Buemi fastest in maiden Formula E test, Chandhok 10th
Leicestershire, UK: E.Dams-Renault`s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time in the maiden official test for the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park while Karun Chandhok, driving for Mahindra Racing, was 10th fastest.
The first of five public tests took place at the Leicestershire circuit in dry, bright conditions and saw all 10 teams and drivers use the full Donington Park circuit, modified to include an additional chicane at the exit to the Old Hairpin.
Thursday being the first outing for many of the drivers, the day focused on getting to grips with the Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars with German driver Daniel Abt, driving for Audi Sport Abt, laying down the early benchmark for the morning session.
The German, who ended the day eighth overall after missing the afternoon session due to other commitments, lapped in the low 1:37s, closely followed by Buemi and Andretti`s Franck Montagny.
Times began to tumble in the afternoon session with Buemi once again on the pace, posting a 1:35.475s with under an hour to go and holding on to the top spot until the end of the day.
Abt`s Lucas di Grassi finished over a half a second shy of the Swiss despite only running during the afternoon session with Virgin Racing`s Sam Bird a further three-tenths back in third.
Mahindra Racing`s Bruno Senna ran well all day to finish fourth with Venturi`s new signing and ex-Le Mans driver Stephane Sarrazin rounding out the top-five during his first outing in a fully-electric single-seater.
Nicolas Prost (e.Dams-Renault), son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain, finished sixth to edge out Jarno Trulli with Virgin Racing`s Jaime Alguersuari and Chandhok completing the top-10.
The day also saw outings for several of the championship`s new signings including Amlin Aguri duo Katherine Legge and Antonio Felix da Costa, Venturi`s Nick Heidfeld, Trulli`s Michela Cerruti and Dragon Racing`s Mike Conway.
Former F1 racer Jerome d Ambrosio and Spain`s Antonio Garcia tested for China Racing with Scott Speed making his test debut for Andretti sharing the car with IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador Gil de Ferran.
Buemi said: "I`m more than happy to be honest. I didn`t have any problems with the car at all and that meant we were able to learn quite a lot about it. It`s always nice to be P1 so let`s hope it continues tomorrow."
Day 1 combined times: 1. Sebastien Buemi, e.Dams-Renault, 1:35.475; 2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, +0.537; 3. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, +0.895; 4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +0.910; 5. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +1.223; 6. Nicolas Prost, e.Dams-Renault, +1.232; 7. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, +1.494; 8. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +1.737; 9. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +1.970; 10. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, +2.057; 11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, +2.587; 12. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, +2.604; 13. Jerome d?Ambrosio, China Racing, +2.611; 14. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, +2.729; 15. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, +5.269; 16. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, +5.693; 17. Gil de Ferran, Andretti Autosport, +9.497; 18. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, +10.434; 19. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, +12.821; 20. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, (No official time set).