Racing to partner Sam Bird at the test, replacing Jaime Alguersuari, while Nick Heidfeld moved to Mahindra. Simona de Silvestro, meanwhile, was handed the chance to drive for the full season at Andretti, while there would be a debutant in the Championship at the test, as ex-Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve joined the fray at Venturi.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2015 Donington Test across each day:
- * Sarrazin started the test using #30 as his number on days one and two.
Seventeen drivers were submitted to the FIA to test on the first day of the 2015 Donington Test, with Nelson Piquet Jr. using the #1 for the first time. The two testing Spark-Renault SRT_01Es were not scheduled to make an appearance on the first day, although that was liable to change. Jacques Villeneuve and Tom Dillmann were scheduled to get their first taste of Formula E at Venturi and Team Aguri respectively, in a session that was expected to be hit by rain at some point during the day.
The rain did indeed come, affecting the afternoon session after four o'clock local time. But, it was the man who dominated testing the previous season, Sébastien Buemi who ended the day with the bragging rights, setting a time of 1:32.095. The impressive lap, which was only a second slower than his lap record setting time in the heavily developed Spark-Renault SRT_01E, was backed by Nicolas Prost, who claimed second behind Lucas di Grassi in the lone ABT Schaeffler machine.
Sam Bird and Salvador Duran were also out to set impressive times, both coming within half a second of Buemi's time, with the rest of the field seemingly focused on race pace. The two Mahindras of Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld were content and consistent in the 1:35.000s, with Jérôme d'Ambrosio putting up with débutante Dillmann and Stéphane Sarrazin in close attendance. Jacques Villeneuve tailed the session on fastest times, finishing the day in fourteenth but on the pace of the slower, but more electrically experienced, drivers.
Problems at NEXTEV TCR limited Champion Nelson Piquet Jr.'s running in the #1 machine, meaning he could only try a couple of laps in Oliver Turvey's car at the end of the session. Also in strife were Andretti and Trulli, both of who had only one car prepared for the first day. Neither of them managed a complete lap either, while several drivers used the showers in the afternoon to experience wet conditions for the first time in a Formula E machine.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day One Times|
|1||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||26||1:32.095|
|2||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||17||1:32.158|
|3||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||26||1:32.286|
|4||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||12||1:32.523|
|5||77||Salvador Duran||Team Aguri||24||1:32.549|
|6||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||26||1:35.643|
|7||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||34||1:35.700|
|8||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||22||1:36.324|
|9||55||Tom Dillmann||Team Aguri||20||1:36.329|
|11||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing||26||1:36.704|
|12||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||10||1:37.987|
|13||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||3||1:38.052|
|15||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||0||No Time|
|16||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli||0||No Time|
|17||27||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti||0||No Time|
Sixteen drivers were submitted to the Clark of the course for practice, as Daniel Abt replaced Lucas di Grassi in the two ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport cars. With Sébastien Buemi laying a marker down on the first day by setting the fastest lap, many expected the times to tumble on day two, with Andretti and Trulli hoping to complete some meaningful running, or at the very least a lap, in their latest creations.
With all of the drivers that managed to complete a lap attempting at least one qualifying simulation, it was Buemi who once again set the standard, setting a new lap record in the process. The lap, which Buemi described as "scrappy", beat his time from the previous test by 0.033s, with the Swiss claiming that he could improve by more than a second just by being tidier. Sam Bird was the closest to the Renault e.dams driver, over four tenths behind in the DS Virgin Racing machine.
Abt had a busy day, setting 51 laps as di Grassi celebrated his birthday away from the circuit, as well as setting the third fastest time, with Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost in close attendance. Bruno Senna and Loïc Duval also managed to get times in under 1:32.000s, with Stéphane Sarrazin the best of the Venturi built quartet. Tom Dillmann completed the top ten in the evolving Spark-Renault SRT_01E, just ahead of fellow Formula E newboy Jacques Villeneuve, who was a lot happier after his second full day.
It was not a good day for the Champion, however, as NEXTEV TCR suffered problems on both Nelson Piquet Jr. and Oliver Turvey's cars for the second consecutive day. Andretti also had a difficult day, with de Silvestro only managing a handful of installation laps, while Jarno Trulli failed to get out at all, the Motomatica JT01 proving to be very temperamental.
Below is the full result from the second day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day Two Times|
|1||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||32||1:31.050|
|2||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||22||1:31.469|
|3||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||51||1:31.537|
|4||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||24||1:31.541|
|5||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||25||1:31.592|
|6||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||27||1:31.869|
|7||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||30||1:31.915|
|9||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing||26||1:32.033|
|10||55||Tom Dillmann||Team Aguri||26||1:32.369|
|12||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||28||1:34.955|
|13||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||0||No Time|
|14||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli||0||No Time|
|15||27||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti||0||No Time|
|16||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||0||No Time|
Six days after the conclusion of the second day of the test, the third started in front of another impressive crowd. Fourteen drivers were scheduled to take to the track for the third day, with Nicolas Lapierre getting his first taste of Formula E with Team Aguri. A completely dry day emerged on the 17th of August, meaning that a lot of running was expected.
Daniel Abt grabbed the headlines on the third day, as he obliterated Sébastien Buemi's lap record from the second day to set the fastest time. Abt later stated that Buemi's claim that a sub 1:30.000 time was possible was his motivation, as he set the first sub 1:31.000 lap around Donington Park in a Formula E car. His time was eight tenths faster than Buemi's, with Nicolas Prost and Sam Bird also setting times under Buemi's former mark.
Three different cars set times within a tenth of a second of each other, with Prost in second, to Jacques Villeneuve in fifth. Villeneuve also managed to beat team mate Stéphane Sarrazin, while the two Mahindras also managed to get into the top eight, Bruno Senna the quicker of the pair. Débutante Lapierre had a strong day, completing 73 laps in the Spark-Renault SRT_01E run by Team Aguri, with former record holder Buemi down in tenth after a gearbox failure early in the afternoon caused him to stop on the circuit.
NEXTEV TCR had a more positive day, although Champion Nelson Piquet Jr. failed to set a representative time, and only completed three laps. Oliver Turvey, in the second car, managed to complete an afternoon only run of 24 laps, although the team opted not to try any qualifying mode laps. Trulli, meanwhile, appeared to be in dire straits once again, their Motomatica machine not getting out at all. Andretti were also in some strife, with Simona de Silvestro stopping out on the circuit in all of her attempts to leave the pitlane, not making it round a complete lap.
Below is the full result from the third day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day Three Times|
|1||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||30||1:30.250|
|2||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||26||1:31.021|
|3||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||43||1:31.023|
|4||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||49||1:31.144|
|7||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||11||1:31.696|
|8||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||16||1:31.805|
|9||55||Nicolas Lapierre||Team Aguri||73||1:32.694|
|10||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||10||1:35.318|
|11||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||24||1:36.773|
|12||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||16||1:37.460|
|13||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli||0||No Time|
|14||27||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti||0||No Time|
The fourth day of the 2015 Donington Test saw fourteen drivers once again take to the track to test the latest Formula E creations for their teams. It was also the first time that Nathanaël Berthon had driven a Formula E car, as he joined Team Aguri for the day, while Lucas di Grassi took over the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport car that had set the lap record on Monday.
It was an impressive display from di Grassi, as he became the first driver to break the 1:30.000 barrier in a Formula E machine. The Brazilian was well ahead of the rest, as Sébastien Buemi claimed second, and suggested that e.dams were more concerned with long run pace than out and out performance, although that sentiment was shared by di Grassi. Bruno Senna completed the top three, with a time just 0.004s faster than team mate Nick Heidfeld, as Mahindra proved to have the pace of the front runners too.
Nicolas Prost found himself in the top five, again just 0.003s slower than Heidfeld, while Jean-Eric Vergne also posted a sub-1:31.000 lap for DS Virgin Racing. Jérôme d'Ambrosio ended the day as the highest placed Venturi built runner, while Berthon claimed the honour of being the busiest driver of the day after 48 tours of Donington Park. Stéphane Sarrazin bested Jacques Villeneuve in the Venturi team battle, while Oliver Turvey and Nelson Piquet Jr. ended the day as the slowest cars, having purely focused on reliability and race performance.
But, it was yet another difficult day for Andretti and Trulli, as neither managed a competitive time all session. There was progress in the Andretti camp, however, as Simona de Silvestro, announced as their lead driver for the new season, completed a whole lap without stopping, a feat of significance for the American team. Trulli, meanwhile, yet again failed to leave the pits, with Jarno Trulli only making it out into the pitlane before their Motomatica machine died.
Below is the full result from the fourth day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day Four Times|
|1||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||28||1:29.920|
|2||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||30||1:30.382|
|3||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||23||1:30.670|
|4||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||34||1:30.674|
|5||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||26||1:30.677|
|6||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing||36||1:30.925|
|7||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||42||1:31.144|
|8||77||Nathanaël Berthon||Team Aguri||48||1:31.185|
|11||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||26||1:34.133|
|12||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||36||1:35.770|
|13||10||Jarno Trulli||Trulli||0||No Time|
|14||27||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti||0||No Time|
The penultimate day of the 2015 Donington Test saw another débutante in Formula E, as Andretti, who were confident of getting both of their cars out on circuit for a sustained period, announced that Dutchman Robin Frijns would drive for them. Elsewhere, Sam Bird returned for the DS Virgin Racing team, Lucas di Grassi was to make his final testing appearance for ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, Vitantonio Liuzzi was scheduled to sit in the Trulli garage, and Nathanaël Berthon was to drive one last time for Team Aguri.
The fifth day of the Test was heavily affected by rain, meaning Sam Bird failed to continue the run of breaking the lap record that had been the theme over the first four days. His time, the fastest of the day, was set in the early afternoon, as dark clouds gathered, and then broke, over the circuit as the session progressed. Lucas di Grassi was the only driver within 0.3s of the Brit on the penultimate day, as the quartet of Venturi VM200-FE-1s filled the remainder of the top six.
That group was headed by Loïc Duval, who was over a second slower than di Grassi, but only ran in the wet conditions that affected the morning and afternoon. Jacques Villeneuve put his Venturi run Venturi in fourth, completing the most laps of the four, followed by the second Dragon of Jérôme d'Ambrosio and team mate Stéphane Sarrazin. Almost two seconds covered the group, as they all beat the Renault e.dams machines of Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost.
Prost, however, was unable to complete a qualifying run, and so found himself down behind Oliver Turvey, Nick Heidfeld and Berthon. Bruno Senna completed the times of those who managed a lap, as Andretti and Trulli suffered another difficult day. Both Simona de Silvestro and Frijns were expected to try their hand in the ATEC-01, but neither managed to get any time on the track, while Liuzzi was left to stand at the back of the Trulli garage.
Below is the full result from the fifth day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day Five Times|
|1||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||36||1:30.451|
|2||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||37||1:30.772|
|3||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||36||1:32.022|
|5||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||22||1:33.419|
|7||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||38||1:33.883|
|8||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||54||1:34.203|
|9||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||22||1:34.571|
|10||77||Nathanaël Berthon||Team Aguri||47||1:34.739|
|11||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||40||1:34.895|
|12||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||30||1:35.611|
|13||10||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Trulli||0||No Time|
|14||27||Robin Frijns||Andretti Autosport||0||No Time|
|15||28||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti Autosport||0||No Time|
The final day of the 2015 Donington Test was held on the 25th of August 2015, and scheduled to be held in wet conditions, although that was not the only reason for dull mood around the paddock. Overnight, news emerged that Justin Wilson, one time Formula E racer for Andretti Autosport had died of injuries sustained in an accident at the IndyCar ABC Supply 500, having been hit in the head by debris. The Brit had been in a coma since the accident on Sunday night, and his death prompted discussion across the world on the use of closed cockpits for top level motorsports such as Formula One in the future.
After a minutes silence as tribute to their fallen counterpart, the drivers hit the track in the dry before the clouds rolled in for the afternoon, meaning the majority of the quali times were set early on. That statement was true for Nicolas Prost as he set the fastest time of the day in opening minutes, completing the lap in around the same time as Sam Bird managed the day before. Sébastien Buemi claimed second to confirm the growing suspicion that Renault e.dams would defend their crown, as they completed a strong display at Donington.
Jérôme d'Ambrosio had the honour of being the fastest Venturi engineered runner in third, with Bruno Senna in close attendance in the Mahindra. Stéphane Sarrazin was next in the first Venturi run VM200-FE-1, as Jean-Eric Vergne was the last of those to post a time under the 2014 record, while also setting the fastest time of the afternoon session. Loïc Duval completed the test in seventh, with the final Venturi of Jacques Villeneuve ninth, ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr. and Daniel Abt.
With the strugglers, Andretti Autosport had enough of trying to tempt their latest creation to life, and instead opted to fit the 2014/15 spec equipment in their cars overnight. That move allowed Robin Frijns to set the eighth fastest time of the session, beating Simona de Silvestro who only managed eleventh. Trulli, meanwhile, saw Vitantonio Liuzzi complete the car's first lap of Donington Park, very slowly mind, and also allowed Salvador Duran (freshly announced as their new driver from Team Aguri) to attempt one too, although the Mexican only made it back to the pits with assistance from the team.
Finally, Stefano Coletti was able to get his first taste of Formula E in the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, as Team Aguri continued to assess drivers for their cars. An impressive first day in the car saw Coletti crack the top ten despite the conditions.
Below is the full result from the sixth and final day of the 2015 Donington Test:
|2015 Donington Test Day Six Times|
|1||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||39||1:30.513|
|2||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||35||1:30.801|
|3||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||33||1:30.860|
|4||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||47||1:30.869|
|6||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing||45||1:30.997|
|7||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||36||1:31.259|
|8||27||Robin Frijns||Andretti Autosport||37||1:31.434|
|10||77||Stefano Coletti||Team Aguri||38||1:32.573|
|11||28||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti Autosport||31||1:33.180|
|12||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||32||1:33.679|
|13||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||39||1:34.384|
|14||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||27||1:36.176|
|15||10||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Trulli||7||No Time|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 'Guide to Donington Park testing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/guide-to-donington-park-testing.aspx, (Accessed 10/08/2015)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 'Di Grassi lowers Donington lap record', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/di-grassi-lowers-donington-lap-record.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2015)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'FIA homologates manufacturers for second Formula E season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/fia-homologates-manufacturers-for-second-formula-e-season.aspx, (Accessed 03/08/2015)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 'Entry list for first day of pre-season testing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/entry-list-for-first-day-of-pre-season-testing.aspx, (Accessed 10/08/2015)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 'Buemi fastest as Formula E testing kicks off', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/buemi-fastest-as-formula-e-testing-kicks-off.aspx, (Accessed 10/08/2015)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 'Entry list for second day of pre-season testing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/entry-list-for-second-day-of-pre-season-testing.aspx, (Accessed 11/08/2015)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 'New lap record for Buemi at Donington', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/new-lap-record-for-buemi-at-donington.aspx, (Accessed 11/08/2015)
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 'Abt smashes lap record', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/abt-smashes-lap-record.aspx, (Accessed 17/08/2015)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 'Prost fastest as testing concludes', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/prost-fastest-as-testing-concludes.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2015)
- ↑ 'Alejandro Agag: Statement on the passing of Justin Wilson', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/08/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/august/alejandro-agag-statement-on-the-passing-of-justin-wilson.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2015)
- ↑ Esler, William, 'Max Chilton believes F1 will have closed cockpits in five to 10 years', skysports.com, (British Sky Broadcasting, 25/08/2015), http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/9965430/max-chilton-believes-f1-will-have-closed-cockpits-in-five-to-10-years, (Accessed 25/08/2015)