Frijns tops FE pre-season testing after second day; Evans ninth

Robin Frijns remained fastest on Formula E’s second day of testing at Valencia, while Antonio Felix da Costa topped the afternoon running and Stoffel Vandoorne ‘won’ the simulated race session.

In the session’s dying minutes, DS Techeetah’s da Costa posted a 1m15.586s lap to head the afternoon’s running – albeit 0.209s down on Frijns’s lap from the morning session – to beat Jaguar’s James Calado by under four-hundredths of a second.

Calado set the fastest opening sector in the afternoon session and narrowly beat Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara to the second spot in the afternoon.

Alexander Sims and Jean-Eric Vergne both set a 1m15.719s lap to follow Mortara, while Lucas di Grassi placed sixth.

Calado, Mortara and Vergne’s afternoon times were faster than their morning efforts, and Andre Lotterer and Ma Qing Hua were the only other drivers to improve after the lunch break.

The overall order of the top seven drivers remained the same as this morning, although Calado’s afternoon lap was enough to bring him into eighth in the overall order at the end of the day – shuffling Jaguar team-mate Mitch Evans and Audi’s di Grassi down a position each.

Sam Bird brought out the only incident-triggered red flag of the afternoon’s running, hitting the wall at the exit of the chicane and pausing the session with just under 20 minutes remaining.

The Envision Virgin Racing driver caused notable damage to the right-hand side of his car, but it was delivered back to the pits before the end of the session to allow for another eight minutes of running.

Vandoorne wins “E-Prix Exercise” test ‘race’

The session was paused after 20 minutes to prepare for the simulated race session, run to 31 laps and punctuated by a full-course yellow and two safety cars to perform a systems check ahead of the new season.

Vandoorne was declared the ‘winner’, crossing the line 1.7s clear of Antonio Felix da Costa having controlled the second half of the race.

Starting in fifth, Vandoorne lost a place early on to the rapid Edoardo Mortara, but the two made their way past Felipe Massa before easing past the DS Techeetah pair of Da Costa and Vergne.

Mortara took the lead from initial race leader Pascal Wehrlein but Vandoorne took control the lap after and began to set a number of competitive times to build a lead over Mortara.

After Mortara retreated to the pits on the 28th lap, da Costa recaptured second from di Grassi, who had enjoyed a late surge to rise up the order.

Di Grassi held onto third from Sebastien Buemi, as Vergne recovered to fifth having endured a descent down the order during the middle of the session – finishing ahead of early leader Wehrlein.

Evans beat BMW’s Maximilian Guenther to seventh, while Oliver Rowland and Nico Muller completed the top 10.

Lotterer was the only driver not to participate in the ‘race’, while Bird made a belated start 20 laps behind the rest of the field.

NIO’s Oliver Turvey, Vandoorne’s Mercedes stablemate Nyck de Vries and Massa all pulled into the pits during the session, effectively counting as retirements.

Massa and de Vries completed just a single lap each in the afternoon – apart from their brief running in the ‘race’, which they did before that designated slot.

De Vries was unable to complete further running due to a suspected problem with his rear axle that Mercedes is currently analysing.

After his car stopped due to a battery fuse problem on the first day cost him most of Tuesday and his crash on Wednesday morning, the 2019 Formula 2 champion has completed just 35 laps so far in the test.

His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne is on 106 laps with one day of running remaining on Friday.

Frijns tops FE pre-season testing after second day; Evans ninth

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