Antonio Felix da Costa set the pace at pre-season testing in Valencia, showing promising speed from BMW i Andretti Motorsport in their first season as a full factory team in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
After three days of testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo with the new Gen2 machinery, Da Costa posted a best time of 1:16.977s – over three-tenths clear of his closest rival and reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne for DS TECHEETAH.
It was the first time the drivers were together on track with the new-look next generation car – boasting more power, performance and almost double the battery capacity. The teams had their work cut out getting acclimatised to the systems software and set-up – racking up mileage with race simulations and qualifying runs throughout testing.
Following storms in Spain during the rest day on Thursday and inclement weather continuing into Friday – there was limited chance to overhaul Da Costa’s time set on day two.
It isn’t just the car that’s new for season five, there are plenty of fresh faces up and down the pitlane getting a first taste of Formula E. The new kid on the block – HWA RACELAB – ran through their programmes with Gary Paffett and Stoffel Vandoorne behind the wheel, as well as Dani Juncadella on the final day.
Antonio Fuoco and Maxi Gunther exchanged sessions for GEOX DRAGON with both vying for a race seat alongside Jose Maria Lopez.
Newly-named Nissan e.dams ran with season two champion Sebastien Buemi and one-time E-Prix entrant Oliver Rowland. Da Costa’s team-mate Alexander Sims quickly got to grips with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport car, with Pascal Wehrlein (MAHINDRA RACING) and Felipe Massa (VENTURI Formula E Team) also busy preparing for their first competitive outing at the SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix on December 15.