Formula E test day cancelled due to paddock fire

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In the round-up: Formula E pre-season testing gets shortened by a paddock fire at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit.

In brief

Fire breaks out at Formula E test

Formula E’s sole pre-season test for its 2024 campaign began at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit on Tuesday, but was brought to a swift halt due to a fire in the paddock.

“The on-tack incident response team acted immediately so contain the incident,” said FE in a statement, while the garages were evacuated, and one person was “assessed by medics and has been transported to hospital for precautionary checks”.

FE, the FIA and local fire authorities began investigating the cause of the fire. They later confirmed the garage where the fire had taken place was damaged and the second day of the test would not go ahead. The investigation had “already identified an issue which is being addressed”, it added, and FE plans to resume running on Thursday.

Jaguar’s Mitch Evans was fastest in the day’s morning session, with Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa and Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi in second and third. Newcomer Taylor Barnard, who was driving for McLaren, posted an impressive seventh-fastest time.

The afternoon session did not take place due to a fire in the garage area.

Trident names their line-up for Macau Grand Prix

Italian team Trident have revealed their line-up for next month’s Macau Grand Prix, which awards the FIA F3 World Cup, including a past winner of the race.

Two Formula 2 drivers have stepped down to race for them: Roman Stanek and Richard Verschoor. Stanek is a Euroformula and FIA F3 race-winner, while Verschoor won the 2019 Macau Grand Prix and has since claimed three wins in F2.

McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu, who has never raced an F3 car before, completes their line-up. This year he won the Formula 4-spec Euro 4 championship.

Red flags and rain disrupt F3 testing

FIA F3’s post-season test at Imola concluded on Tuesday with two heavily disrupted sessions.

There were red flag period after red flag period in the morning, with Prema’s Gabriele Mini setting the pace. Technical issues leading to drivers stopping on track was the cause of most stoppages, while Rodin Carlin’s Callum Voisin and Ugo Ugochukwu beached their cars in the gravel.

Wet weather meant drivers could not make up for the lost time in the afternoon, as well a further red flag periods prompted by drivers encountering technical trouble. Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne topped the timesheet by over a second with a late lap when the track was at its driest.

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Comment of the day

The idea of reversing the grid for Formula 1 races has been raised again, but has split the opinions of team bosses in the paddock.

I’ve enjoyed the sprint races. The minimal practice means the grid is often a surprise in qualifying, and the short race means there is a genuine question about whether teams will be able to overtake. They are less predictable, and (typically) more of the outcome is decided on-track rather than through pit stops.

A reverse grid combined with a short race would take that chaos too far: there wouldn’t be time to make up the starting position, and – while we’d see a lot of great defending – ultimately the points awarded would not reflect the quality of the cars or driving.

I’d rather keep things mostly as they are… expect perhaps have first practice Thursday, second practice and third practice Friday, sprint qualifying + sprint race Saturday, full qualifying and full race Sunday with the option to work on the car after the sprint race. Then cars might have a different set-up and different performance for the two.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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16 comments on “Formula E test day cancelled due to paddock fire”

  1. Chloe Moretz to start racing at 26 years of age? Good for her I guess.

    On other forums the question pops up from time to time, ‘How can I get to X racing series, I’m 15?'(or thereabouts). And the answer is always the same, ‘You should have started racing at age 5, it’s too late, go enjoy a track day’.

    It really shows the level of competition for girls. And the lack of participation at the early ages. Instead of trying to get a woman into F1, the focus should be on getting girls into entry level motorsports.

    1. someone or something
      25th October 2023, 1:30

      You seem to mistake a completely inconsequential, most likely humourous, statement that was taken seriously by circa zero people, least of all the person making it, for a factual statement.
      No, Miss Moretz is not going to join F1 Academy, because, no, she is not ready to jump into competitive motorsports at her age and despite a complete lack of experience.

      So, no, “it” tells us nothing about the level of competition for women.

      But if you insist on jumping to conclusions, I would like to hear your take on the curious case of a certain Patrick Dempsey, who, instead of just answering a tabloid reporter’s inane question, did jump into competitive motorsports at the tender age of 28, and actually went on to carve out a somewhat successful career in endurance racing for himself, alongside his acting career.
      What does it tell us about the level of competition for boys?

      1. Did you read the article? It explictly states “And Moretz could already have a sponsor lined up, having visited the Red Bull Racing garage earlier in the day.”

        Maybe the article is parody, in which case, I’ve been had. Either way, it’s completely comical!

        1. Moretz is too old for F1 Academy’s 25 year old cut off, for a start.

        2. Yup – You’ve been had

        3. someone or something
          25th October 2023, 11:06

          Jay, I feel this isn’t so much about whether or not I’ve read the article (I have, including the part you’ve highlighted), but about media litteracy (also cf. the part you’ve highlighted).
          If that passage about her having visited the Red Bull garage before (as a celeb, not a driver in search of a contract during silly season …) and therefore likely having a sponsor lined up, as well as the fact that this article is from The Sun, doesn’t automatically make you roll your eyes and think “Oh, it’s that kind of article”, then you seem to struggle to distinguish between informative journalism on the one hand, and inane yellow press rubbish on the other.

          1. Not going to lie got a bit confused reading it myself, kind of assumed it was worth reading given they put it here? Hope she does well at whatever she is/isnt/maybe doing?

    2. The matter is most certainly only be about a test drive alone on a circuit rather than competitive racing.

    3. It could be also a for a movie test runs ectra… She is atleast fysic very fit so could handle a testrit :)

  2. The investigation had “already identified an issue which is being addressed”, it added, and FE plans to resume running on Thursday.

    Okay, and that issue is…..?

    1. The type of fire most damaging to their series image is a battery fire (which are becoming increasingly common with the rise in electric vehicles) – draw your own conclusions.
      If it were a cigarette butt in a rubbish bin, there’d be no reason not to say, would there…

    2. Could not say it is a battery. That goes against the “narrative”.

    3. The ‘narrative’. Take the Luton Airport fire as an example. The media have nearly all said it was a diesel Range Rover. Trouble is, the first video that came out showed all the hall marks of a fire in the hybrid battery located under the passenger seat. Then a few days later another video emerges on X of a Range Rover on fire with a conventional ‘year specific’ registration clearly visible, but the original video clearly shows it has a short ‘personalised’ variety, and lo, DVLA data for the new ‘evidence’ shows it’s definitely a diesel. Trouble is, the car park details around the two photos are clearly different, it’s either a fake or a convenient historical incident. The latter probably because these things do have a reputation for self immolation whether conventional, hybrid or EV.

      Fortunately my future motoring career is short enough to enable me to avoid having a car that is badly supported by charging and secondary safety infrastructure. Insurance companies are already loading the premiums for EVs, this will be the real assessment, not a bought-and-paid-for media.

  3. I’d just keep the sprint format entirely unchanged rather than start stretching into Thursday.

  4. “The on-tack incident response team acted immediately so contain the incident,”

    I’ve stepped on tacks before too, and I can tell you, ruins your day.

    1. someone or something
      25th October 2023, 21:05

      What a tacky comment …

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