Valencia E-Prix: Gunther sets the pace in practice for BMW

BMW Andretti racer Maximilian Gunther extended his mini run of form at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo by topping the morning practice running ahead of the Valencia E-Prix.

Valencia E-Prix: Gunther sets the pace in practice for BMW
Listen to this article

The young German also set the pace in the two most recent Formula E pre-season tests at the venue, albeit on alternative layouts, and led the combined practice times with a 1m26.958s effort.

Ahead of the championship making its debut on a permanent track, deleted laps from track limits violations were frequent as in-session tyre changes made a comeback due to Michelin reverting to the six-set allocation per car as used for last season.

This returns only for a one-off due to the higher average speeds increasing corner loads on cars.

Teammates also followed in each other’s slipstream during the opening of both the 45-minute dawn and later 30-minute sessions at a circuit where energy management will be critical.

Gunther opted early for his full power lap to post his unmatched effort, surviving the later runs of his rivals to end the session on top by just 0.012s as the leading 22 drivers were split by only 0.8s.

Mahindra Racing driver Alex Lynn nipped into second place in the dying moments to depose Mercedes rival and Saudi Arabia race one winner Nyck de Vries as runner-up.

Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa, aboard his DS Techeetah car, led the Nissan e.dams machine of Oliver Rowland in fourth and fifth places.

Running in Spain marked the first round of the 2021 season not to have practice marred by enormous shunts, with Venturi Racing driver Edoardo Mortara taken to hospital after his brake-by-wire failure in Saudi then followed by the practice start-line grid pile-up instigated by Oliver Turvey in Rome.

Although in reaction to the collision in the Italian capital, the FIA did introduce a yellow flag at the final corner after the chequered flag of the session to warn drivers that their rivals would be stationary on the grid ahead of the practice start procedure.

Lock-ups under braking into the final Turns 13 to 15 chicane were commonplace but the only real errors occurred for Lucas di Grassi, who took a trip through the gravel, Gunther doing similar and Robin Frijns spinning backward at Turn 1 to bring a brief yellow flag.

Rome race two victor Stoffel Vandoorne, who ended up 11th in the combined times, did notably complain of uneven brake temperatures which forced his Mercedes to tug in different directions while slowing.

Audi racer and triple DTM champion Rene Rast held off NIO 333 driver Tom Blomqvist as Sebastien Buemi, Andre Lotterer and Norman Nato completed the top 10.

In the cooler and slower morning session, da Costa had gone fastest with his 1m27.238s effort to run 0.187s clear of Gunther as the top 19 were split by a second.

FP2 results:

FP1 results:

shares
comments

Related video

Di Grassi: Modify FE attack mode system to police track limits
Previous article

Di Grassi: Modify FE attack mode system to police track limits

Next article

Valencia E-Prix: Vandoorne pips da Costa to pole by 0.28s

Valencia E-Prix: Vandoorne pips da Costa to pole by 0.28s
Load comments
Eight things to watch in Formula E's 2022 season Prime

Eight things to watch in Formula E's 2022 season

In the final season of Formula E's outgoing Gen-2 car and reigning champion team Mercedes, famous and infamous rookies, a dose of qualifying meritocracy, new cities and under-pressure Porsche will be sure to keep things interesting as the 2022 season kicks off in Saudi Arabia this weekend

Why Vandoorne is poised to deliver Mercedes a perfect FE sign-off Prime

Why Vandoorne is poised to deliver Mercedes a perfect FE sign-off

As Mercedes embarks on its last Formula E season this weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne is targeting a title that has so far proved elusive in his time with the team he joined for its soft launch as HWA in 2018. After teammate Nyck de Vries won last year, the Belgian is confident of writing the perfect final chapter to his electric story with the manufacturer

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Prime

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Prime

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered.

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 7, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021