NIO Formula E Team’s Oliver Turvey topped the times in the first day of testing at Valencia ahead of the 2017/18 season.
Turvey set his fastest time of the day, a 1m18.565s, just minutes before the end of the afternoon session, beating Sebastien Buemi by just 12 hundredths of a second.
It’s the first time any of the drivers have taken a Formula E car around the track, with testing having moved to the Spanish circuit after three years at Donington Park.
Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist spent most of the afternoon on the top spot, but was beaten by Lucas Di Grassi in the closing stages of the session. Buemi then went two thousandths of a second quicker than the reigning champion, before being pushed off the top spot by Turvey.
Most drivers improved their times in the afternoon session. Morning leader Sam Bird wasn’t one of them. The DS Virgin driver had set a time of 1m18.669s earlier in the day.
Bird’s team-mate Alex Lynn and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans had spent most of the morning swapping times at the top of the order before Bird, Di Grassi, and Daniel Abt went faster than the pair.
The focus of much discussion was the false chicane which had been added to the start finish straight. It had already caught out a number of drivers, including Buemi and team-mate Nico Prost, when Bird collided with the tyre barrier in the afternoon session.
Many of the drivers criticised the positioning of the chicane, with Buemi telling reporters at the track it unsafe and Bird saying it was clumsy.
It’s not known if the layout will be changed ahead of tomorrow and Thursday’s tests.
Testing was stopped multiple times throughout the day. Rosenqvist, Andre Lotterer, and Edoardo Mortara all brought out the red flag in the morning session after stopping on track. Bird’s collision with the tyre barrier chicane stopped running an hour into the afternoon session, before Mortara stopped on track and Jean-Eric Vergne ran into the gravel.