Formula E – pre-season testing

In July and August for four weeks, each Monday and Tuesday, Formula E tested for season 2. Contrary to earlier reports not one, but all days were open to the public. I sent my best friend to investigate. She bravely set out on 25 August and reported back.


Photo by Joanne Loftus – © All Rights Reserved

The question of course is: what would you expect to see on a test day? As it turns out, quite a bit.
With the new season and new regulations it’s interesting to see what the teams have come up with. They all have new power trains which they have been able to develop themselves. From that point of view it is interesting to see how the cars are performing, what kind of lap times they achieve. Of course the lap times are not really indicative, due to the various programmes being run and the test being held on an actual race track whereas Formula E races on road tracks. It is good to see that most teams have been able to do some excellent running and gather plenty of data.

Being a specatator on a test day gives a feeling of being part of the whole circus. Being able to watch the teams work. Being able to get a sneak peek of the new season. There was a surprising number of people at the track – possibly 100 or more. It proves people are really getting into Formula E. It also shows how spectator friendly Formula E is, especially since every test day had two separate pit walk sessions during which you could meet the drivers. Unlike Formula 1 testing, most garages were open at all times and not blocked in any way so you could see all the work being done.


Photo by Joanne Loftus – © All Rights Reserved
Work being done on one of the Mahindra cars

Highlight of the day was when garage number 9 (Trulli) opened and the car actually managed an installation lap after which the door immediately closed again; a ‘highlight’ because the Trulli team has had horrendous issues with their new power train and as far as we know now they have to revert to the old power train for the new season. This is definitely going to put them on the back foot, because in the new season they can use more power, which they might not be able to get out of the old set up.
With the new power trains there is also a difference in the amount of gears the cars have. You’ll see anything between one and 5 gears which creates various distinctive sounds.

During the first pit walk session 1 pit walk my friend really wanted to meet Bruno Senna, but, as this was the last day of testing, he’d been pulled from pillar to post all day due to filming commitments and people wanting to speak to him, so he did not come out. His teammate – Nick Heidfeld – did not show himself at all during either pit walk session. Determined to meet Bruno my friend decided to go back for a second time and this time she got lucky.


Photo by Joanne Loftus – © All Rights Reserved
Bruno Senna

After getting an autograph and photos she wandered around some more and went to the Virgin box where she saw Sam Bird (as she puts it: ‘I have a bit of a soft spot for the Bird’). She had her picture taken and a poster signed.

The weather started turning around after that, so she left around 15:00 when it started raining. She also assumed there wouldn’t be a lot of running after three o’clock, because that evening all the cars were going to be packed up and shipped off to Beijing where the first race of the new season will happen.


Photo by Joanne Loftus – © All Rights Reserved
Joanne with Sam Bird

After a nothing short of brilliant first season and the changes coming up in the next season we will most certainly be watching!

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One thought on “Formula E – pre-season testing

  1. Pingback: GT Cup Championship at Donington Park | A Girl Who Loves Cars

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