Lotterer ends day one of Valencia Formula E test on top

Andre Lotterer beat the cars of reigning teams’ champion DS Techeetah to top the first day of Formula E pre-season testing in an afternoon session ended by a red flag.

The Porsche driver posted a 1min12.519sec effort with 20 minutes to go to climb to the top of the timing screens, despite not activating the 35kW boost of attack mode.

A three-hour afternoon session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia came to an early end when new Venturi Racing recruit Norman Nato ran into the gravel.

Nato, who replaces Felipe Massa at the team, had set the seventh fastest time when he came to a stop on the outside of Turn 7 with 12 minutes to go.

With the session not restarted, it meant Lotterer’s effort in the dry was 5.5s quicker than the best morning time as set by Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara.

It also marked the best-ever FE lap at the circuit, beating Maximilian Gunther’s time from last year by 2.5s, although this follows the removal of the chicane from the main straight.

Jean-Eric Vergne was a late climber for DS Techeetah to move second, 0.088s behind Lotterer, despite the team continuing with last season’s car for the first four races of 2020-21.

Vergne eclipsed defending champion and teammate Antonio Felix da Costa by 0.04s, as new Envision Virgin Racing driver Nick Cassidy ran to fourth.

Alexander Sims was fifth in the Mahindra Racing machine ahead of three-time DTM champion Rene Rast for Audi.

Behind Nato, Nico Muller ran strongly for Dragon / Penske Autosport to claim eighth, with BMW Andretti signing Jake Dennis edging Robin Frijns in the lower fringes of the top 10.

Lucas di Grassi was 11th with the all-new Audi powertrain, having activated his attack mode a session-highest four times.

Stoffel Vandoorne, 15th, and Mercedes teammate Nyck de Vries, 20th, both fell foul of the new track limits imposed at the first and final corners. They both collected a 15-minute stop-and-go penalty for repeated offenses.

Meanwhile, after his late morning crash caused by a stuck throttle at Turn 6, Mitch Evans was 22nd fastest for Jaguar Racing ahead of Mortara and Tom Blomqvist for NIO 333.

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