|2016 Donington Test|
|Date||25th - 27th August 2016|
5th - 7th September 2016
|Location||Donington Park, UK|
|Lap length||4.020km (2.498mi)|
2015 Punta del Este Test
2016 Punta del Este Test
The 2016 Donington Test was a six day public test for the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, staged at Donington Park in the United Kingdom. Held over the space of two weeks in last week of August and the first week of September, the Donington Test saw all ten teams run their season three creations after fifteen private tests since the homologation period in early February.
The test would see the debut of the new Spark-Renault chassis, featuring a new and distinctive front wing, as well as the public debut for all of the updated powertrains. New manufacturer Jaguar would also use the test to evaluate drivers, with several other teams using the test to blood their new drivers.
The test itself was an impressive one, both in terms of times and total mileage, with the circuit record broken several times. Ultimately it would be 2015/16 Champion Sébastien Buemi who set the fastest time, a 1:28.910, on the final day, as Renault e.Dams ended the test period as favorites for the new season.
The 2015/16 season had seen two teams withdraw from the Championship, as the Trulli Formula E Team and Team Aguri dropped out. Yet, their places in the field would be filled by two new entrants, the first being announced just days after Trulli submitted their withdrawal. British car manufacturer Jaguar joined the Formula E family, their first factory involved venture into International motorsport since they quit Formula One in 2005. The Jaguar effort would see the British firm partner with established FE parts builder Williams Advanced Engineering.
As for Aguri, the team would be taken over by Chinese tech firm SECA, who renamed the squad Techeetah for their first attempt at sponsoring an international racing team. The Chinese team opted to retain almost all of the Aguri staff, employed Jean-Eric Vergne and Ma Qing Hua, and secured a deal to use Renault's powertrain. They would be the only team to operate on a customer basis, as the other nine entries set about making their own creations.
Andretti had decided to start their 2016/17 project as early as possible, and were confident of entering the new Andretti ATEC-02 for the season, after the Andretti ATEC-01 failed in pre-season testing. Dragon Racing had persuaded Penske to build them a powertrain, using their Indy Car knowledge to build their car, meaning Venturi were only supplying cars for themselves. The venerable Spark-Renault SRT_01E, meanwhile, would remain as the poster car for the Championship, and serve as the reserve powertrain for all ten teams.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2016 Donington Test across each day:
The first day of the 2016 Donington Test was scheduled for the 23rd of August 2016, with the Donington Park circuit unchanged from previous seasons. Held in dry, warm conditions, the opening day of public testing saw all of the 2016/17 cars complete at least a shakedown. The day would also see Alex Lynn, Felix Rosenqvist, Adam Carroll, José María López and Maro Engel all get their first runs in a Formula E car.
It would be a day dominated by impressive times from the defending Formula E Champion, as Sébastien Buemi completed the first day of running with a 1:30.143. It was an impressive time, just two tenths away from Lucas di Grassi's record set back at the 2015 Donington Test, and left Buemi almost seven tenths clear of his closest challenger. That man proved to be Nick Heidfeld in the new Mahindra, while di Grassi claimed third a further half a tenth back.
Sam Bird had been the man to open the session, completing the first lap of the 2016/17 season, ultimately ending the session down in fourth after 28 laps. Best of the rookies would be Lynn in the new Jaguar, who was three tenths faster than Carroll in the sister car. Rosenqvist and Daniel Abt got inbetween the two Jaguars, while López completed the top ten for DS Virgin Racing, with four seconds covering all eighteen drivers who took part.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day One Times|
|1||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:30.143||—|
|2||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:30.894||+0.751s|
|3||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.947||+0.804s|
|4||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||28||1:30.992||+0.849s|
|5||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:31.203||+1.060s|
|6||20||Alex Lynn||Jaguar Racing||1:31.409||+1.266s|
|7||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:31.563||+1.420s|
|8||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:31.712||+1.569s|
|9||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:31.717||+1.574s|
|10||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:31.733||+1.590s|
|11||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:32.309||+2.166s|
|12||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:33.060||+2.917s|
|14||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:33.147||+3.004s|
|15||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:33.252||+3.109s|
|16||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:33.284||+3.141s|
The second day of testing would feature nineteen drivers, as Techeetah got their second car working to allow Jean-Eric Vergne on circuit. Elsewhere, Mitch Evans took over the #20 Jaguar Racing car, while NextEV NIO were left to work on their second entry. The circuit was unchanged from Monday's session, with temperatures slightly higher than the day before.
The second day of public testing saw a surprise at the top of the time sheets, as Vergne pushed the customer run Renault Z.E. 16 to a new lap record. The Techeetah cars would bookend the field, with Vergne setting a 1:29.634, while Ma Qing Hua was slowest with a 1:33.361, although the team were more concerned about getting mileage rather than ultimate pace. Joining the Frenchman at the top of the order was FE newcomer Felix Rosenqvist, while defending Champion Sébastien Buemi claimed the third fastest time, as the top three all got within Lucas di Grassi's former record.
Daniel Abt would be fourth fastest overall, having been one of the few to actually set his best time during the afternoon session, a period when most were persuing long run pace. Sam Bird, Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Loïc Duval were all within a second of the fastest time, while Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Oliver Turvey rounded out the top ten. Elsewhere, Evans beat Adam Carroll in the new Jaguars, with the entire field bar Ma getting within two seconds of the Vergne lap record.
Below is the full result from the second day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day Two Times|
|2||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:29.719||+0.085s|
|3||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:29.765||+0.131s|
|4||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.192||+0.558s|
|5||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:30.294||+0.660s|
|6||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:30.330||+0.696s|
|7||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:30.344||+0.710s|
|8||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:30.542||+0.908s|
|9||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:30.672||+1.038s|
|10||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:30.693||+1.059s|
|11||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.777||+1.143s|
|12||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:31.121||+1.487s|
|13||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:31.159||+1.525s|
|15||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:31.267||+1.633s|
|16||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:31.376||+1.742s|
|19||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:33.361||+3.727s|
The third day of the 2016 Donington Test would be staged on the 25th of August, and signalled the end of the first half of public testing. As Dean Stoneman and Harry Tincknell got their first tastes of FE action in the public sphere, Wednesday saw a day of mixed weather when showers limited the chances of strong times. Both sessions would be interrupted by rain fall, with the times from the morning generally the stronger of the two test periods.
The best time of the day would be set by Daniel Abt, some half a second slower than Jean-Eric Vergne's lap record from the previous day. The German set his best time early in the day, in start contrast to Vergne, who was able to complete his fastest time right at the end of the running, when the circuit was arguably at its best. Splitting those two at the front of the field would be Nick Heidfeld, although in the afternoon session would be dominated by third placed Vergne, who was a second clear of the rest of the runners.
Elsewhere, Maro Engel and Nicolas Prost managed to get the session stopped a couple of times, both sliding off the circuit and ending up in the gravel at the old hairpin. The latter ended up in the top five, almost a second quicker than teammate Sébastien Buemi, while Engel ended up in eighth, his best result of the test. Other highlights saw the newboys Stoneman and Tincknell complete a large number of laps, with those two at the back of the field, ahead of those who only managed to set times when the circuit was wet.
Below is the full result from the third day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day Three Times|
|1||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.073||—|
|2||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:30.095||+0.022s|
|4||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:30.237||+0.164s|
|5||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.252||+0.179s|
|6||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:30.553||+0.480s|
|7||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:30.769||+0.696s|
|9||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:31.144||+1.074s|
|10||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:31.177||+1.104s|
|12||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:31.447||+1.374s|
|13||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:31.721||+1.648s|
|14||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:32.710||+2.637s|
|15||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:32.838||+2.765s|
|16||88||Dean Stoneman||NextEV NIO||44||1:33.389||+3.316s|
|17||20||Harry Tincknell||Jaguar Racing||39||1:33.927||+3.854s|
|19||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:40.114||+10.041s|
The opening day of the second part of the 2016 Donington Test would be held on the 5th of September, a week and a half after the end of the first tests. The session would start in wet conditions with the track drying throughout the day, with times plummeting after the lunch break. There were no drivers getting their first tastes of FE, although NextEV NIO were ready to run two cars, meaning all twenty cars were in action together for the first time.
The morning session proved to be a rather stop-start affair, as red flags were thrown to retrieve cars and debris from the circuit in the wet running at the start of the day. The cause of these incidents would be excessive throttle use from the Dragon Racing and Andretti drivers, who were trying to extract every ounce of pace out of the American built machines. Amid the morning chaos, it would be FE rookie José María López who set the fastest time, with the circuit only just starting to dry at the end of the session.
Once the sun came out in the afternoon, the times, and the circuit action, began to seriously climb, with the two Jaguar Racing drivers Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans spending most of the day at the top. Yet, a late flurry of quick times would force them down the order, as Jean-Eric Vergne got within six thousandths of his lap record to claim the best time of day four, a 1:29.640. Sam Bird and Nicolas Prost were the only other drivers to record sub-1:30.000 laps, while morning leader Lopez ended the day in eighth, having set the joint highest total of laps (tying with Prost and Sébastien Buemi).
Below is the full result from the fourth day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day Four Times|
|2||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:29.924||+0.284s|
|3||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||42||1:29.970||+0.330s|
|4||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:30.013||+0.373s|
|5||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||42||1:30.159||+0.519s|
|6||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.200||+0.560s|
|7||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:30.713||+1.073s|
|8||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||42||1:30.852||+1.212s|
|9||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:30.885||+1.245s|
|10||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:31.181||+1.541s|
|11||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:31.231||+1.591s|
|13||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:31.559||+1.919s|
|14||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:31.699||+2.059s|
|16||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:32.493||+2.853s|
|17||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:32.694||+3.054s|
|18||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:32.786||+3.146s|
|19||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:33.183||+3.543s|
The penultimate day of the 2016 Donington Test would be the most impressive day of the test to that point, as all twenty cars set strong times. A day of wall to wall sunshine also allowed plenty of running around Donington Park, although there would be interruptions due to occasional mechanical failures. Again, there were no drivers making their FE bows in front of the few hundred strong crowd.
Once again, the lap record at Donington Park would be smashed on the fifth day of running, as Jean-Eric Vergne completed a stunning lap of 1:29.196 to end the day as the fastest driver. Some half a second faster than his former record, the Frenchman was only one of three drivers to beat his day two record, with Sébastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi also getting under the record, although they were both a fair way off of the Frenchman's ultimate pace. However, the day had not started strongly for Vergne, as he had suffered a rear wing failure at the start of the day while completing a shakedown.
Elsewhere, Jaguar Racing had looked particularly impressive, Mitch Evans having commanded the top of the time sheets until late in the afternoon before the late flurry at the end demoted him down to fourteenth. Nick Heidfeld also impressed in the Mahindra, being the best placed non-Renault or ABT Schaeffler driver in sixth, ahead of José María López and Sam Bird in the DS Virgin Racing cars. This was in stark contrast to Robin Frijns, who had spent most of the session bringing out red flags after breaking down on the circuit with various electrical problems.
Below is the full result from the fifth day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day Five Times|
|2||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:29.370||+0.174s|
|3||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:29.518||+0.324s|
|4||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:29.722||+0.526s|
|5||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||1:30.039||+0.843s|
|6||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:30.080||+0.884s|
|7||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||1:30.126||+0.930s|
|8||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:30.282||+1.086s|
|9||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||1:30.312||+1.116s|
|10||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||1:30.388||+1.192s|
|11||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||1:30.422||+1.226s|
|12||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:30.438||+1.242s|
|13||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||1:30.536||+1.340s|
|14||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:30.582||+1.386s|
|17||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||1:30.874||+1.678s|
|19||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||1:31.309||+2.113s|
|20||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:32.369||+3.173s|
The sixth and final day of the 2016 Donington Test, and both private and public testing, was staged on the seventh of September 2016, held in glorious sunshine. Amid news that it would potentially be the last time that a collective test was held at the Formula E headquarters, the final day of 2016 testing proved to be the most spectacular as the lap record was blown away once again. Once again, there were to be no fresh faces in any of the cars, as teams finalised their running ahead of the cars being broken apart and shipped to Hong Kong for the 2016 Hong Kong ePrix.
A day of both stunning mileage and single lap pace saw defending Champion Sébastien Buemi obliterate the lap record, as he finished the morning session with a stunning 1:28.910 to become the first man to break the 1:29.000 barrier. Teammate Nicolas Prost, meanwhile, recorded a mammoth 68 laps in the second car and recorded the third fastest time, with Jean-Eric Vergne sneaking in between the two Renault e.Dams cars. Given that Vergne's Techeetah is a customer Renault Z.E. 16, the top three suggested that the Renault backed drivers would enter the season as favourites.
The man closest to upsetting the Renault fest up front proved to be Sam Bird with DS Virgin Racing, as he got within three tenths of Buemi's new record, and was less than a tenth shy of Tuesday's former record. Loïc Duval finally got some proper running in to complete the top five, as fourteen drivers recorded at least one lap under 1:30.000. Indeed, between Buemi in first and rookie Maro Engel in twentieth, there would be just one and a half seconds covering the field.
Away from the standout times, the FIA also issued some rather odd penalties for circuit infringements, something which had not been seen before during a FE test. Vergne, Jérôme d'Ambrosio and José María López all received 30 minute penalties for hitting bollards at turn ten, all served at the start of the afternoon session. There was also some confusion as to their actual penalties, and the reason for them, with the FIA also including a penalty for overtaking under red flags to all three drivers.
Below is the full result from the sixth and final day of the 2016 Donington Test:
|2016 Donington Test Day Six Times|
|1||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||58||1:28.910||—|
|3||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||68||1:29.205||+0.295s|
|4||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||48||1:29.282||+0.372s|
|5||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||40||1:29.385||+0.475s|
|6||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||50||1:29.422||+0.512s|
|7||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||39||1:29.429||+0.519s|
|8||37||José María López||DS Virgin Racing||43||1:29.488||+0.578s|
|9||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||48||1:29.511||+0.601s|
|10||33||Ma Qing Hua||Techeetah||51||1:29.649||+0.739s|
|11||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||52||1:29.713||+0.803s|
|12||88||Oliver Turvey||NextEV NIO||49||1:29.717||+0.807s|
|13||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||49||1:29.884||+0.974s|
|15||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||49||1:30.061||+1.151s|
|16||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti||61||1:30.085||+1.175s|
|18||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NextEV NIO||34||1:30.250||+1.340s|
|19||47||Adam Carroll||Jaguar Racing||42||1:30.279||+1.369s|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ 'BOLD NEW LOOK FOR FORMULA E CAR: NEW FRONT WING CREATES UNIQUE VISUAL IDENTITY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/bold-new-look-for-formula-e-car/, (Accessed 07/09/2016)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 'BUEMI ENDS FINAL TEST ON TOP: RENAULT E.DAMS LEADS THE WAY AS TEAM COMPLETE THE FINAL TEST BEFORE HONG KONG', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/09/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/buemi-ends-final-test-on-top/, (Accessed 07/09/2016)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 'Jaguar returns to global motor sport', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/jaguar-returns-to-racing.aspx, (Accessed 15/12/2015)
- ↑ 'SECA SECURE FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRY: JEAN-ERIC VERGNE AND MA QING HUA CONFIRMED AS DRIVERS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/seca-secure-fia-formula-e-championship-entry/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'DONINGTON PARK PRE-SEASON TESTING ENTRY LIST: ALEX LYNN AND ADAM CARROLL TO DRIVE FOR JAGUAR ON DAY ONE OF TESTING', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/donington-park-pre-season-testing-entry-list/, (Accessed 06/09/2016)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 'BUEMI TOPS OPENING DAY OF PRE-SEASON TESTING: REIGNING FORMULA E CHAMPION HEADS FIELD ON DAY ONE OF TESTING AT DONINGTON PARK', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/buemi-t-ops-opening-day-of-pre-season-testing/#, (Accessed 06/09/2016)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 'JEAN-ERIC VERGNE LOWERS LAP RECORD FOR TECHEETAH: VERGNE SETS BLISTERING PACE ON FIRST OUTING FOR CHINESE OUTFIT', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/buemi-t-ops-opening-day-of-pre-season-testing/#, (Accessed 07/09/2016)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 'ABT SETS PACE ON FINAL DAY OF TESTING: SHOWERS LIMIT RUNNING ON CONCLUDING SESSIONS AT DONINGTON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/abt-sets-pace-on-final-day-of-testing/, (Accessed 07/09/2016)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 'VERGNE SETS THE PACE ON OPENING DAY: THREE DRIVERS BREAK 1:30S AS TESTING RESUMES AT DONINGTON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 05/09/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/vergne-sets-the-pace-on-opening-day/, (Accessed 07/09/2016)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 'VERGNE FASTEST ON PENULTIMATE DAY OF TESTING: LAP TIMES CONTINUE TO TUMBLE ON SECOND DAY OF THE FINAL TEST AT DONINGTON PARK', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/09/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/vergne-fastest-on-penultimate-day-of-testing/, (Accessed 07/09/2016)