Prost fastest as testing concludes


Pre-season testing at Donington Park concluded with Nico Prost returning Renault e.dams to the top of the times.

The Frenchman set his best lap of 1:30.513s during the morning session. With heavy rain falling towards the end of afternoon running, there was no opportunity for anyone to lower the benchmark.

“Last week we were a bit lost but the last two days from my side have been really positive,” he said. “We had a really, really good pace. I’m quite happy but not over-confident as Abt was looking really strong, Sam Bird is looking strong. Reliability for us has been good too.”

Prost was able to try the car at 170kw, the planned race power for season two, and was pleased by the results.

“For me and my driving style I think it’s better to have more power. It makes it a lot nicer to drive. 170kw makes it more challenging.”

There was a sombre start to the test as all the teams and drivers lined the pitlane to observe a minute’s silence in respect for Justin Wilson, who succumbed overnight to the head injuries he suffered at Pocono on Sunday.

With an impressively large crowd once again turning out to see the cars in action, it was Sebastien Buemi who went second fastest to make it a Renault e.dams one-two.

“We could have done some things better, but the most important thing is to get ready for Beijing,” he said, “so we were not able to show what we could do. The cars seems to be good, we’ve improved the reliability a lot, we drove in all kinds of conditions, so from that side I’m quite happy and I’m confident we can have a strong weekend in Beijing and I’m looking forward to seeing how the car behaves on a proper circuit.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio set the third fastest lap for Dragon Racing. He said: “We had a good day, obviously lap times are not too representative I think at this stage. Without putting everything together we have been relatively near the front. That’s positive but it has been a difficult last two days with the weather, we haven’t been able to go through the whole programme. I think we learnt a lot and can look forward to Beijing.”

An overnight switch to the season one technology allowed Simona de Silvestro and Formula E newcomer Robin Frijns to get some laps on the board for Andretti at last. Frijns actually recorded the second fastest lap of the afternoon session with a lap of 1:31.434, completing 21 laps in the process. De Silvestro managed 11 laps as her pre-season testing started belatedly.

The Trulli car also completed a lap for the first time, although Vitantonio Liuzzi was unable to record a representative time. The afternoon session also gave GP2 race winner Stefano Coletti a first taste of the Formula E car. The Monegasque managed 20 laps for Team Aguri.

The second season of Formula E kicks off with the Beijing ePrix on October 17.

FIA Formula E Championship – Donington Park – Pre-season testing (Day 6) – Results:

1. Nicolas Prost, Renault e.dams, 1:30.513s

2. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, 1:30.801s

3. Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON RACING, 1:30.860s

4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:30.869s

5. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:30.923s

6. Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Virgin Racing, 1:30.997s

7. Loic Duval, DRAGON RACING, 1:31.259s

8. Robin Frijns, Andretti, 1:31.434s

9. Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi, 1:31.895s

10. Stefano Coletti, Team Aguri, 1:32.573s

11. Simona de Silvestro, Andretti, 1:33.180s

12. Nelson Piquet Jr, NEXTEV TCR, 1:33.679s

13. Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, 1:34.384s

14. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 1:36.176s

15. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Trulli, no time set