Turvey pips Buemi to fastest time on first day of Valencia test

Oliver Turvey set the pace on the first day of testing. Credit: Formula E

Oliver Turvey set the fastest time on first day of testing in Valencia ahead of the 2017-18 Formula E season.

The NIO driver edged Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi by just over a hundredth of a second in the afternoon session.

The session was blighted however by an issue regarding a temporary chicane that had been installed on the main straight of the track.

The chicane, made up of concrete blocks and tyres, was positioned three quarters of the way down the straight in order to better replicate the tight and twisty street circuits on the Formula E calendar.

However drivers complained that the high entry speeds to the section made it not only unrepresentative of other tracks, but also dangerous.

This point was proven when Sam Bird crashed his DS Virgin Racing car into it, and organisers have since agreed to install a second chicane earlier in the straight for day two.

Before the crash the DS Virgin had shown promising pace, with Bird in fifth just behind the Mahindra of Felix Rosenqvist, and Alex Lynn in seventh.

Daniel Abt split the two in the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, with Jean-Eric Vergne in eighth ahead of the Panasonic Jaguar Racing car of Mitch Evans.

Elsewhere it was an encouraging start for Vergne’s new Techeetah team-mate Andre Lotterer, who was only four tenths off the Frenchman’s time, albeit down in twelfth place.

Fellow new boy Luca Filippi also found himself well down the order. Having been announced as the replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr at NIO in the morning, he failed to get anywhere near his team-mate’s table topping time and was second slowest.

And in the MS&AD Andretti shootout Alexander Sims got off to a strong start by outpacing Antonio Felix da Costa, who has been confirmed as driving for the team again next season.

Sims now hands the car over to fellow BMW family driver Tom Blomqvist as the pair fight it out to see who can grab the remaining Andretti seat.

Similarly, both James Rossiter and Edorado Mortara were vying for a race seat at Venturi for the upcoming season.

Both suffered problems, with Rossiter hitting the controversial chicane, and Mortara stopping out on track in the afternoon.

1Oliver TurveyGBRNIO1:18.565
2Sebastien BuemiFRARenault e.dams1:18.577
3Lucas di GrassiBRAAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler1:18.579
4Felix RosenqvistSWEMahindra Racing1:18.643
5Sam BirdGBRDS Virgin Racing1:18.669
6Daniel AbtGERAudi Sport ABT Schaeffler1:18.697
7Alex LynnGBRDS Virgin Racing1:18.957
8Jean-Eric VergneFRATecheetah1:19.016
9Mitch EvansNZLPanasonic Jaguar Racing1:19.063
10Nico ProstFRARenault e.dams1:19.097
11Nick HeidfeldGERMahindra Racing1:19.117
12Andre LottererGERTecheetah1:19.491
13Nelson Piquet JrBRAPanasonic Jaguar Racing1:19.627
14Jerome d'AmbrosioBELDragon Racing1:19.991
15Alexander SimsGBRMS&AD Andretti1:20.094
16Antonio Felix da CostaPORMS&AD Andretti1:20.107
17James RossiterGBRVenturi1:20.159
18Luca FilippiITANIO1:20.642
19Edorado MortaraITAVenturi1:20.712