Formula E

Maserati, McLaren fastest – What happened in Formula E test

by Jack Cozens, Sam Smith
4 min read

New teams Maserati and McLaren ended their first day of official running as Formula E outfits fastest on day one of the pre-season test at Valencia – the first public test of the series’ Gen3 machinery.

Maximilian Guenther was the driver who ensured Maserati topped the times, with Jake Hughes second fastest across the two three-hour sessions for McLaren.

It was not all plain sailing for Hughes, though, as he stopped on track an hour into the afternoon session between Turns 5 and 6, with his McLaren-Nissan picked up by a recovery truck.

Formula E Preseason Testing

Guenther headed both the morning and afternoon sessions, his 1m26.096s proving to be the best time of the day as increasing rain in the afternoon session prevented any meaningful improvements.

The Maserati driver’s time was a little over three tenths of a second shy of the best time Edoardo Mortara managed at last year’s test, a 1m25.763s he set in the then Venturi-Mercedes squad’s Gen2 car.

Guenther’s afternoon best of 1m26.221s would also have been good enough for third overall in the combined times.

That position was instead occupied by Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein, who was comfortably the fastest of the drivers who improved their times in the afternoon for Porsche.

Oliver Rowland made it four different outfits in the top four for Mahindra, ending up a quarter of a second off Guenther, with the second Maserati of Mortara completing the top five.

Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne was sixth fastest for the new-look DS Penske alliance. Team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was ninth overall after finding time in the afternoon session.

Summarising the team’s day, a DS Penske spokesperson told The Race: “We’ve been continuously learning from the car and we’ve seen progress throughout the day.

“It was great to finally face the competition. We managed to run our programme as planned. It’s been a positive first day overall.”

Between those two came past champions Antonio Felix da Costa (Porsche) and Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra), with the top 10 completed by Abt Cupra driver Robin Frijns.

Mitch Evans, a title contender in each of the past two seasons for Jaguar, was 14th in the combined times. He spun at Turn 5 in the morning session, causing a red flag.

Nick Cassidy, who was one place further back, went off in the same place earlier in the morning session, but his off in the Envision-Jaguar was attributed to a brake issue.

Formula E Preseason Testing

NIO 333 driver Sergio Sette Camara came to a halt in the afternoon session, the result of a cooling sensor breakage, and did not return to the track. His team-mate Dan Ticktum was 12th fastest.

Sebastien Buemi did not set a time in the afternoon, his Envision-Jaguar beset by an unspecified technical issue, and was 19th. His former squad Nissan occupied two of the bottom three places, with Sacha Fenestraz 20th and Norman Nato 21st.

Nato’s car required a change of powertrain.

The times were propped up the second McLaren of Rene Rast.

In addition to a mock simulation of a race weekend that will take place on Wednesday, The Race understands the FIA is also considering adding some additional running in the late afternoon or evening on Thursday, which is currently scheduled as a rest day.

Combined day one times

Position Driver Team Time AM/PM
1 Maximilian Guenther Maserati 1m26.096s AM
2 Jake Hughes McLaren 1m26.178s AM
3 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche 1m26.262s PM
4 Oliver Rowland Mahindra 1m26.351s AM
5 Edoardo Mortara Maserati 1m26.505s AM
6 Stoffel Vandoorne DS Penske 1m26.531s AM
7 Antonio Felix da Costa Porsche 1m26.625s AM
8 Lucas di Grassi Mahindra 1m26.755s AM
9 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Penske 1m26.851s PM
10 Robin Frijns Abt 1m26.925s AM
11 Andre Lotterer Andretti 1m26.949s PM
12 Dan Ticktum NIO 333 1m27.055s PM
13 Jake Dennis Andretti 1m27.084s PM
14 Mitch Evans Jaguar 1m27.135s PM
15 Nick Cassidy Envision 1m27.143s PM
16 Sergio Sette Camara NIO 333 1m27.228s AM
17 Nico Mueller Abt 1m27.336s PM
18 Sam Bird Jaguar 1m27.355s AM
19 Sebastien Buemi Envision 1m27.471s AM
20 Sacha Fenestraz Nissan 1m27.725s PM
21 Norman Nato Nissan 1m27.801s AM
22 Rene Rast McLaren 1m28.009s AM
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