Innovative Formula E tests conclude at Donington Park
The FIA Formula E Championship concluded its intensive pre-season testing programme at Donington Park yesterday (Tuesday) with Brazilian ace Lucas di Grassi emerging as the fastest driver across the six days of testing which have been held this August.
The ground-breaking series, which is based at the circuit, has taken full use of its proximity to the world famous track, with the test days attracting thousands of fans to see the cars in action, and each team developing new technology to improve the speed of their electrically powered cars.
The development in technology has been shown by the improved pace of the cars, with the fastest time posted during testing around a second quicker than 12 months ago.
Fans were also able to get up close to famous names including Jacques Villeneuve, Bruno Senna, Nelson Piquet Jr, and Nicolas Prost among others, during the many pit walks, with thousands of people going away with autographs and ‘selfies’ as mementos of their visit.
With each team having conducted valuable running, the outfits are now preparing for the first round of the new season in Beijing, with some of the freight going from the nearby East Midlands Airport.
Bruno Senna, who was present at all six days commented: “It’s always nice to drive at Donington, it’s a track I always enjoy driving at. We’ve had dry conditions for the majority of the time and it’s been very productive to test here, and we’ve been able to try lots of things on the car to maximise the potential ahead of the second season.”
Commenting on the logistical benefits of each team based at the circuit, the nephew of F1-legend Ayrton Senna said: “It’s very important for the teams to have everything here so they can quickly change their cars if they have any problems with the new technology. Being so close to the bases, we’re able to quickly resolve any issues and we have a great facility here at Donington to use when the cars are not travelling the world.”
Senna was also a very popular attraction for the thousands of fans, signing many autographs during the pit lane walkabouts. He noted: “The fans have been extremely enthusiastic and it’s been really nice to see more and more people coming to the Formula E tests. Last year there was a good turnout but this year the numbers of public here have been even stronger and it shows the popularity of the championship is growing and more people are coming to see what it’s all about, and enjoy a day at Donington.”
Donington Managing Director Christopher Tate commented: “It’s been fantastic to have the Formula E tests here once more this year. Making full use of the proximity to their bases, we’ve seen a lot of track action from the teams, and this has meant that their development of new technology has really advanced during the tests.
“It’s been fascinating viewing for the thousands of spectators who have visited us, and we’re all now very much looking forward to seeing who emerges as the fastest in Beijing in October.”
The next major event at Donington Park is the British GT and BRDC F4 Championships on 12-13 September. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.donington-park.co.uk