16 Jan 21
01 Dec 20
The 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship gets underway in earnest with pre-season testing from Circuit Ricardo Tormo just outside Valencia. Here are your updates from the third day on-track, with a bumper six-hour session to wrap things up in Spain.
 That's a wrap
The 23-year-old flew to a 1:11.760 mid-way through the afternoon's action on Tuesday, which edged out the previous benchmark set by Alex Lynn late on Sunday.
DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT pair Sergio Sette Camara and Nico Mueller impressed, following Guenther in close company - both less than 0.050 seconds shy of the young German's best.
DS TECHEETAH's reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa, Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing), Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche), Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams), Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) and Oliver Turvey (NIO 333) followed and all broke the 1:12 barrier, while less than 0.250 seconds separated the top ten runners, with eight different teams represented.
A brief stoppage at around the half-way point of the six-hour session was caused by a spin for Sette Camara in Sector 3. Aside from that, it was heads down from the drivers as they steered through their testing programmes and 1,828 laps between them during a marathon stretch.
The only real quiet spells arrived during the half-hour interludes required to recharge the cars to their maximum usable energy capacity, and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler's new full-time signing Rene Rast chewed through more laps than anybody, racking up 98 tours and 392 kilometres alone as he sought to familiarise himself with the e-tron FE07.
Rowland, Evans and Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-Benz EQ), to name a few, were all subject to 15-minute stop and go time penalties for exceeding track limits, as drivers rung out every last hundreth of a second from their cars and every inch of the race track in what was an ultra-close session.
All 24 drivers lapped within just 0.761 seconds of one-another, and all bar Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) were, incredibly, separated by little over half-a-second.
Preparations and development will continue for teams, with drivers taking part in private test sessions and plenty of work in the simulator prior to Round 1 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship; the season-opening double-header from Santiago, Chile on 16-17 January.
 Closer than ever
This session is giving us a glimpse of just how tight and competitive things are shaping up to be in Formula E's first season as an FIA World Championship.
With Nico Mueller (DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT) firing himself to the fastest time of the test so far, on a 1:11.810, and Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing) charting at number 24 with a 1:12.593 this afternoon, that means there's just a hair over three quarters of a second between all 24 cars.
They've had tours of the garages and pit-lane, a chance to meet and be introduced to our teams and drivers, presenting masterclasses from both Jack and Nicki and everything in-between.
The final four are also being tasked with a series of on-camera challenges after they've soaked up the sage advice from our on-air team.
You can keep across their progress, as well as find out who comes out on top as winner of a contract and a trip to Santiago, via our social media channels and over on the Open Talent Call section of the website.
 The final 90 minutes
Da Costa still heads the way with that earlier effort but Nico Mueller (DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT), Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche), Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.dams) and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) have all now joined him in the sub-1:12 club.
Max Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) had briefly nipped inside Da Costa's time but like a number of drivers, he saw it chalked off as he strayed over track limits on a full power run. The young German's leaving no stone unturned here, though, completing the most laps of any driver here so far today with 69.
 Lap count: 925
So far, the drivers have completed 925 laps between them.
Top of the pile? Maximilian Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) with 54, closely followed by Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn on 47.
Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche) has the least time on track under his belt today with 29 tours completed.
There's plenty of running still to come, with teams running through a mixture of duties. As always, time on track and sticking to that testing programme proves to be far more important than most than the outright fastest lap times.
Still, racing drivers are racing drivers and one of them would very much like to be top of the timesheets come the end of testing here in Valencia, that's for sure.
Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) is currently that man with just over three hours to run.
 DAC heads the pack
We're approaching the half way stage of this mammoth six-hour final session, and DS TECHEETAH's reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa is currently top of the pile, and has slipped under the benchmark time set by Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn at the end of Sunday's running.
His 1:11.815 is the fastest time we've seen here so far. Norman Nato (ROKiT Venturi Racing) was the early pacesetter but is now a couple of tenths back in second spot with teammate Edo Mortara third.
What is testing?
With the help of DS TECHEETAH team principal Mark Preston and BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Maximilian Guenther, we attempt to explain how teams and drivers go about these three days on-track at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and what exactly they are hoping to achieve in preparation for Round 1 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Chile.
 Stoff's on top
All 24 drivers have been out on track inside the first 40 minutes, and most have added around 20 laps to their testing total already.
Mercedes-Benz EQ's Stoffel Vandoorne is the fastest man this morning so far, on a 1:12.233, with team-mate Nyck de Vries just 0.107 seconds back in second spot. BMW i Andretti Motorsport rookie Jake Dennis is third.
We're approaching the fastest a Formula E car has lapped Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn's Sunday best of 1:11.941 the current record.
This year, though, we aren't running the Valencia chicane. That looks to have accounted for an additional three to four seconds of lap-time, with the best effort on that configuration set last year by Maximilian Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport), a 1:15.087.
 Green flag
The final day of the Formula E pre-season test from Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo is underway, with an extended six-hour session to close things out.
This will be the last time all 12 teams and 24 drivers will have the chance to get out on-track together ahead of the season opener in Santiago at the end of January.
Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn can claim the fastest lap of the test so far, after his Sunday effort - a 1:11.941. As ever, though, that's caveated by the school of thought that testing is never all about pure pace, as teams work through their respective programmes to their own schedules.
 New season, new sound!
Each of the championship's 12 outfits have been flat-out since Season 6 drew to a close in Berlin, with nine of the 12 opting to run with a new car and updated or overhauled powertrains from the beginning of Formula E's first campaign as an FIA World Championship in 2020/21.
The remaining three teams; DS TECHEETAH, Nissan e.dams and DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT, have opted to pour efforts into a later homologation, with updates to come in-season, given the option thanks to Formula E's cost consolidation measures introduced earlier this year.
With new powertrains, comes a new sound! Have a listen below...
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