The sixth chapter of the ABB FIA Formula E “green” competition will kick off next month, on November 22, with the first two races of the upcoming season to be held in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to the start, the teams have prepared themselves at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, where the official testing sessions have been held this week from Tuesday to Friday. The new contender of BMW i Motorsport, the iFE.20 single-seater, has impressed with its sustained performance emerging 1st in the overall practice standings and clocking a huge 536 laps over the course of three highly productive test days.
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The drivers for 2019-2020 Formula E season, Alexander Sims and Maximilian Gunther, got behind the wheel of their respective iFE.20 cars from Tuesday onwards in order to gain valuable experience and information throughout the whole testing program.
In the end, Gunther was able to extract the maximum potential out of his #28 iFE.20 single-seater, setting the fastest lap time of all Formula E teams, with a peak of 1:15.087 minutes. In the #27 iFE.20 car, Sims managed to achieve a personal best time of 1:15.359 minutes, finishing seventh in the overall standings of the testing session.
Roger Griffiths, team principal of BMW i Andretti Motorsport, commented on the successful test session at Valencia: “It is obviously nice to end the test week with Maximilian Günther’s fastest time at the top of the timing list. However, that does not mean an awful lot. We were also strong here last year, but were then unable to put that into practice over the whole season. For us as a team, it was much more important to optimize our internal processes and work together even better and more efficiently. I think we have taken a good step forward in that regard. That fact makes me more confident about the season ahead than the lap times do.”
Maximilian Gunther (#28 iFE.20) concluded on his successful tenure at tests held on Circuit Ricardo Tormo: “The test week went well for us. The focus was clearly on learning as much as possible, looking ahead to the coming season. For us, it was primarily about continuing the development of the car and team processes at the circuit. That took top priority. Lap times were a secondary matter. I am pleased that we were able to do an awful lot of laps and try some things out. That was very important for me. I felt very comfortable in the car all week. I can hardly wait for the season to get started in November.”
Alexander Sims (#27 iFE.20) further commented on the main conclusions of the pre-season Formula E testing in Spain: “The test really helped us. We were able to get a lot of laps under our belt and, in doing so, gather valuable data that our engineers will now analyze carefully over the coming weeks. We were also pretty quick. That may generally be good news, but we know that the Valencia circuit is not necessarily typical of Formula E. I had a small bump on Friday, when I was too fast entering the chicane and skidded off, however, that was not a major problem. Thanks to my team, who repaired the car quickly. All in all, we head home in positive spirits.”
The 6th season of the FIA Formula E competition unfolding next month will certainly be even more exciting, as BMW i Andretti Motorsport has gained valuable insight throughout the pre-season tests and looks set for a strong performance due to its talented driver duo and competitive technical package of the BMW iFE.20 contender.