Formula E preseason testing day four

A very stilted day kicked off the second collective preseason testing. The day started grey and damp, with drizzle keeping the track greasy. The weather gradually improved over the course of the day to end with blue skies and sunshine. 

Teams were, by and large, running their third and fourth cars today, with installation gremlins popping up left, right and centre. The teething issue, plus some overly enthusiastic driving, led to a bonanza of red flag sessions. 

Still, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sam Bird and Nico Prost managed to finish the day with some very fast laps. An impressive number of laps were racked up too. We’ll be back tomorrow for the penultimate day of preseason testing.

1801 And that’s it for today’s test. Red flag central. Here’s how it finished up: 

Formula E Donington Park collective testing 050916 afternoon full results

1732 We’re going to pop out to enjoy some of this sunshine while it’s here. Back shortly.

1725 And for the final half an hour or so, here is THE SUN. 

1716 So JEV’s quick lap today is almost as fast as the Formula E lap record at Donington Park. Which he set. Last test.

1714 Here’s what Spacesuit snapper Dan Bathie has been doing to keep himself amused:

1711 Everyone’s emerging now from the garages. Must be ready to go green any second now…yep, there we go. 

1710 Humidity is 84%, track temp 18.8⁰C, air temp 21.3⁰C. For those of you who are interested in such things.

1709 Ah, a patch of blue sky. Just a patch but a patch nonetheless. And a little bit of sun. About a ray-and-a-half’s worth. Makes a change from the colour red we’ve been seeing. Lots and lots of red.

1707 While we’re twiddling our thumbs, how about another dose of humour courtesy of Renault e.dams?

1701 And…….in keeping with the rest of the day, we’ve got a red flag. AFdC.

1700 The sun has come out and the times are tumbling. JEV is currently quickest. Here’s how they shape up presently:

Formula E Donington Park collective testing 050916 afternoon mid

1640 An hour and 20 mins remain this afternoon. It’s been very stop-start. More stop than start. 

1515 And here’s another red flag. They’re getting a year’s worth of use today.

1510 And here’s where we are at the moment in terms of times for this afternoon. 

Formula E preseason testing 05.09.16 afternoon

1504 And back to green. Woohoo.

1453 We’re under red flags again. So while we’re waiting, guess what drivers get up to in their lunch breaks. Guessed? Nope. The answer is hula hooping. Obviously.

1452 Sorry we’ve been quiet. We’ve been out strolling in the pitlane.

1411 Our live blogging is defeating us today. The track went green…and then red again. It’s all good fun.

1347 Frijns is back under his own power. Track should go green again shortly.

1345 Looks like Robin Frijns has stopped out on track. 

1342 And…more red flags. Just for a change. 

1337 Excursion results. 

1334 Track goes green again and off we go.

1325 Ah. It is AFdC. Seems to have hit the barrier around the chicane area before the Melbourne hairpin. Through the gravel. Ouch.

1324 Recovery truck heading onto the track. Looks like it may be AFdC stopped out there.

1322 And then red flags again. Not entirely sure why at present.

1319 Lots more whooshing noises as the track goes green.

1315 All goes quiet as red flags come out for Robin Frijns. Upstairs, Stephane Sarrazin signs on, so he’ll be raring to get going this afternoon.

1305 We’re back! Slightly tardy as the session has already started. Oops. We got drawn like moths to the pretty glowing orb in the sky. We’ve heard it’s called the sun but we don’t know it well enough yet to be on first name terms.

1204 We make that lunch time. Well, almost. ABT is running an official reveal of their Audi-branded racing car, with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt on hand for photos and warm words. The diner is between the media and centre and the ABT workshop. Will we make it to the event? Or will we get drawn in by the smells of pie and mash? Find out soon.

1202 Here’s how the morning session finished. Not massively quick but that’s to be expected. Lopez finished fastest and also got the most laps chalked up. Good session for the FE rookie.

Formula E preseason testing 05.09.16 full morning

1159 One minute to go in this morning session and then time for lunch. Something very warm required. Pies anyone? Chips and gravy?

1153 It’s clearly classic shorts weather. So British. 

1152 Eight minutes to go. Duval is quickest for Faraday Future Dragon Racing. Some of these team names are a bit of a mouthful now, aren’t they?

1145 But still getting on for 10s slower than the fastest laps last week.

1143 Lopez is fastest with 1.38.49. Decent on this greasy surface.

1131 If you’re interested, here’s how the times look at the moment:

Formula E preseason testing 05.09.16 morning

1130 Half an hour to run of the morning session. Cold, grey. Grey, cold. Welcome to September.

1118 Tentative laps as everyone eases into the week. Best time so far of 1.44.674 from AFdC. Doesn’t mean much.

1109 Both Jags back in at the same time.

1106 D’Ambrosio makes it back to the pit lane and session re-starts. 

1105 We seem to have some red flags for some reason. Jerome d’Ambrosio is out on track somewhere, Sounds like he stopped…then got going again.

1102 We do love candid garage snaps. Bare carbon fibre still for Renault e.dams:

1101 Mr di Grassi has just signed on so the ABT garage is up to full strength now too.

1100 Green lights and Piquet heads straight out.

1056 Sam Bird’s just popped in to sign on for the day, so that’s the full complement here for DSVR. We’re expecting Venturi drivers at lunchtime.

1050 And here’s your 10 minute countdown to the first running of the day. Just an hour to start with. 

1048 Yep, that’s Shiv and Nat leaning out of the back of the BMW. The shots should be pretty epic. Keep your eyes on Mahindra Racing’s timelines,

1046 Talking of the Spacesuit snappers, here’s how they spent their Sunday evening:

1045 The Spacesuit crew is here too with cameras at the ready: Shiv Gohil, Dan Bathie and Nat Twiss. Unfortunately, it looks pretty clear and flat so not sure how sparkly the photos will be.

1038 Track running is due to start at 11am today. In terms of teams and drivers, the roster holds no surprises. Here’s who is here already:

  • ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport: Daniel Abt
  • DS Virgin Racing: Jose Maria Lopez
  • Faraday Future Dragon Racing: Jerome d’Ambrosio 
  • Jaguar Racing: Adam Carroll / Mitch Evans
  • Mahindra Racing: Nick Heidfeld / Felix Rosenqvist
  • MS Amlin Andretti: Antonio Felix da Costa / Robin Frijns
  • NextEV NIO: Oliver Turvey / Nelson Piquet
  • Renault e.dams: Nico Prost
  • Techeetah: Jean-Eric Vergne / Ma Quing Ha
  • Venturi

1036 We came in this morning to see all the drivers gathered and ready for the preseason briefing. How on earth do racing drivers always look fresh-faced in the morning when we’re blearily groping for caffeinated drinks?

1034 Lots more details on what preseason testing is at our piece here and lots more details about what happened at the first collective preseason test here. 

1032 If you have no idea why we’re at Donington Park today, we suggest you seek a dwelling place that is connected to the modern word. With internet and such. It’s the second of two collective preseason tests ahead of Formula E’s third season. 

1030 Good morning from Donington Park. It’s very, very grey. Like hiding under a blanket with a hangover on a Saturday morning. Still, Formula E action is due to kick off at 11am this morning so we’re not reaching for the aspirin or fried breakfasts in self pity just yet.

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