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Frijns fastest, Vandoorne 'wins' simulated Valencia race

Frijns fastest, Vandoorne 'wins' simulated Valencia race
Oct 16, 2019, 3:34 PM

Robin Frijns remained fastest on Formula E testing's second day at Valencia, while Antonio Felix da Costa topped the afternoon running and Stoffel Vandoorne 'won' the simulated race session.

In the session's dying minutes, DS Techeetah's da Costa posted a 1m15.586s to head the afternoon's running - albeit 0.209s down on Frijns's lap from the morning session - to beat James Calado by under four hundredths of a second.

Jaguar's Calado set the fastest opening sector in the afternoon session, narrowly beating Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara to third spot.

Jean-Eric Vergne and Alexander Sims both set a 1m15.719s lap to follow Mortara, while Lucas di Grassi placed sixth.

Calado, Mortara and Vergne's afternoon times were faster than their morning efforts, and Andre Lotterer and Ma Qing Hua were the only other drivers to improve after the lunch break.

The overall order of the top seven drivers remained the same, although Calado's lap was enough to bring him into eighth, shuffling Jaguar teammate Mitch Evans and Audi's di Grassi down a position each.

Sam Bird brought out the only incident-triggered red flag of the afternoon's running, hitting the wall at the exit of the chicane to pause the session with just under 20 minutes remaining.

The Envision Virgin Racing driver caused notable damage to the right-hand side of his car, but the car was delivered back to the pits before the end of the session to allow for another eight minutes of running.

Felipe Massa and Nyck de Vries completed just a single lap each in the afternoon – apart from their brief running the 'race', which they did before that designated slot.

De Vries was unable to complete further running due to a suspected problem with his rear axle that Mercedes is currently analysing.

After his car stopped due to a battery fuse problem on the first day cost him most of Tuesday and his crash on Wednesday morning, the 2019 Formula 2 champion has completed just 35 laps so far in the test.

His teammate Vandoorne is on 106 laps with one day of running remaining on Friday.

Vandoorne wins "E-Prix Exercise" test 'race'

The session was paused after 20 minutes to prepare for the simulated race session, run to 31 laps and punctuated by a full-course yellow and two safety cars to perform a systems check ahead of the new season.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ Formula, EQ Silver Arrow 01

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ Formula, EQ Silver Arrow 01

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Vandoorne was declared the "winner", crossing the line 1.7s clear of Antonio Felix da Costa having controlled the second half of the race with impressive pace.

Starting in fifth, Vandoorne lost a place early on to the rapid Edoardo Mortara, but the two made their way past Felipe Massa before easing past the DS Techeetah pair of Da Costa and Vergne.

Shortly after Mortara took the lead from initial race leader Pascal Wehrlein, Vandoorne took control the lap after and began to set a number of competitive times to build a lead over Mortara.

After Mortara retreated to the pits on the 28th lap, da Costa recaptured second from Lucas di Grassi, who had enjoyed a late surge to rise up the order.

Di Grassi held onto third from Sebastien Buemi, as Vergne recovered to fifth having endured a descent down the order during the middle of the session - beating early leader Wehrlein.

Evans beat BMW's Maximilian Gunther to seventh, while Oliver Rowland and Nico Muller completed the top 10.

Lotterer was the only driver not to participate in the 'race', while Bird made a belated start 20 laps behind the rest of the field.

NIO's Oliver Turvey, Vandoorne's Mercedes stablemate Nyck de Vries and Massa all pulled into the pits during the session, effectively counting as retirements.

  Driver Team Time
1 Netherlands Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1:15.377
2 Germany Maximilian Günther BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:15.434
3 United Kingdom Alexander Sims BMW i Andretti Motorsport 1:15.437
4 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 1:15.444
5 Switzerland Nico Müller Geox Dragon 1:15.515
6 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah 1:15.557
7 New Zealand Brendon Hartley Geox Dragon 1:15.592
8 United Kingdom James Calado Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:15.624
9 New Zealand Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:15.640
10 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:15.680
11 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Venturi Racing 1:15.695
12 France Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 1:15.719
13 United Kingdom Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 1:15.736
14 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 1:15.777
15 Germany Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:15.797
16 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra Racing 1:15.812
17 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes-Benz EQ 1:15.866
18 Germany André Lotterer TAG Heuer Porsche 1:15.974
19 Belgium Jerome d'Ambrosio Mahindra Racing 1:15.982
20 Brazil Felipe Massa Venturi Racing 1:16.122
21 Switzerland Neel Jani TAG Heuer Porsche 1:16.175
22 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Mercedes-Benz EQ 1:17.031
23 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey NIO 333 1:17.045
24 China Ma Qing Hua NIO 333 1:18.171
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About this article

Series Formula E
Event Pre-Season Testing
Drivers Robin Frijns
Teams Virgin Racing
Author Jake Boxall-Legge