BMW top Formula E Testing

Testing for the 2019/20 Formula E season took place last week with Max Gunther finishing on top for the BMW i-Andretti squad.

Gunther was followed by Mahindra racer, Pascal Wehrlein and GEOX Dragon’s new recruit, Nico Muller, at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.

BMW set the pace in the 2018 test with Gunther’s predecessor, Antonio Felix Da Costa, topping the times and going on to win the first race of the season in Saudi Arabia, and BMW nearly won the second round of the year in Marrakech as well until Da Costa and his former teammate Alexander Sims made contact.

Gunther’s time was over a second and a half quicker than Da Costa’s from last year, with a 1.15.087 set on the final day of the test. Wehrlein was 0.103s behind Gunther, only 0.008s ahead of Muller.

22 out of 24 cars were within a second of each other proving that this season of Formula E has the potential to be one of the most competitive seasons yet.

Audi team principal Allan McNish said in the team principal’s press conference “if you’re a tenth off you may be on the second row two years ago but you’re going to be on the fourth or fifth row in season 6.”

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The test featured two ‘test’ races which were to trial a new feature for the safety car this season.

Each car will lose 1kwh (out of the 52kwh they have for the 45 minute race) of energy per lap to avoid risky moves and more banzai restarts where drivers would attempt overtakes with worn tyres and too much energy that would cause more issues.

The first race was ‘won’ by Stoffel Vandoorne, a highlight for the new Mercedes team. Neither Mercedes driver was able to make it into the top 10 on any of the testing days but were still within respectable times. The other new German team – Porsche – had similar experiences with Andre Lotterer’s highest position being 11th position.

The second race was won by Sebastian Buemi for Nissan, ahead of Lotterer and Abt on the final day of testing in Valencia.

The excitement is building for the season which begins in a month’s time with a double header in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to kick off what looks set to be one of the most competitive seasons of what is already one of the most competitive championships in the world, which saw 8 different winners from 7 different teams in the first 8 races of season 5.

1 Max Gunther, BMW i-Andretti Motorsport 1.15.087
2 Pascal Wehrlein, Mahindra Racing 1.15.190
3 Nico Muller, GEOX Dragon 1.15.198
4 Antonio Felix Da Costa, DS Techeetah 1.15.293
5 Mitch Evans, Panasoinc Jaguar Racing 1.15.306
6 Sebastian Buemi, Nissan e.dams 1.15.328
7 Alexander Sims, BMW i-Andretti Motorsport 1.15.359
8 Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing 1.15.377
9 Oliver Rowland, Nissan e.dams 1.15.444
10 Jerome D’Ambrosio, Mahindra 1.15.454
11 Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah 1.15.480
12 Felipe Massa, Venturi 1.15.504
13 Sam Bird, Envision Virgin Racing 1.15.570
14 Brendon Hartley, GEOX Dragon 1.15.592
15 James Calado, Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1.15.624
16 Daniel Abt, Audi ABT Schaeffler FE Team 1.15.673
17 Lucas Di Grassi, Audi ABT Schaeffler FE Team 1.15.675
18 Edoardo Mortara, Venturi 1.15.684
19 Andre Lotterer, Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team 1.15.699
20 Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes EQ FE Team 1.15.736
21 Nyck De Vries, Mercedes EQ FE Team 1.15.916
22 Neel Jani, Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team 1.16.053
23 Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 FE Team 1.16.568
24 Ma Qing Hua, NIO 333 FE Team 1.17.047