Gunther quickest on final day of Valencia Formula E test

Maximilian Gunther set the fastest time of Formula E pre-season testing on a final day in Valencia in which the entire 24-car field was separated by less 0.8 seconds.

Gunther quickest on final day of Valencia Formula E test

The BMW Andretti driver clocked a late 1m11.760s flying lap at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo to keep Sergio Sette Camara at bay by just 0.036s on an impressive day for Dragon Penske Autosport.

In the warmest conditions of the three-day test, the top nine drivers all broke under the 1m12s barrier as teams switched to faster qualifying lap simulation runs.

However, this led to no fewer than seven drivers having to serve a 15-minute penalty in the pits as the new track limits imposed as Turns 1, 6 and 10 were repeatedly broken.

Behind Sette Camara, one such driver to be cautioned, his teammate Nico Muller ran third fastest for Dragon, although he is yet to be confirmed at the team for the 2020-21 season.

Muller was just 0.050 off the pace in the 2019-20 car, with the American squad set to follow the lead of DS Techeetah and Nissan e.dams by introducing a new package for the Rome E-Prix in April.

For much of the single six-hour session reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa had led the field with his 1m11.815s benchmark, but no late improvements meant he dropped back to fourth.

In fifth place was Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans, the Kiwi having been da Costa's nearest title rival throughout the early part of last season before the campaigned resumed for six races in Berlin.

Behind Evans, another casualty of the 15-minute reprimand, Porsche racer Pascal Wehrlein headed Oliver Rowland and the second DS Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne.

A strong effort from NIO 333 pilot Oliver Turvey guided the experienced Briton to ninth ahead of an impressive run from Venturi Racing recruit Norman Nato, set for his rookie FE season.

Fellow rookie Jake Dennis was 11th for BMW Andretti, still only 0.287s adrift of the top.

Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne, widely expected to replace Lewis Hamilton for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix following the seven-time champion's positive COVID-19 test, ranked 18th.

His teammate Nyck de Vries ranked 21st as Audi driver Lucas di Grassi brought up the rear in 24th and last, but was only 0.761s away from Gunther.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Di Grassi wants to stay in Formula E after Audi exit

Previous article

Di Grassi wants to stay in Formula E after Audi exit

Next article

Motorsport.com survey: F1 fans want sustainability and diversity

Motorsport.com survey: F1 fans want sustainability and diversity
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Event Pre-Season Testing
Author Matt Kew
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem Prime

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Prime

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons.

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Prime

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021
Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test Prime

Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

As off-track politics threatens to overshadow events on it, the upcoming Formula E season is perhaps its most important since the championship's inception. And that's a shame, given that the focus should be on what promises to be its closest title fight yet.

Formula E
Feb 24, 2021
How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album Prime

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

Mercedes and Porsche compete to win and have done so across the board: in Formula 1, sportscars, the Dakar Rally and endurance road races - even working together to break land speed records. Next in the crosshairs is the Formula E teams' championship crown.

Formula E
Feb 17, 2021