The new FIA Formula E Championship got off to a rousing start at the Donington Park with fans on hand to witness the first official full testing day, the first of five that the public can watch.
First challenge to overcome was grip on the Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars taking on the full Donington Park GP circuit that included an additional chicane at the exit to the Old Hairpin.
It was Audi Sport Abt with Daniel Abt behind the wheel that set the pace in the morning session but he finished eighth overall after missing the afternoon session set a low 1:37s on the sheets followed by Buemi and Andretti’s Franck Montagny.
Buemi picked up his performance in the afternoon and set a 1:35.475s, which remained to best number at the end of Day 1.
Abt’s Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird of Virgin Racing finished second and third respectively.
Even the new signing’s for the Formula E Championships saw action. They were the Amlin Aguri duo Katherine Legge and Antonio Felix da Costa, Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld, Trulli’s Michela Cerruti and Dragon Racing’s Mike Conway.
“I’m more than happy to be honest. I didn’t have any problems with the car at all and that meant we were able to learn quite a lot about it. It’s always nice to be P1 so let’s hope it continues tomorrow,” said Sebastien Buemi.
“Today’s first test has been a special occasion for everyone involved with the FIA Formula E Championship. This project has been a long time coming but to see all the cars and drivers taking part is a very proud moment and my thanks goes to all our investors, partners, teams and Formula E personnel for transforming the FIA’s dream into a reality,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E.
FIA Formula E Championship – Day 1, Donington Park – Test results (Combined times):
1. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:35.475
2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, +0.537
3. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, +0.895
4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +0.910
5. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +1.223
6. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +1.232
7. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, +1.494
8. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +1.737
9. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +1.970
10. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, +2.057
11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, +2.587
12. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, +2.604
13. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, +2.611
14. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, +2.729
15. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, +5.269
16. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, +5.693
17. Gil de Ferran, Andretti Autosport, +9.497
18. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, +10.434
19. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, +12.821
20. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, [No official time set]