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Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops second morning of pre-season test

Matt Kew
·3-min read
Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops morning test session
Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops morning test session

Defending Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa kicked off the second day of pre-season testing in Valencia by topping the morning session over Maximilian Guenther.

For the opening three-hour stint, which precedes a practice race on Sunday afternoon, teams frequently ran their cars in formation to create a slipstream.

This tactic was used extensively by teams' title-winner DS Techeetah in qualifying during the six-race Berlin final last year and again on the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Da Costa used this and set an impressive lap using the fanboost mode to lead the order with his 1min11.948sec benchmark, achieved in the final minutes of the session.

He was the only driver to break under the 1m12 barrier, setting a new championship lap record at the track - although for 2020 the main straight chicane has been removed.

A tenth of a second further back, Guenther climbed to second place for BMW Andretti in the dying moments at the expense of the Nissan e.dams of Oliver Rowland.

Rowland, who will start the 2020-21 campaign with the same powertrain as last season, ran with the 35kW boost of attack mode to keep the second DS Techeetah at bay.

Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops morning test session
Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops morning test session

Double champion Jean-Eric Vergne ended the session fourth fastest, running 0.236s shy of his team-mate da Costa.

The session was only halted once, as a red flag was deployed with 45 minutes to go - thought to be required for an issue with the outside kerbs on the entry into the Turn 6 left-hander.

On the approach to the corner a few laps prior, new BMW Andretti driver Jake Dennis ran wide over the gravel but managed to correct the slide and rejoin the circuit.

The customer Envision Virgin Racing machine of Robin Frijns was the fastest Audi-propelled car in fifth, with the manufacturer's factory driver Lucas di Grassi ranking sixth.

The second Nissan e.dams of Sebastien Buemi headed Mahindra's Alex Lynn, Dennis and Mercedes racer Stoffel Vandoorne to complete the top 10.

In a quiet session, the Venturi Racing duo of Edoardo Mortara and Norman Nato were both cautioned for track limits offences, while Vergne received a black-and-white flag for crossing the pit exit lane.

Test times day 2 - morning

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

Laps

1

Antonio Felix da Costa

DS Techeetah

DS

1m11.948s

47

2

Maximilian Guenther

BMW

BMW

0.101s

44

3

Oliver Rowland

Nissan e.Dams

Nissan

0.213s

34

4

Jean-Eric Vergne

DS Techeetah

DS

0.236s

53

5

Robin Frijns

Virgin

Audi

0.390s

47

6

Lucas di Grassi

Audi

Audi

0.390s

43

7

Sebastien Buemi

Nissan e.Dams

Nissan

0.402s

34

8

Alex Lynn

Mahindra

Mahindra

0.406s

54

9

Jake Dennis

BMW

BMW

0.410s

49

10

Stoffel Vandoorne

Mercedes

Mercedes

0.428s

47

11

Rene Rast

Audi

Audi

0.473s

49

12

Andre Lotterer

Porsche

Porsche

0.474s

48

13

Alexander Sims

Mahindra

Mahindra

0.484s

53

14

Nyck de Vries

Mercedes

Mercedes

0.533s

44

15

Sam Bird

Jaguar

Jaguar

0.550s

35

16

Nick Cassidy

Virgin

Audi

0.567s

45

17

Tom Blomqvist

NIO

NIO

0.573s

47

18

Oliver Turvey

NIO

NIO

0.616s

46

19

Nico Muller

Dragon

Penske

0.618s

39

20

Pascal Wehrlein

Porsche

Porsche

0.686s

49

21

Sergio Sette Camara

Dragon

Penske

0.692s

36

22

Mitch Evans

Jaguar

Jaguar

0.725s

42

23

Norman Nato

Venturi

Mercedes

0.931s

55

24

Edoardo Mortara

Venturi

Mercedes

1.052s

54

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