Formula E test in Valencia continues after garage fire on Thursday: Mitch Evans and Antonio Felix da Costa again at the front
Mitch Evans continued to set the pace on the third day of Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia, which continued on Thursday following Tuesday’s garage fire. The Jaguar driver topped the timesheet at the end of the four-and-a-half-hour session with a time of 1:24.791, 0.023 seconds ahead of Porsche driver Antonio Felix da Costa.
The same pairing had also led the overall standings on Tuesday morning until a fire in the garage of battery supplier WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering) interrupted work at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain. Following an investigation by the FIA, the automotive world governing body, testing resumed at 2 p.m. local time on Thursday.
Edoardo Mortara set the first best time with 1:25.661 minutes. Mahindra will only be able to field one car in Valencia after, among other things, Nyck de Vries’ car was damaged in Tuesday’s fire.
Car damaged: Nyck de Vries has to watch
This meant the former AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver was unable to take part in the session after finishing in last place on Tuesday morning. It was his first outing in Mahindra’s Gen3 car.
Mortara finished Thursday’s session third overall, just 0.112 seconds behind Evans, but stalled twice on the same lap before returning to the pits after more than an hour. Robin Frijns also stayed under 1:25 minutes in his comeback for Envision.
Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein was fifth with a time of 1m25.004s but stopped on track in the closing minutes, resulting in a red flag and the early end of the session. Maximilian Günther (Maserati MSG), Oliver Rowland (Nissan), Norman Nato (Andretti), Jehan Daruvala (Maserati MSG) and Nick Cassidy (Jaguar) completed the top 10.
Gabriela Jilkova with first test for Porsche
Defending champion Jake Dennis (Andretti) finished just over four tenths behind in twelfth. The Briton was in the car for the first time, his place having been taken by nominated rookie Zane Maloney on Tuesday morning.
Due to the limited grid, most teams fielded their regular drivers. Only Porsche opted for a rookie. Gabriela Jilkova collected some track time before handing over to Felix da Costa.
ERT drivers Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara took the rear positions, with the Brazilian only able to complete eight laps due to a battery problem. Sebastien Buemi (Envision) completed the most laps, finishing 17th with 75 laps and less than half a second behind.
Friday’s test is expected to take place between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm. This would mean only half an hour of driving time would be lost compared to the original schedule before the fire.