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The pre-season test in numbers

Formula E has returned and after being the only team without a podium in Season 4, Andretti – now with the backing of BMW – started the new generation of the ABB Formula E Championship with a clean sweep of testing  for the first time in history. We now take a look back at the numbers behind the three days of testing in Valencia.

 

Day One Summary

Fastest Laps

Alexander Sims (BMW i Andretti Motorsport): 1:17.553

Andre Lotterer (DS Techeetah): 1:17.654

Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport): 1:17.727

Laps Completed

Nelson Piquet (Panasonic Jaguar Racing): 93 Laps

Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler): 85 Laps

Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport): 82 Laps

The first day of testing the new Gen-2 Formula E cars ended with rookie Alexander Sims surprisingly topping the session. Jaguar’s Nelson Piquet Jr completed the most laps on Day One, with a total of 93 laps. This marks the first time one driver has surpassed 90 laps on one day of pre-season testing, with the previous record being set last season by Neel Jani, with 89 laps.

Day Two Summary

Fastest Laps

Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW i Andretti Motorsport): 1:16.977

Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah): 1:17.342

Jerome d'Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing): 1:17.431

Laps Completed

Nelson Piquet (Panasonic Jaguar Racing): 69 Laps

Andre Lotterer (DS Techeetah): 59 Laps

Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler): 59 Laps

Day Two ended in a similar fashion to Day One, with a BMW i Andretti Motorsport car topping the time sheets, this time driven by Antonio Felix da Costa. Da Costa’s margin of over three and a half tenths marked the biggest margin of the week. Only once has a driver topped a pre-season session and not claimed a podium in that season, so Andretti looks set to end their 32-race streak without a podium.

Day Three Summary

Fastest Laps

Alexander Sims (BMW i Andretti Motorsport): 1:17.402

Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah): 1:17.620

Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing): 1:17.864

Laps Completed

Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing): 91 Laps

Andre Lotterer (DS Techeetah): 89 Laps

Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler): 86 Laps

For the third day in a row, testing ended with an Andretti-Techeetah 1-2. Alexander Sims topped the last day of Season 5 pre-season testing, becoming only the fourth driver to top two pre-season tests in the same season (along with Buemi in Seasons 1, 2 and 3, Vergne in Season 3 and Turvey in Season 4).

After having a season out from Formula E, Robin Frijns became the second driver of the week to complete more than 90 laps in one day.

Overall Laps Completed

Drivers

Nelson Piquet (Panasonic Jaguar Racing): 246 Laps

Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler): 223 Laps

Andre Lotterer (DS Techeetah): 217 Laps

Teams

Panasonic Jaguar Racing: 442 Laps

Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler: 413 Laps

DS Techeetah: 379 Laps

Nelson Piquet Jr and Panasonic Jaguar Racing ended the week having completed the most mileage of any driver or team, respectively. Piquet was only one of three drivers to have completed 200 or more laps over the three days of testing. Jaguar completed a total of 442 laps, equivalent to 1367.5 kilometres, which is just over the distance from Circuit Ricardo Tormo, where testing took place, to Battersea Park (1333.8 kilometres).

Nissan e.dams completed the least laps (247) of all 11 teams over the week, this was due to only having one driver for the first two days whilst the situation with Alexander Albon possibly joining Toro Rosso was sorted.

Teammate Comparison

Smallest Gap

Dillmann vs Turvey (0.023 seconds)

Frijns vs Bird (0.027 seconds)

Massa vs Mortara (0.033 seconds)

Biggest Gap

Evans vs Piquet (0.634 seconds)

Vandoorne vs Juncadella (1.321 seconds)

Buemi vs Rowland (2.943 seconds)

Three teams ended the test with their two drivers separated by less than half a tenth. NIO Formula E Team had the closest pairing with Tom Dillmann edging out NIO stalwart Oliver Turvey by just 0.023 seconds. Robin Frijns showed he had not lost any of his pace after being out of a seat for one season, edging out multiple race winner Sam Bird by 0.027 seconds.

The biggest gap between teammates was between Nissan e.dams’ Buemi and Rowland, with a gap of almost three seconds. However, due to the Albon situation, the Briton only had one day in the car, and a day which started in wet conditions.

Season 4 to Season 5 Comparison (in seconds)

  • Season 4 to Season 5 difference in seconds

Unsurprisingly, BMW i Andretti Motorsport made the biggest gain from pre-season testing last season, having gained more than three seconds. Venturi and Dragon, who both finished in the bottom four of last season’s Teams Championship, gained more than two seconds each on their best times from last year.

On the other end of the spectrum NIO and Virgin gained the least time compared to their Gen-1 cars, with NIO gaining less than one second. However, this could be attributed to NIO topping two of the three days of testing last season, so maybe the results of testing should be taken with a pinch of salt.

About Tom Bryan
Tom is a mathematics university student, who runs the @FormulaEStats twitter page, which gives a variety of facts and stats about the ABB Formula E Championship.