For the second time in three days, it was BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Alex Sims who ran fastest in the final day of pre-season in Valencia with a time of 1:17.402s. Despite the Rookie driver's comparative lack of Formula E experience, he outdrove his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa by more than a second.
For all three days of testing, the German factory team has finished top of the timesheets, with da Costa posting the fastest lap of the week (1:16.977s) on day two.
"[I'm] surprised in a really good way," said the Portuguese driver referring to the pace of his new BMW iFE.18.
"I'm not surprised in the way that I thought BMW couldn't do it...but we came here not knowing if we're quick enough? Does the car have enough power? Are we efficient? ...but we've been strong," he added.
Second fastest of the day was DS Techeetah and reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne who, despite spinning in the morning's wet conditions, posted a time of 1:17.620s. Still some way off his best time this week of 1:17.342s. "So far I've been happy with what I've seen," said Vergne.
"There's still a lot to come from understanding the car and system. We now need to go back and analyse everything ready for Ad Diriyah," he added.
Third fastest went to Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans with a time of 1:17.864s. The New Zealand driver's time sees the British manufacturer team make it into the top three for the first time this week. While Evans made it into the top three, his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr who's car stopped on track at Turn 2 due to technical issues. With the Red Flag raised, the Jaguar I-Type III was recovered and reset before Piquet Jr returned to the track.
For Oliver Rowland, who took the seat of Nissan's Alex Albon on the final day of testing, the British driver managed to post a 1:20.416s in the wet conditions despite technical issues keeping him confined to the garage for a significant amount of time. The 26-year-old marked his return to Formula E after racing for Mahindra Racing in Punta del Este in Season 2. Rowland suffered more technical issues in the afternoon as his car came to a halt on track, bringing out the red flag. Alex Albon failed to set a time all week.
Stepping in for HWA Racelab's Stoffel Vandoorne was Mercedes DTM driver Dani Juncadella who set a best lap time of 1:19.353s. The 27-year-old comes to the team with Formula E experience after filling in for Nick Hiedfield at Mahindra Racing at pre-season testing last year. The test day was followed by another trial with the Indian team at the Rookie test after the 2018 Marrakesh E-Prix.
Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara failed to make it out of the garage in the afternoon session due to technical issues, while his teammate Felipe Massa set a best time of 1:19.328s for the final day of testing.
With pre-season testing complete, it's off to Saudi Arabia for the first race of the 2018/19 season. With new cars, new cities, new drivers and, of course, a whole new championship - it's all to play for as we kick off Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Click here to join us.
Published on 19th October 2018