Formula E

Pre-Season Testing Final Day: Maserati And Maximilian Günther Reign Supreme Once Again

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Credit: FIA Formula E

It has been a mighty fine week for Maserati MSG Racing and Maximilian Günther, who ended pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, in the same way he started it, on top.

Pre-season testing for Season Nine and the start of Gen3 for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has been truly intriguing, as it has become apparent fairly quickly who has developed the best powertrain on the grid. All the stars seem to be pointing at DS Automobiles, with Maserati and DS Penske having looked strong all week.

Morning Session: DS Penske seal one-three in strong session

It was double Formula E Champion Jean-Éric Vergne who topped the morning session on the final day, after posting a 1:25.248, with DS Penske having locked-out a one-three Friday morning with Stoffel Vandoorne having claimed third.

Rookie Jake Hughes claimed a brilliant second spot in the morning session, just four-hundredths behind the experienced Frenchman. Hughes was remarkably the only non-DS powered driver in the top five, as Günther claimed fourth with Edoardo Mortara in fifth. Jake Dennis claimed sixth for the Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team, despite having broken down earlier in the session. He was followed closely by fellow Brit Dan Ticktum, who rounded off the top seven.

Whilst it was a pleasurable morning for the NIO 333 FE Team, who continue to show promise, it was a nightmare start to the day for Envision Racing. Sébastian Buemi caused a red flag following a crash at Turn Four, whilst Nick Cassidy failed to even post a lap-time.

Afternoon session: Günther sets Circuit Ricardo Tormo Formula E record

Günther in particular has been in a league of his own, having topped three of the four days of pre-season testing, with his best time on Friday having even been a Formula E lap record of the circuit. With a 1:25.127 in the final thirty minutes of pre-season testing, Günther threw down an early gauntlet in regard to perhaps being a surprise title contender, with his Monegasque side having performed wonders in Spain.

The German was followed closely by reigning World Champion Vandoorne, who ended the final session of the week just a tenth behind the twenty-five year old in second. Vandoorne is another driver who, like Günther, has been adjusting to his new work environment very well indeed, perhaps highlighting that the Belgian driver is in the right place to defend his Season Eight crown.

Third spot in the final session of the week wasn’t taken by a DS powertrain, but instead by Mahindra Racing‘s Oliver Rowland, who’s enjoyed a very good week. Fourth spot was taken by one of the stars of pre-season, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team‘s Hughes, who seems to have adjusted to life as a Formula E driver incredibly during his first pre-season in the all-electric series. The Brit could be someone to keep an eye on come the season opener, with McLaren having also looked like a strong side this week.

Jaguar TCS Racing endured a mixed afternoon session, after Sam Bird claimed fifth, whilst Mitch Evans brought a red flag out during the session.

And just like that, pre-season testing for Season Nine is complete, with the teams now having just a few weeks to go over all the gathered data, before the season opener in Mexico City.

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