ABT and e-DAMS have emerged as favourites to lead the way at the start of the second Formula E season after six days of combined public testing.
Both teams have shown consistent pace in a variety of settings and conditions at Donington Park throughout the last three weeks as they strive to perfect durability and efficiency with their respective newly manufactured powertrains.
Lucas di Grassi's time of 1m29.920s during the second Donington test was set on 170kW new race power mode.
Renault had used a lot of CFD and real-time simulation software before making a decision on which direction it went for season one, but was still coy on how many gears the team is running in the RENAULT Z.E.15 which utilises a single motor.
"We have 'some' gears, maybe three. As it is the start of the open season you have to have some risk assessment," said Vincent Gaillardot, technical manager at Renault e-DAMS.
"So you can go for an extreme solution or you can go for a more conservative one because you have worked it out on the simulation and specification."
Renault e-DAMS is working with the Zytek Automotive company on aspects of the technical package, including the inverter. Zytek has previously worked with Renault on the Renault Zoe electric road vehicle and the Zytek-Renault ZRS03 Formula Renault 3.5 series.
DS Virgin head the chasing pack
The DS Virgin duo of Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne have shown reasonable pace in the public tests with the new VIRGIN DSV-01.
Along with the ABT and Renault entries, this concept is also relatively well advanced in development, and enjoyed a good lead time in getting the package simulated, constructed and tested before it hit the track for the first time in May.
A train of paddock thought has expressed that the team is the most likely to be sandbagging after showing merely flashes of pace so far at the public tests.
Motorsport.com understands that the team is running with well-known and proven motors which are complemented by a mechanical differential acting as a single gear.
The rest of the chasing pack look to be incredibly close with Mahindra, Team Aguri and the two Venturi 'powertrain-ed' teams – Dragon Racing and Venturi themselves.
Reigning champion go radical
Reigning champion NEXT EV has endured difficulties since day one of the combined tests, which were not manifested in the private testing of which they completed all allocated 15 days in June and July.
The Campos Racing-run team has experienced significant cooling problems with its new technology.
The car runs without gears and with two 'in series' motors which are believed to be an unstressed unit. This is believed to be partly responsible for the cooling issues and the inability so far for the NEXTEV TCR Formula E 001 to complete a simulated race distance.
Andretti's considerable woes with its now season two obsolete ATEC-01 can be seen here.
The Trulli team, which failed to complete a lap in testing, have some tough decisions to make with its Motomatica JT-01 package in the hours ahead. However, Motorsport.com understands that the team is still committed to running with its new tech package at Beijing.
Fastest combined times from Donington tests (10-25 August)
|1.||Lucas Di Grassi||Abt||1:29.920|
|4.||Sam Bird||DS Virgin||1:30.451|
|10.||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Virgin||1:30.925|