Mitch Evans was the fastest driver once again as testing finally got back underway on Thursday afternoon, following the conclusion of an investigation into what caused Tuesday’s battery fire.
Thursday afternoon’s extended 4.5 hour session was the first time the drivers had been on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia since the end of the first session of the pre-season test on Tuesday. As a safety precaution, the drivers weren’t allowed to run at 350kW, with only 300kW having been permitted. This meant the quickest lap-time was slower than seen on Tuesday.
This didn’t stop Evans from setting the pace in the session, courtesy of a 1m 24.791s, just over three-tenths slower than he went on Tuesday. Evans only just claimed the top spot, as António Félix da Costa was just 0.023s behind the Kiwi.
It was an impressive time by Da Costa considering he only participated in the final hour of the session, as TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team fielded rookie Gabriela Jilkova. In doing so, she became the first woman to test a Gen3 car. She completed 46 laps for the Stuttgart-based squad.
Behind Evans and Da Costa was Edoardo Mortara, who put in a heroic display to be just over a tenth slower than the leading pace. Considering the 48 hours Mahindra Racing have had, this was a tremendous effort, as a lot of the team’s equipment was damaged in Tuesday’s fire. Because of the damage the side sustained, Nyck de Vries was forced to sit out.
Mortara actually led the bulk of the afternoon, before Evans jumped to the front. Just over two-tenths behind Evans in fourth was Robin Frijns, who is readjusting to life back at Envision Racing very well, it seems. He was closely followed by Pascal Wehrlein and Maximilian Günther.
Above: Da Costa was just 0.023s off the leading pace – Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E
The Jaguars and Porsches once again just seemed stronger than the rest, as proven by the fact they each had two cars using their powertrain in the top-five. Seventh was Oliver Rowland, ahead of Norman Nato in eighth. Rookie Jehan Daruvala did well to end the session just 0.358s behind Evans’ time, enough for P9. Nick Cassidy completed the top-10.
Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis could only salvage 12th, in what was his first session of testing after sitting out on Tuesday morning. Well off the pace at the back were both ERT Formula E Team drivers, as Dan Ticktum was 21st with Sérgio Sette Câmara in 22nd.
Action will resume at 08:30 CET (07:30 GMT)for what is now an extended 10-hour session, which will run all the way through to 18:30 CET (17:30 GMT) without a lunch break. This has been scheduled to try and make up for the 7.5 hours which remain lost, as 1.5 hours were made up for in the extended session on Thursday.
Testing will not be extended beyond Friday; however, Mahindra will be granted additional private testing time to make up for what they’ve lost with De Vries’ car not being able to participate in the remainder of the test. It’s already been confirmed by Mahindra that De Vries will share Mortara’s car on Friday.