Sebastien Buemi tops the final day of pre-season testing

Sebastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) set the fastest time on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington Park ahead of the season opener of the FIA Formula E Championship in Beijing on September 13.

The Swiss driver set a lap of 1:31.792s to top the timesheets over three-tenths clear of his team-mate Nicolas Prost, during a day where teams focused their attention on race simulations.

Buemi, who has now topped four of the five pre-season tests, was the early pacesetter clocking a 1:32.519s, edging out Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio in the morning session.

Bruno Senna ended the day fourth fastest for Mahindra Racing ahead of Bird, who just pipped Audi Sport Abt’s Lucas di Grassi into sixth place. Karun Chandhok finished seventh for Mahindra Raching ahead of d’Ambrosio and Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin. Nick Heidfeld rounded out the top 10 in the second Venturi car, with all 10 covered by less than a second.

“We’re really happy with today, especially being the last test before Beijing,” said Buemi. “We still have a few issues with the car which we need to work on and also to better understand the limits of the car. Overall we’re feeling good for the first race but we’ll have to wait and see, a lot of teams are also looking quick.”

On a bright but blustery day, the drivers had to deal with strong gusts of wind affecting the handling of their cars. “The wind was pushing quite a lot,” said Andretti Autosport’s Franck Montagny. “But it’s the same for everyone and we can’t change it, we just have to work with it and try to find a solution.”

E.dams Renault will head to Beijing full of confidence as Prost ended the day in second place with Montagny third fastest overall. Prost said: “We had a few issues with traffic today but overall it’s gone well and the team are now focused on Beijing, which is going to be a completely different experience for everyone.”

“So far so good,” added Montagny. “In terms of laptime we’re not too bad, in terms of performance, true performance; in race mode we’re good too, so I’m quite confident.”

Chinese racer Ho-Pin Tung made his Formula E test debut with China Racing as he shared the running with Antonio Garcia, who set the fastest time of the pair.

More than 5000 fans had registered to attend the final day of testing and the large turnout were able to see the teams, each running all four of their cars, complete a combined total of 1222 laps.

During the lunch break, two BMW cars equipped with Qualcomm Halo wireless charging technology took to the track as the championship’s technical team evaluated their effectiveness for course car roles. Former Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harold Frentzen then took to the track during the afternoon session in the Formula E development car.

FIA Formula E Championship
Day 5, Donington Park - Test Results (Combined Times):

  1. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:31.792s
  2. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, 1:32.117s
  3. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, 1:32.143s
  4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.249s
  5. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:32.292s
  6. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, 1:32.293s
  7. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.369s
  8. Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, 1:32.646s
  9. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:32.663s
  10. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, 1:32.775s
  11. Nelson Piquet, China Racing, 1:32.808s
  12. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, 1:32.821s
  13. Charles Pic, Andretti Autosport, 1:32.841s
  14. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, 1:32.867s
  15. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, 1:32.892s
  16. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, 1:33.411s
  17. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, 1:33.469s
  18. Takuma Sato, Amlin Aguri, 1:35.425s
  19. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, 1:35.444s
  20. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, 1:38.112s