Sam Bird tops the first day of Formula E Testing

Sam Bird, driving for the Envision Virgin team, was fastest on the opening test day for the 2019/20 season 6 of Formula E.

Bird set a time of 1.15.570, over a second faster than Antonio Félix Da Costa’s fastest time from testing last year at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.

It was Da Costa’s replacement at the BMW i-Andretti squad, Max Günther, who ranked second. Günther impressed in the limited running he had last season and followed that up by going into the lunch break this morning on top of the timesheets.

Da Costa placed third in his first outing for DS Techeetah, followed in fourth by Jaguar driver, Mitch Evans. Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne classifies fifth.

16 drivers posted times within a second of each other and the top ten were separated by only half a second.

Image result for antonio felix da costa

Jaguar rookie, James Calado, had a difficult day after crashing and breaking his front axle on his install lap at the start of the day. He was able to get back running later in the morning. In the afternoon session, his Jaguar stopped as he was exiting the pit-lane, but he was able to get running again before the end of the day.

Today marked the first time that the new works Mercedes and Porsche outfits participated officially in Formula E. Although Mercedes did tread the water during season 5 with the HWA team, which scored a podium and a pole position.

Seasoned FE star, Andre Lotterer, who raced with Porsche in the WEC, was the highest placed of the new teams, whilst his teammate, another WEC veteran, Neel Jani, stopped out on track in the morning session. New F2 champion, Nyck De Vries also stopped his new Mercedes on track and didn’t set a laptime until minutes to go.

Testing continues this week in Valencia with the first round being in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on the 22nd November.

1 Sam Bird, Envision Virgin Racing 1.15.570
2 Max Guenther, BMW i-Andretti Motorsport 1.15.663
3 Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah 1.15.681
4 Mitch Evans, Pansonic Jaguar Racing 1.15.724
5 Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah 1.15.798
6 Sebastian Buemi, Nissan E-Dams 1.15.882
7 Oliver Rowland, Nissan E-Dams 1.15.942
8 Pascal Wehrlein, Mahindra Racing 1.15.975
9 Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing 1.16.081
10 Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1.16.084
11 Alexander Sims, BMW i-Andretti Motorsport 1.16.097
12 Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1.16.140
13 Nico Mueller, Geox Dragon 1.16.387
14 Andre Lotterer, Tag Heuer Porsche 1.16.482
15 Eduardo Mortara, Venturi Racing 1.16.531
16 Jerome D’Ambrosio, Mahindra Racing 1.16.552
17 Felipe Massa, Venturi Racing 1.16.580
18 Brendon Hartley, Geox Dragon 1.16.698
19 Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 FE Team 1.16.867
20 James Calado, Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1.17.016
21 Neel Jani, Tag Heuer Porsche 1.17.343
22 Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ FE Team 1.17.389
23 Nyck De Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ FE Team 1.17.654
24 Ma Qing Hua, NIO 333 FE Team 1.20.220

Header picture: Sam Bird’s Twitter – Article picture: 1. – 2. Mercedes Twitter