Buemi fastest in first Formula E test at Donington Park

Formula E

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The FIA’s new all-electric single seater series, Formula E, completed its first test session at Donington Park today.

Red Bull test drivers and former Toro Rosso racer Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time for the team run by GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 squad DAMS.

Buemi is one of 11 former F1 drivers participating in the championship. His lap of 1’35.475 was five seconds off the pace of a Formula 4 car at the circuit.

However a makeshift chicane was installed at one point on the track to slow the cars down. And the Spark-Renault SRT 01E chassis and power unit are still at an early stage in their development.

The first round of the championship will be held on a street circuit in Beijing, China on September 20th.

Pos. Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 36 1’35.475
2 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 29 1’36.012 0.537
3 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 31 1’36.370 0.895
4 Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 22 1’36.385 0.910
5 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 24 1’36.698 1.223
6 Nicolas Prost e.dams 11 1’36.707 1.232
7 Jarno Trulli Trulli 30 1’36.969 1.494
8 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 32 1’37.212 1.737
9 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin Racing 17 1’37.445 1.970
10 Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 21 1.37.532 2.057
11 Franck Montagny Andretti Autosport 29 1’38.062 2.587
12 Antonio Felix da Costa Amlin Aguri 24 1’38.079 2.604
13 Jerome D’Ambrosio China Racing 33 1’38.086 2.611
14 Antonio Garcia China Racing 21 1’38.204 2.729
15 Nick Heidfeld Venturi 17 1’40.744 5.269
16 Mike Conway Dragon Racing 16 1.41.168 5.693
17 Gil de Ferran Andretti Autosport 11 1’44.972 9.497
18 Scott Speed Andretti Autosport 6 1’45.909 10.434
19 Katherine Legge Amlin Aguri 11 1’48.296 12.821
20 Michela Cerruti Trulli 0

Formula E Donington Park test pictures

Formula E

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Images © Formula E

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Buemi fastest in first Formula E test at Donington Park”

  1. There’s also some video from fans who were at the test in the forum:

    Formula E first test at Donington Park

    1. That’s quiet! Nevermind having a conversation, you could have candlelight dinner while watching a race.

      1. still sounds nicer then this years f1 cars

  2. The fun thing about this series is you can watch pictures and still you haven’t missed any of the action.

    1. That’s true… they are very slow when you think that a GT3 car runs 1:28 at domington… And GT3 aren’t very quick…

      But they look interesting, and should get a bit quicker

      1. I guess a lot of time is lost in the chicane they installed (its 3 pieces of hay-bale across the track to weave through) and off course this is still relatively early in testing new equipment by newly put together teams. Compare F1 testing this year and teething issues for such experienced teams like Red bull and Lotus @oliveiraz33, @xtwl

  3. There are big differences among them, but it has been prospective.

    1. I wouldn’t read too much into the times; some of the drivers were doing strategy tests, so won’t have necessarily gone flat out. Plus this is just day one – there are four more testing days yet to run :-)

  4. The cars look great, and there are some great drivers signed up already, but they seriously need to make them faster!

    1. The cars or the drivers :D

      I wonder if we have seen the four remaining seats filled or just temporarily filled..

    2. I think most of the livery could have been a bit more imaginative. Not a fan of the silver Virgin, best looks go to Aguri and Mahindra for me.

  5. I love the grid, so many familiar names. It’s basically a slightly inferior version of Formula 1. :D

    1. slightly

      Ha, bit of an understatement!

  6. Seeing that they’ll race exclusively on street circuits, I’d reeally like to see them visit Macau and Pau – just to include two other famous street courses besides Long Beach and the alleged Monaco event.

    1. @atticus-2 Given the performance of the cars, I suspect part of the brief is to avoid tracks which are used by other series to avoid direct comparisons being made. Hence the abbreviated version of Long Beach, which is hardly the Nordschleife to start with.

      1. Haha, yes.

        I guess in part that’s why they’ve put that chicane in after the Old Hairpin in Donington.

      2. Nordschleife – wouldn’t they need to change cars mid lap there already @keithcollantine :-o

        1. Park your car at the entry to the carousel, run across the carousel, and get on the new car at the exit of carousel. Would allow for lower ground clearance as well. @bascb

          1. That would be exciting!

  7. I wish they hadn’t added the chicane so we could see what kind of pace they were running relative to other series. But I’m still very excited to see this and the participation of the former F1 talent and big name sponsors. This is really great to see and I’ll go see one of the North American races.

    1. might be that is exactly the purpose of the chicane @daved

  8. That’s one impressive list of drivers!

  9. Heheheh pure electric “racing” cars . it’s so funny.

    1. in 50 years I don’t think you will be laughing, this series will likely be considered a historic and pioneering series. though…. maybe not, I mean electric cars have been around for 100 years.

  10. Can someone tell me, do they sound better than this years F1, if so I might follow FE instead.

  11. The video of the standing start was interesting. The sound does take some getting used to – there have been electric cars at the Andros Trophy for some years now & I still get a bit freaked out by the quietness of it all!

  12. I think the Fan-Boost thing is ridiculous, If they want to have some sort of P2P system then just do it like Indycar does & give everyone x-pushes for x-seconds during a race or per-car or something.

    The voting page is up BTW:

    I’m not particularly hyped about this series but I’ll check out the 1st race anyway & see what I think.

    Part of my lack of excitement is that I just don’t see electric vehicles been the future, I’ve got nothing against them as other petrol heads do, I just don’t think there the answer to the long term problem.
    Then there’s also the silly things like the fan boost & having to swap cars Mid-race etc… Just all seems a bit gimmicky even if the car swap is simply to get around the technical limitations of the equipment.

    1. I thought they had to swap cars because they cant run until the end (or is outright faster).

  13. Neil (@neilosjames)
    4th July 2014, 1:15

    Needs a bit of this.

  14. In my opinion Formula E is a fantastic idea, also pretty much inevitable, ask a few welsh coal miners about the future viability of fossil fuels. If the future seems to be electrically powered then using the global stage to spark the competitive ingenuity of engineers and designers makes sense for commercial interests. Nothing new there for F1 fans considering our new formula.

    It’s up to us and them regarding how long this will take to gain a following and “spark” any serious interest from the regular motorsport fan base. I am going to give it a fair chance, but I hope the FIA also take it seriously and drop the fanboost baloney. I can’t see fanboost making sense on any level from a competition point of view, it’s pure commercialism and shouldn’t affect racing!

  15. Nope. For me, a race sport needs some kind of noise. Compared to this, today’s F1 are incredible! Ok, we can argue that this is the future of racing, bla, bla, but if there’s no noise, won’t work for me. For that reason, Formula E, I’m out.

  16. I wonder if hydrogen fuel cells will be a more sensible long-term replacement for fossil-fueled racing going forward?

    I don’t think ive ever heard such an engine before, but the video of Trullis shakedown a few months back put my teeth on edge.

  17. Obviously not that important, but the liveries do seem a bit bland.

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