Audi Sport Abt’s Lucas di Grassi led the second official test for the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park.
di Grassi set his best time in the afternoon session to outpace day one leader, Sebastien Buemi of team e.dams-Renault.
Belgian racer Jerome d’Ambrosio, testing for China Racing, topped the morning timesheets with a 1:34.554s and already up on Buemi’s best time from day one. Formula E said times then began to tumble partway through the afternoon stint when the temporary chicane on the exit to the Old hairpin was removed after a number of drivers made contact with it.
That paved the way for di Grassi, testing with two cars due to an absent Daniel Abt on GP2 duties, to lay down a benchmark in the 1:31s which was never bettered.
“It was my first time driving the car with full power and I’m really pleased with the performance,” said di Grassi. “With Daniel Abt at Silverstone for GP2, I had the use of two cars so was able to do a lot of work in race mode. We had very little problems and I was very pleased with the way the Abt team worked, and I’m looking forward to getting in the car next week.”
Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld came away with the third best time while teammate Stephane Sarrazin took 13th spot. Scott Speed, testing for Andretti, finished fourth in front of Mahindra’s Bruno Senna and Spain’s Antonio Garcia – testing with China Racing. Nicolas Prost finished ahead of Virgin’s Sam Bird – completing the most laps of any driver with 56 – with d’Ambrosio and Jarno Trulli rounding out the top 10 before rain brought an early end to proceedings with 10 minutes left on the clock. Oriol Servia made his test debut for Dragon Racing alongside newly signed driver Mike Conway.
“It’s been interesting getting used to the car. It’s something quite different from what I’m used to,” said reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer, taking over the duties for Antonio Felix da Costa at Amlin Aguri. “But we have been moving forward in a good way and everything is fine. I used race power and qualifying power – there’s a big, big difference between them and I think that will be something quite interesting for the driver.”
Formula E added the test day also saw the announcement that electric car company Rimac Automobili will supply the series with one of its exclusive fully-electric Concept_One supercars which will be used by the Race Director. The one-of-a-kind car, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in the same time as a Formula E single-seater, also took to the Donington track for a number of demonstration laps.
The next test days will take place on July 9 and 10 at Donington Park with free access to fans, including a pitlane walk.
FIA Formula E Championship: Day 2 test results (Combined times):
1. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt, 1:31.973s
2. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:32.089s
3. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, 1:32.373s
4. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, 1:32.632s
5. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.960s
6. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, 1:32.966s
7. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, 1:33.040s
8. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:33.072s
9. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, 1:33.178s
10. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, 1:33.299s
11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, 1:33.754s
12. Fabio Leimer, Amlin Aguri, 1:33.792s
13. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:34.006s
14. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, 1:34.071s
15. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, 1:36.064s
16. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, 1:36.962s
17. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, 1:37.415s
18. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, 1:43.239s
19. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, 1:44.698s