|2017 Valencia Test|
The double chicaned Circuit Ricardo Tormo
|Date||2nd - 5th October 2017|
|Location||Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain|
|Lap length||3.094km (1.923mi)|
2016 Donington Test
2018 Rookie Test
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia was chosen to host the only official collective test for the 2017/18 season after pressure from a majority of the Formula E teams. The series had previously used Donington Park, which also serves as the series headquarters, during its first three seasons, although many complained that the circuit lacked any resemblance to a street circuit. Hence, the much more modifiable Circuit de Valencia was chosen for the 2017 pre-season test, with an additional chicane grafted onto the start/finish straight.
In the week prior to the start of testing it was revealed that former Formula One driver Rio Haryanto would take part in the test, along with Champ Car race winner Patrick Carpentier. What was not made clear was who either Haryanto and Carpentier would drive with, although it was made clear that both of the Spark-Renault SRT_01Es run as demonstration cars would be active at the test. Furthermore, Haryanto confirmed that he would be appearing in a FE car during the second day of testing in search of a race seat.
An almost full entry list for the Valencia Test was published on the day before the test, sporting a number of new faces to the series. Most notable on the list were a number of BMW and Mercedes drivers, with Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes), Alexander Sims and Tom Blomqvist (both BMW) entered for Venturi and Andretti respectively. Venturi would also field two FE virgins in James Rossiter, sharing with Maro Engel, while seventeen year old Moroccan racer Michael Benyahia would get his first taste of FE alongside Mortara.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2017 Valencia Test across each day:
- * Sims was to use the #28 cars during day two.
It was a bright and warm day in Valencia for the first day of testing, which began at 9:00am on the 2nd October 2017. The morning included the official season launch of the NIO Formula E Team, revealing Oliver Turvey and Luca Filippi as their drivers, while Andretti Formula E revealed their season four livery. On the driver front there were several new faces to Formula E in action, with Edoardo Mortara, James Rossiter (both Venturi), Alexander Sims (Andretti) and Filippi (NIO) in action.
ReportEditSam Bird led they way after the morning session, the Brit recording a strong time of 1:18.669, just ahead of defending Champion Lucas di Grassi. Bird, however, was not impressed with the temporary chicane put in down the start/finish straight, leading a chorus of drivers complaining about its construction. Sébastien Buemi was particularly vocal about the chicane design, believing the use of concrete blocks and old tyres to be a dangerous solution to the problem, particularly when FE circuits are required to use "Tech-pro" safety barriers throughout.
The afternoon session would then start with a bang, as Bird smashed into the chicane and seriously damaged one of his two cars, leaving him in the second chassis for the rest of the afternoon. Debutante Rossiter would follow him into the fake chicane barriers later in the day, causing a second red flag of the afternoon and damaging his Venturi. The sister car of Mortara ended up stranded on the circuit bringing out another red flag, as did André Lotterer while testing the Techeetah. Lotterer's teammate Jean-Éric Vergne also ended the session on a flat-bed after spinning himself into a gravel trap.
The afternoon session proved to be the quicker overall, as Turvey moved to the top of the day's timesheet with a 1:18.565. Buemi and di Grassi were next, separated by just 0.002s, while 2016/17 rookie of the year Felix Rosenqvist ended the day in fourth. Bird's morning time was good enough for fifth, the Brit restricted to race runs in the afternoon, with Daniel Abt, Alex Lynn, Vergne, Mitch Evans and Nicolas Prost completing the top ten.
Lotterer proved to be the quickest of the new boys on the opening day, a 1:19.491 set shortly before his breakdown leaving him twelfth overall. Sims produced a good display to best the time of full-time Andretti counterpart António Félix da Costa, while Rossiter beat Mortara in the Venturis. Filippi found himself inbetween the two Venturis, while Neel Jani was unable to set a quali-power lap at all, leaving him three seconds off the ultimate pace.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2017 Valencia Test:
|2017 Valencia Test Day One Times|
|1st||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||72||1:18.565||—|
|2nd||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||44||1:18.577||+0.012s|
|3rd||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||71||1:18.579||+0.014s|
|4th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||38||1:18.643||+0.078s|
|5th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||73||1:18.669||+0.104s|
|6th||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||85||1:18.697||+0.132s|
|7th||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||85||1:18.957||+0.392s|
|9th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||72||1:19.063||+0.498s|
|10th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||82||1:19.097||+0.532s|
|11th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||42||1:19.117||+0.552s|
|13th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||54||1:19.627||+1.062s|
|14th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||72||1:19.991||+1.426s|
|15th||27||Alexander Sims||Andretti Formula E||67||1:20.094||+1.529s|
|16th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||64||1:20.107||+1.542s|
|18th||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||69||1:20.642||+2.077s|
|20th||6||Neel Jani||Dragon Racing||63||1:21.888||+3.323s|
After day one complaints and crashes at the chicane on the start/finish straight, the FIA opted to install a second chicane earlier on the straight to lower entry speeds. This change was deemed satisfactory by the drivers on Tuesday morning, meaning the second day testing got underway without issue. Of the drivers themselves there would be a morning run out for Michael Benyahia, while Tom Blomqvist took over the #27 car from Alexander Sims, who himself replaced António Félix da Costa in the #28 Andretti.
The additional chicane was expected to add around three seconds to the driver's times, meaning an effort in the 1:21.000s would be seen as progress. As it happened, 2015/16 Champion Sébastien Buemi would record the fastest time of day early on, a quick quali-lap in the cooler morning leaving him with a 1:21.890. Felix Rosenqvist came closest to besting the Swiss Champion, claiming a 1:21.934 to end the day in second overall.
However, despite some impressive times, it was inevitable that the chicanes became the centre of attention, although this time without a lot of complaint. Shortly before the lunch break, Oliver Turvey and James Rossiter both clipping the new chicane on the start/finish straight a bringing out red flags. Both cars were heavily damaged after hitting the tyres, although both drivers would manage to complete some laps in the afternoon.
Unlike the first day, most drivers would improve their best times in the afternoon, although not those already in the 1:21.000s. Of those to improve the biggest gains were found by Nelson Piquet Jr., although his 1.400 second improvement was not enough to beat new teammate Mitch Evans. Defending Champion Lucas di Grassi improved during the afternoon, although he remained almost half a second off of rival Buemi's best time.
Elsewhere, Jean-Éric Vergne matched his efforts from the first session, getting into the mid-pack in terms of pace before spinning into the gravel just a few metres from his pirouette the day before. Blomqvist did well to beat Sims, beating his compatriot by a tenth of a second in spite of the latter's extra day of experience, while young Benyahia ended the day at the bottom of the field. Indeed, the young Morocco-born racer was denied the chance to improve as Edoardo Mortara took over the car in the afternoon, although he would only complete ten laps before the Venturi ground to a halt in the pits.
Below is the full result from the second day of the 2017 Valencia Test:
|2017 Valencia Test Day Two Times|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||76||1:21.890||—|
|2nd||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||57||1:21.934||+0.044s|
|3rd||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||70||1:21.950||+0.060s|
|4th||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||75||1:22.135||+0.245s|
|5th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||68||1:22.173||+0.283s|
|6th||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||69||1:22.215||+0.325s|
|7th||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||72||1:22.265||+0.366s|
|8th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||75||1:22.422||+0.532s|
|9th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||71||1:22.455||+0.565s|
|10th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||67||1:22.476||+0.586s|
|12th||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||83||1:22.649||+0.759s|
|13th||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||69||1:22.990||+1.100s|
|14th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||41||1:23.065||+1.175s|
|15th||27||Tom Blomqvist||Andretti Formula E||62||1:23.195||+1.305s|
|17th||28||Alexander Sims||Andretti Formula E||86||1:23.321||+1.431s|
|18th||6||Neel Jani||Dragon Racing||89||1:23.654||+1.764s|
After a day of rest and rebuilding, the FE field regrouped for the final six hours of pre-season testing, with no fresh concerns about the circuit since the addition of the second chicane. Driver-wise, there would be some minor changes at Mahindra, with Daniel Juncadella making his testing debut in place of Nick Heidfeld. António Félix da Costa replaced Alexander Sims in the #28, leaving Tom Blomqvist in the #27 pair, while Maro Engel partnered DTM teammate Edoardo Mortara in the Venturis.
The third day of running would see Oliver Turvey emerge as the fastest man of pre-season testing, the Brit completing an early quali-run to record a 1:21.822, besting Sébastien Buemi's best time from day two. The Swiss racer himself would be down the order having focused on race simulation, leaving him in fifth ahead of the lunch break, leaving Daniel Abt in second. The two DS Virgin Racing cars of Sam Bird and Alex Lynn also got ahead of the Swiss racer, while defending Champion Lucas di Grassi had a quiet morning to finish in fourteenth.
The morning would also be quiet in terms of stoppages, with only two red flags required to pluck a stranded Venturi, and then a misplaced barrier, off the circuit. First to grind to a stop would be Mortara with a glitch after in the middle sector, just as the morning session entered its final thirty minutes. Then, Jean-Éric Vergne clipped a barrier and dislodged and pushed a tyre bale onto the circuit, meaning a second red flag was required to replace the offending item.
The second session saw most of the field fail to improve on their morning marks, leaving Jérôme d'Ambrosio at the top of the afternoon timesheets with a 1:22.252. Others to improve would be di Grassi, who pushed into the top ten with a 1:22.328, while debutante Juncadella found almost a second and a half over lunch to move up the order. Distance-wise, Luca Filippi set the charts smoldering by recording 49 laps, the most of anyone in any single three hour session, although it was di Grassi who covered the most distance over the day overall with 88 tours to his name.
Like the morning session, the afternoon of the final day saw little for the marshals to do, other than pull André Lotterer from the traditional afternoon parking spot for the Techeetahs: turn five.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2017 Valencia Test:
|2017 Valencia Test Day Three Times|
|1st||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||73||1:21.822||—|
|2nd||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||84||1:21.946||+0.124s|
|4th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||49||1:22.120||+0.298s|
|5th||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||65||1:22.247||+0.425s|
|6th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||65||1:22.252||+0.430s|
|7th||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||76||1:22.267||+0.445s|
|8th||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||88||1:22.328||+0.506s|
|9th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||79||1:22.383||+0.561s|
|10th||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||70||1:22.432||+0.610s|
|11th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||66||1:22.457||+0.635s|
|12th||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||79||1:22.487||+0.665s|
|13th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||74||1:22.645||+0.823s|
|14th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||76||1:22.979||+1.157s|
|15th||6||Neel Jani||Dragon Racing||64||1:23.102||+1.280s|
|16th||23||Daniel Juncadella||Mahindra Racing||56||1:23.564||+1.742s|
|18th||27||Tom Blomqvist||Andretti Formula E||61||1:23.692||+1.870s|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 'Additional chicane added for second day of testing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/additional-chicane-added-for-second-day-of-testing/, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 'Valencia pre-season test dates confirmed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/valencia-pre-season-test-dates-confirmed/, (Accessed 11/09/2017)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Scott Mitchell, 'Ex-F1 driver Rio Haryanto to drive Formula E car in pre-season test', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 01/10/2017), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/132132/haryanto-to-join-preseason-test-at-valencia, (Accessed 01/10/2017)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 'New faces to make Formula E debut in Valencia', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/new-faces-to-make-formula-e-debut-in-valencia/, (Accessed 01/10/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Filippi joins Turvey at NIO Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/filippi-joins-turvey-at-nio-formula-e/, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Scott Mitchell, 'Mercedes' Daniel Juncadella gets Mahindra Formula E test', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/10/2017), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/132151/mercedes-juncadella-gets-mahindra-fe-test, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 'Turvey Sets the Pace for Opening Day in Valencia', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/turvey-sets-the-pace-for-opening-day-in-valencia/, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Scott Mitchell, 'Formula E drivers angry over "dangerous" Valencia chicane', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/10/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/formula-e-drivers-angry-over-dangerous-valencia-chicane-960555/?s=1, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ Scott Mitchell, 'Formula E adds second chicane to Valencia main straight', motorsport.com, (Motorsport, 02/10/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/formula-e-adds-second-chicane-after-criticism-960664/, (Accessed 02/10/2017)
- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 'Buemi leads second day of testing in Valencia', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/buemi-leads-second-day-of-testing-in-valencia/, (Accessed 03/10/2017)
- ↑ Scott Mitchell, 'Ex-F1 driver Haryanto completes first Formula E test', motorsport.com, (Motorsport, 03/10/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/haryanto-first-test-valencia-960908/, (Accessed 03/10/2017)
- ↑ 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 'Turvey finishes pre-season testing on top', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 05/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/turvey-finishes-pre-season-testing-on-top/, (Accessed 05/10/2017)